Wednesday, January 26, 2005

steak and small steps

Last night's dinner was one of our staples - japanese steak & greens. It's another super-fast, super-easy, tasty, nutritious dinner.

1 8-oz steak
3 cups (or equivalent) leafy green vegetables
1 cup cooked brown rice

1/8 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
a few drops sesame oil

1/8 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chinese cooking wine
1/8 cup mirin
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
grated ginger

The steak needs to marinade in the soy, mirin & sesame oil for at least half an hour. What works well is putting the rice on at the same time you put the steak in the marinade. Then you can go do something else for 45 minutes until the rice is done. Just make sure your veggies are prepped (cleaned, chopped, whatever else you want to do to them) and you have a big pot of salted boiling water (with a pinch of sugar if your veggies are on the bitter side) ready to go to blanch them.

To cook the steak, heat up a small frying pan to medium, blot the steak dry with a paper towel, and rub it with a little more sesame oil (to prevent the sugar in the marinade from burning). Cook it to your liking - I'm a big fan of "still mooing" but you can crisp it up however you want. If you're cooking it to well-done though, it's a good idea to reduce the heat a tad so it doesn't burn.

While your steak is sizzling away, combine the sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe glass measuring pitcher with a handle (a 1-cup one is best). Stir well to dissolve the cornstarch and distribute the grated ginger. Nuke it on high for 40 seconds at a time, stirring after each, until the sauce is thickened and the cloudiness is gone.

When the steak is done, remove it from the pan and let it rest while you blanch the vegetables (that's dunk them in the boiling water for 1-3 minutes, depending on how much cooking they require - 1 minute for good, fresh chard or bok choy or other delicate green, 3 minutes for tough kale...)

When the veggies are done, drain the water away, then slice the steak thinly. 3 oz for women/small people, 5 oz for larger people/men. Place the steak on the veg on the rice, top with a bit of the sauce, and sprinkle cilantro or basil on top if you've got it.


In other news, Stirling said last night that he's starting to really enjoy the flavour of the brown rice. Yay! See, even die-hard refined carb people, who have had white flour, white rice, white pasta their whole lives can learn to appreciate the chewiness and extra flavour of non-refined grains. And their bodies will thank them for it :-) It just takes a while to get your taste buds acclimated. So don't give up if you don't like brown rice the first time you have it.


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