Monday, March 15, 2010


I gave three people directions on the way to work today! And all of them were sensible! (The directions, not the people. If the people were sensible they would've had a map, or not asked "Where is the post office?" when it was right behind them, man who was glaring at a post box.) I have a bad habit of giving people directions even when I'm not quite sure where they should be going - "How do you get to X hotel," they ask, and I smile cheerfully and say, "Oh, just go that way for a couple of blocks then turn left and you should be there!" And then they toddle happily off and I realise that actually I don't really know where the hotel is after all. Not this morning, though. This morning I was a talking map.

I had a nice weekend - I bought shoes and went on a bus trip (it's like a pub crawl but you don't have to walk), and I made a delicious stir-fry, the recipe for which I will now share with the five of you who care - it's (loosely) based on a Teriyaki Beef recipe.

Vaguely Teriyaki Beef (for 4)

Beef, as much as you want to eat - I threw out the meat packet so I can't remember how much I used. Sorry. I used beef schnitzel but steak would also be fine (not rump steak though, we are not making a casserole).
Dark soy sauce - light soy sauce will do but dark is better
Mirin - it's a rice wine used for cooking (don't drink it, it's fucking disgusting) and if you don't have any you can use cooking sherry, or maybe regular wine. Not white wine vinegar, though. Not the same. Ruins everything. Trust me on this.
A Chilli - I used a fresh red one about the length of my middle finger (if you're measuring the chilli in the supermarket, take care not to point your measuring finger at anyone) but dried chilli flakes would probably do.
Garlic - 2 cloves, or more if you have a hankering for garlic/no-one to make out with tonight/a vampire problem
Ginger - Fresh root is best. Tee hee, root! If you've only got dried ginger don't bother.
Veges - I used a big carrot, 2 spring onions, 1/3 of a regular onion, 1/3 of a cucumber, and 12 cherry tomatoes but you could use whatever's in the fridge/garden (you know, within reason. Not lettuce).
Noodlez - or rice.

Cut the beef into strips. (If all your knives suck, then scissors will do the job.) Put the beef strips in a relatively shallow bowl and add 4 tbsp of soy sauce and 4 tbsp of mirin, or whatever you're using instead of mirin because seriously, who owns that? (I do.) Move the beef about a bit with a spoon until it's all had a nice swim in the marinade (oh, yeah, that's what we're doing here, marinating) and then cover it (teatowel = good) and whack it in the fridge. Let it sit for at least 30 mins and move it about with a spoon every so often. It's nice if the marinade covers all of the meat, not just the bottom third. Which is why you need the shallow bowl.

While the meat is absorbing the delicious flavours of the Orient, de-seed and finely chop the chilli. Don't eat the chilli to find out how hot it is, it's hotter than you think. Either finely chop the garlic or, if you can't be arsed with that, crush it. Also finely chop/crush the ginger (use a lump about half the size of your thumb, unless your thumb is freakishly large. Use a lump about half the size of my thumb). Mix these together, then set them and go and move the meat about. Don't taste the marinade. That's unhygienic and also it doesn't taste very nice.

Chop the onions - spring and regular - into bits, whatever size you like. Halve the cherry tomatoes and slice the carrot and cucumber into thin sticks. By the time you've finished with that it's probably been half an hour, so take the meat out of the fridge.

Now is probably about the right time to put the noodlez on. If you don't know how to cook noodlez I refuse to explain.

Squirt some oil (just a little bit, we're not having a massage) into a wok/frying pan and heat. Put in the beef - lift it out of the bowl in handfuls and squeeze it a bit so it's not too marinadey. Don't wring it out though, just squeeze gently. No more than you would squeeze a kitten. Also, don't chuck out the marinade, we will use that.

Brown the meat then add the carrot and onions, along with some of the left over marinade and a glob of the chilli/garlic/ginger mix. Cook for a bit then add the rest of the veges and the rest of the marinade and the rest of the c/g/g and now there should be nothing left on the bench! If there is something left on the bench then you may have made an error.

Wait until everything is cooked and then serve. Yum yum yum.


Tarryn said...

I love stir fry. why would only 5 people care?

IT IS ALLY said...

I'll let you & the other 4 confer on that one :D

I don't know... I guess I assume recipes make for boring blogging? Hmmm.

Michelle said...

those are surprisingly good directions for a recipe! Can you give similarly non-confusing explanations for making Origami? Because I always get lost on that. Or perhaps its right behind me all along and I just haven't noticed...

wv. gonin: Ally's beef teryaki crap, er sorry, "stirfry" - gonin 60 seconds

Joff said...

My ex used to give phoney directions in exactly the same way... *makes squinty eyes*

Da said...

So you still don't know how to cook noodles!

Ellie said...

This is exactly how I cook. I'm so glad I'm not alone.

Riadan said...

Rump steak is FINE!
There needs to be less hate against this much maligned cut of meat.
It is cheap, flavourful and only slightly chewy. (I mean it's not like brisket or nothing.)
When I was in (NAMEDROP EUROPEAN COUNTRY HERE) after I'd blown all my money on hash in amsterdam, a big plate of steak frites, with this massive chewy hunk of rumsteck was the first substantial meal I'd had in days.
And it's not just nostalgia, I'll make you a steak that will make you like me even more than you already do. (not very much)

also my CAPTCHA was the word "Resentin," which pleased me to no end.