Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beef with Peapods

My last post was a great chicken and peapods recipe so I thought I'd share a beef version this time. This one actually came before the chicken version and it sort of paved the way for that and a couple others. The inspiration to make this came from a craving for some beef chop suey from our local Chinese restaurant. So instead of calling to place an order, I decided to create something with what I had on hand. I'm big on that, you know...

So I checked out what I had and a bag of peapods from Costco was staring back at me. I knew I had some steak - also from Costco - so I thought about combining them into a simple stir fry with some chop suey sauce similarities. It wasn't exactly like chop suey, but it's exactly what I was going for. I wanted a deep flavor that really highlighted the beef as the main ingredient. The sauce was mellow and not too overpowering so it really let me meat flavor take center stage.

This one was really easy to prepare and it cooked up pretty fast. Slicing the meat is the most time-consuming part but it will be easier - and faster - if the steak is partially frozen. And make sure you cut against the grain because it makes it nice and tender which gives a great contrast to the crunchiness of the peapods.

When I make this again, I may add some water chestnuts just for some bonus crunches!

Beef with Peapods


 1 lb sirloin, trimmed
 1-2 TB canola oil (or other high-heat oil)
 3 c peapods*

 6 TB low-sodium soy sauce (or 4 Tb regular and 2 TB water)
 4 TB beef broth (or cooking sherry)
 2 TB brown sugar
 1/2 TB white sugar
 2 TB oyster sauce
 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
 1/4 tsp ground ginger
 2 TB cornstarch


1. Cut meat into thin slices, about 1/8" - 1/4" thick, against the grain. Place in a glass bowl.
2. Whisk together sauce ingredients. Add 4 TB of the mixture to the meat. Stir and let sit for about 10 minutes. Reserve remaining sauce.
3. Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add peapods and cook quickly for about a minute or two until crisp tender. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Return pan to high heat and add the meat, in batches, letting the marinade drip off before adding. Spread it out and let it cook for about 1 minute per side. Let the pan return to high heat before each batch. Remove and set aside.
5. Return everything to pan along with remaining sauce. Stir over high heat for about 1 minute or until mixture is thick and bubbly. It will thicken more as it stands. Serve with rice.

* To prepare peapods, snap off a little of the stem end and pull across to remove the string.

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