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Velvet Beef with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

The technique used here for preparing the steak results in tender pieces with a velvety feel, much the same as the way Kung Pao Chicken is prepared.  By tossing the steak with the vegetables at the very end you can set aside some of the wonderful bok choy and mushrooms for any vegetarians at the table.  As for the steak itself you may certainly use a higher quality but with it sliced thin against the grain and not allowed to overcook the round steak comes out very tender.

1-1  pounds    round steak (" to " thick)
1 small head    bok choy (about one pound)
8-10 medium    Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
8-10 medium    button mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
1 tablespoon    finely minced ginger
3-4 cloves minced garlic
peanut oil for frying
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup    chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons    oyster sauce
1 tablespoon    soy sauce
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon    sugar

Mix the ingredients to make the marinade. Slice the beef against the grain into strips about 2" long and mix with the marinade and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes to flavor and tenderize.

Mix the ingredients to make the sauce and set aside.

Prepare the bok choy by trimming the end and then separating the stalks.  Trim off the leafiest part and rinse the stalks thoroughly and allow to dry.  Slice the bok choy into matchbook size pieces and set aside.

When the meat has finished marinating, heat your wok over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot (just begins to smoke) stir fry the beef so that it browns on the outside but is still pink on the inside. Depending on the amount of sliced beef it is sometimes best to do this in batches so as not to cool the wok too much by overloading it with meat. Set cooked beef aside.

Deglaze the wok if necessary with rice wine or sherry and reheat.  Add another tablespoon of oil and stir fry the garlic and ginger until aromatic, about 1 minute.  Add the mushrooms and stir fry until they just begin to render their liquid, 3-4 minutes.  Add the bok choy and continue to stir fry until the leafy parts are well wilted and the stalks are tender, another 3-4 minutes.  Finally stir the sauce to remix and add to the wok along with the reserved steak.  Toss until everything is warmed through and coated with the sauce.

Serve with rice or oriental noodles.



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