This is a recipe based on a personal favorite from P.F. Chang’s Asian-Bistro restaurant, copycat’d by foodie genius Todd Wilbur. I thought the amount of brown sugar was way overdone, so I reduced it to a half cup, and I decided to add a healthy kick of Thai chili. Quick and easy preparation makes this a home run for busy families. It is also very economical – my total bill for the ingredients was $14.00. It will easily feed three people.
1 pound Angus top blade or flank steak, sliced perpendicular to the grain in 1/8″ strips
1/4 cup corn starch, packed and leveled
1/2 cup peanut oil for wok frying
2 Thai green chilis – stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced.
4 stalks scallion, trimmed and cut into 2″ chunks, then split lengthwise
2 cups quick-cook 5-minute white rice
For the Sauce:
1″ chunk fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
4 huge cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbs. dry Thai chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed and leveled
2 tbs. peanut oil
Slice the steak into 1/8″ strips and place in a shaker bag with the corn starch. Shake vigorously to coat the meat, ensuring the corn starch is evenly distributed. Set aside.
Prep all of your ingredients so they are ready to go when needed – wok cooking is very fast – the entire cook time takes less than 7 minutes.
Prepare the sauce ingredients by heating 2 tbs. peanut oil over medium heat in a heavy pot – then add the garlic and ginger. Stir constantly to avoid scorching the garlic for three minutes. Add the 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, soy sauce and dry Thai chili flakes. Increase heat and simmer for three more minutes until reduced. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat an outdoor charcoal grill with enough coal for a medium-hot fire. Leave the coal in a center mound for direct heating under a cast-iron wok.
When the coals are white-hot, place the wok directly over the coals on a grilling grate. Add the 1/2 cup of peanut oil. Heat until shimmering. Add the sliced steak. Stir for three minutes with a Chinese spider strainer. Remove the steak and drain in a bowl lined with paper towels. Discard the peanut oil.
When drained, add the steak back to the wok – Stir for another two minutes until lightly browned. Add the sauce. Cook for another two minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the scallion and green chile. Stir for one minute and remove from heat. Serve immediately over hot white rice.