Stir-fry is a simple stand-by for mid-week suppers and this classic combination of steak and prawns is no exception. Rather than strips of steak this dish is made with minced steak. I have a favourite recipe from Cambodia that combines minced pork and smoky aubergines which is delicious, and it set me thinking about cooking other minced meats in a wok. They cook really quickly and the addition of palm sugar and mirrin helps caramelise the meat giving it a rich texture. Serve stirred through boiled noodles tossed in sesame oil or plain rice.
We always drink jasmine tea with oriental food at home or in a restaurant; I find it is not only the perfect accompaniment, in that the fragrance perfectly balances the rich flavours, but it aids the digestion too. I recently bought some jasmine tea pearls. Whole leaves are rolled into perfect little pearly beads which unwind when brewed in boiling water; giving off their full scent. Expensive but heavenly!
1 bunch of spring onions
1 lump of root ginger
4 large cloves garlic
400 g minced steak
4 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
1 heaped teaspoon demarara sugar
1 large firm beef tomato, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 red pepper, cut into strips
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirrin
150 g ready cooked jumbo prawns
150 g sugar-snap peas
Finely chop the white of the spring onions, the ginger root and garlic. Put a wok over medium to high heat, when hot add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil then toss in the finely chopped vegetables and stir fry until soft but not browned, say 1 minute. Add the minced steak, a little at a time and stir fry until all the grains of meat are separate and browned well, say 5 minutes. Transfer to a dish to keep warm. Deglaze the pan with the rice wine, add the sugar and reduce by half, then add to the minced steak and stir.
Add 3 more tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan, add the prepared tomato and stir-fry on medium heat, to a mush, for say 5 minutes. Add the strips of red peppers and stir fry until they start to wilt then return the minced steak to the pan and stir fry to reheat. Then add the soy sauce and mirrin, stir fry to coat then add the cooked prawns and the sugar snap peas and stir fry for one or two minutes, add the spring onion tops (cut in julienne). Turn once to mix.
Prepare 3 - 4 servings of noodles as directed on the packet. Drain, toss well with 2 tablespoons of sesame seed oil and transfer to a large bowl, add two-thirds of the stir fry and toss well. Top with the remaining surf and turf stir-fry and serve at once with jasmine tea.