- 1 pound of boneless beef chuck or sirloin
- 1/4 cup fermented black beans
- 1/4 cup white wine, sake or water
- 3 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds green bell peppers, cored seeded and sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
- 2 scallions, chopped
MAKES: 4 servings
TIME: 30 minutes
Info: Start some rice or noodles to serve alongside before you even read the directions below. This stir-fry is fast. I like the way the slight bitterness of green peppers helps cut the richness of meat, so I often use them instead of red peppers in stir-fries. For many more ways to vary this recipe, see “Improvising Meat-and-Vegetable Stir-Fries” on page 672.
1. Put the beef in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients (this makes it easier to slice). Soak the black beans in the wine.
2. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add the bell peppers and cook, stirring only occasionally, until they brown in places and soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Don’t wipe out the pan and leave it off heat.
3. Slice the beef against the grain (crosswise) as thin as you can. Return the skillet to high heat and add another tablespoon of the oil. When it’s hot, add half the beef and cook, stirring only once or twice, until browned all over. Transfer the beef to the bowl with the bell peppers and repeat with the remaining oil and beef.
4. Add the garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup water, the soaked beans and their liquid, and the soy sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the bell peppers and beef to the skillet and toss until heated through and coated with sauce, just a minute or 2. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy sauce if you like. Serve garnished with the scallions.