Originally posted December 2012.
I love, love, love corny jokes. You know, the ones that most people groan upon hearing? I’m usually snorting with laughter. Legitimately.
Most people get ticked off when conversations on Reddit devolve into pun threads, but whenever that happens, I do a little fist-pump and I’m in my glory. The nerdier the topic, the better.
So several months ago, when I found a cooking blog titled “Crepes of Wrath,” I knew that, to make a Steinbeck pun, its author must be good people, and that I simply had to try at least one of her recipes.
I decided on this baby, as I was looking for a recipe using cube steak that wasn’t chicken fried steak. Don’t get me wrong, chicken fried steak is the ultimate in feel-good comfort food, but it is also the ultimate in get-huge-and-have-a-heart-attack food. You really can’t have it more than five times a year if you want to live past 40… and I’m pretty sure that I do.
It turns out that I made an excellent choice. While I’m not entirely sure what makes this “Mongolian,” I do know that it’s delicious, ridiculously simple, easy to adapt and comes together quickly. It’s a perfect midnight meal, and even with a relatively meager pantry, you should be able to throw something like this together, even if your night also entails taking approximately one month’s worth of clothing to the laundromat and (unsuccessfully) running the crazy out of your nine-month-old puppy. You can do eet.
Seriously, try it this week. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s even better than takeout! No offense, takeout. I love you and all, and you’re hard to resist when you’re right across the street, but sometimes a girl’s just gotta cook save those extra dollars for the holidays.
Mongolian beef (adapted from Crepes of Wrath)
1 lb cube steak
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 2-3 large cloves)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
broccoli/edamame/green beans (optional)
Pat your cub steaks dry. Slice your meat into thin strips, then coat with corn starch. You can shake off the excess corn starch using a strainer, but I didn’t bother. Because…I kind of forgot to pat my meat dry. Derp.
Add half of your oil to your pan/wok/skillet over medium heat, then add your ginger and garlic. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, add your soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.
Cook it for about two minutes, then transfer it to a bowl. Add the rest of your oil to your now-empty pan, then when it gets hot, add your meat and cook until browned. I usually cook it for about 5-10 minutes, because no one wants to eat raw-ish cube steak. Or any raw-ish meat, for that matter. Except sushi. But that’s not meat, that’s fish.
Wait, what was I doing?
Add your sauce back to the pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. The corn starch on your meat should thicken the sauce. I also added my broccoli to the pot for the last few minutes.
Hello there, broccoli. You’re looking dapper this evening.
Serve with rice (I’ve done it with white and brown, both are delicious) and enjoy!