Saturday, August 29, 2009

Minced Beef With Egg

College was a time for food exploration for me. Before that, I rarely get to eat anything outside of home prepared food. The first time I encountered minced beef with egg was during one of those quick dinner after class in one of the restaurants at the "Asian Ghetto" on the south side of UC Berkeley. Of course, I was too chicken to order it because the dish came with a raw egg over some slimy beef! All of the boys I know love that dish and they all ordered it one time or another. Once, I managed to get a taste but then decided to stick to my own food. I finally overcame the look of the dish and decided to make it myself. It was very hard to find a recipe for this dish for some reasons. Perhaps because it is too simple...kinda like how it would be hard to find a recipe to fry an egg. I did have to use a recipe/direction from a cookbook the first time I attempted to fry an egg, mind you.

Ingredients:
(Printable recipe)

1 lb of boneless beef chuck
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of salt
ground black pepper
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp corn starch
1 cup green peas
2 eggs

So, on to the cooking:

Take about 1 lb of boneless beef chuck. Trim the fat. I have the piece somewhat frozen so that it'll be easier to slice.



Dice it up in approximately 1/4" cubes.

Pull the cubes together in a pile and roughly give it a nice chop. The end product doesn't need to be so fine, some rough pieces should be okay.

Put the minced beef in a bowl and set aside. Mince 3 cloves of garlic.


Combine the garlic with the beef in a bowl. Add about 1 tsp of salt and as much ground pepper as you'd like. Sprinkle in 1 tsp on baking soda (to tenderize the beef). Toss in 4 tbsp of corn starch or enough to cover all of the beef pieces with a thin layer of corn starch. As you can see in the picture below, I did not add enough corn starch (only 3 tbsp) which will not ensure a satisfying gravy-ish end product.



Use your super clean hand and give it a good mix.



Heat about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan. Add the beef mixture and proceed to push the beef around for 1 minute.



Turn the heat down to medium high. Add 1/4 cup of water. Let it cook until the beef is turning brown.



This is what it looks like if you don't have enough corn starch. No gravy. :(

No matter, I hope you learn from my mistake. Next up, throw in 1 cup of peas. I got mine frozen and had to run it under the tap for 30 seconds.



Another mistake! My hand got a little too happy and actually dumped in a lot more than 1 cup. Sad face again!

Cook for another 2 minutes or until the peas are nice and tendered. Scoop some steaming hot rice to a bowl. Top the rice with the minced beef and peas. Be sure to make a little well on top of the beef and peas. Why, you ask? Because your truly here darn forgot to do that and it resulted in unhappy end product as seen below. When I proceed to crack an egg over the dish, the egg just slid off the mountain of beef and peas and made a happy home at the SIDE of the bowl rather than perching at the center.



Serve IMMEDIATELY!

How to eat such a dish: Quickly use a spoon/fork to scoop up the steaming hot rice and beef mixture and drape it on top of the raw egg. Break the egg and use your eating utensil to let the egg mingle with its hot hot neighbors. Eat the gooey goodness.

If you do not want to entertain the idea of a raw egg, quickly fry an egg in your still hot pan.



Then transfer it to the mountain of rice, beef, and peas.



Lessons learned:

1. Add enough corn starch to cover beef with a thin layer.
2. Don't go trigger happy and add too much peas.
3. Remember to make a small well at the top of the mountain of beef so egg won't slide pathetically to the side of the bowl.

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