Emma Shafer is a member of the Crown Publicity team at Random House. She is obsessed with one-pot meals, stovetop popcorn, and finding the perfect summer cocktail.
In his new book, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good (Clarkson Potter, April 2013), author Mark Bittman is a huge proponent of stir-fry dinners. Stir-fries are endlessly customizable, fast, fresh and delicious. Unlike some of my coworkers, I haven’t started trying out the VB6 lifestyle yet, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to make a ton of the recipes from the book! One night last week, I decided to try out his dinner (non-vegan) recipe for Steak and Broccoli Stir-Fry.
Because the cooking part of recipes like this tends to sneak up on you and be over in a flash, I like to prep all of the components of the recipe before I heat my skillet (or dutch oven if you’re like me and only have one pot that’s big enough).
First, I put the flank steak in the freezer as Bittman suggests, to make it easier to slice. Next, I started a batch of brown rice on the stove. With those two ingredients underway, I spent the next 30 minutes prepping and chopping all my other ingredients – broccoli in bite-size pieces, diced garlic and ginger, sliced lime for juice, roughly chopped nuts, and thinly sliced green onions. I also got out my olive oil, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and filled a liquid measure with water.
Once the meat was sliced, I was ready to start and everything came together in a snap. Don’t forget to turn off your rice when it’s finished cooking – I narrowly avoided a kitchen disaster on this front. Bittman notes that the same basic recipe can be used with any ingredients and I made a few minor modifications (red pepper flakes instead of chilies and cashews instead of peanuts) to account for what I already had on-hand in my apartment and the recipe still turned out great. I’m looking forward to making it again, maybe with shrimp and snow peas!
Steak and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Recipe from VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good by Mark Bittman
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces beef flank or sirloin steak, very thinly sliced (easiest if you freeze the meat for 30 minutes)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh hot chile (like jalapeño or Thai; optional)
1½ pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
Juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon (optional)
¼ cup chopped peanuts or cashews
3 cups cooked long- or short-grain brown rice
1. Put a large, deep skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, swirl it around, and add the beef. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt and some pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.
2. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, then the garlic, ginger, and chile, if you’re using it. After 15 seconds, add the broccoli and all but a handful of the scallions. Cook, stirring infrequently, until the broccoli is bright green and beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the broccoli is almost tender, another minute or two more.
3. Return the meat to the pan along with the soy sauce and lime juice, if you’re using it, and a little more water if the mixture is dry. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced slightly. Stir in the peanuts, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary; garnish with the remaining scallions, and serve over the rice.
Nutritional Info (with ¾ cup brown rice):
Calories: 572 • Cholesterol: 55mg • Fat: 28g • Saturated Fat: 5g • Protein: 31g • Carbohydrates: 54g • Sodium: 1510mg • Fiber: 10g • Trans Fat: 0g • Sugars: 6g