Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I did not get that "wok hei" in my Beef Kway Teow!

This is the "not-so-brown" version of Beef Kway Teow as it is non- commercial cooking and there's no commercial strengths of cooking heat involved. Most beef kway teow you have eaten or seen along roadside stalls, in hawker stalls, or even restaurants, have been cooked in a wok over a high flame while being stirred and tossed quickly. This imparts wok hei to the dish, and the flavour seeps through the food from caramelization that comes from charring and searing of the food at very high heat. The kway teow (or rice sticks) are usually charred in your beef kway teow dish, remember ?

Wok hei
(镬气; pinyin: huòqì) is a term in Cantonese Chinese referring to the flavour, tastes, and "essence" imparted by a hot wok on the food. A large amount of cooking oil is often used to enhance wok hei, resulting in food full of flavor, but can be greasy sometimes.

Well, the kway teow (rice sticks) in this beef kway teow is definitely less caramelized (minimum wok hei effect), but it's still flavorful as the beef has been well-marinated, and definitely a non-greasy (healthier) version.

Beef kway teow (serves 2)
-~1lb flap beef
-~1lb fresh/dry rice noodles or kway teow (if dry, blanch them till they are 95% cooked). I got myself fresh ones like this:
-1/2lb you chai (can be kailan too)
-1/2pack enoki mushrooms(option: these are awkward amounts left in my fridge but they are actually great with beef...think of a teppanyaki dish, will you? Enoki mushrooms add that special can't find it in other beef kway teow! It turned out to be a special ingredient!)
-3tbsp vegetable oil
-1tsp crushed ginger(or 4 slices fresh ginger)
-2tsp crushed garlic(or minced)

-1tbsp soya sauce
-2tsp Chinese wine
-1tbsp oyster sauce
-1tsp cornflour
-1tsp sesame oil
-1tbsp vegetable oil

1.Slice beef THINLY against the grain.
2.Marinate the beef with all the seasoning ingredients(EXCEPT vegetable oil) for 30mins.
After 30 mins, add the vegetabe oil.
3.Heat 1tbsp oil in a wok, stir fry the enoki and you chai till partially cooked or lightly limp (2-3mins).
4.Set them aside.
5.Heat 1tbsp of oil in a wok; till hot, fry/saute garlic
6.Add rice noodles and stir fry for about 4-5mins till lightly browned
7.Set the noodles aside.
8.Heat remaining oil in wok, add beef, remaining marinade and ginger
9.Stir fry beef till colour changes.
11. Add rice noodles and vegetables, stir fry till everthing is well coated.
12. Serve hot or warm (I got this tip from Simcooks - if not consumed immediately, wrap up with Al-foil and steam before serving. Less an oily plate to wash. Yay!)

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