- Craig Claiborne born (1920)
- 3/4 Pounds top sirloin
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 Tablespoon julienned ginger
- 1 Tablespoon sliced garlic
- 1 Cup mixed green and yellow wax beans, trimmed and sliced on a bias into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 Cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 Thai bird’s-eye chiles, minced
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed, green and white parts sliced thinly on a bias
- 5 Tablespoons soy sauce mixed with ¼ cup water
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
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I have a dirty secret. Mongolian beef is one of my favorite things to order when I'm tempted to spend the night in, cozy up in front of the TV (my theoretical TV, since I'm one of those New Yorkers who doesn't have one), and just eat out of a box. A Chinese takeout box, that is.
But, I've made a version here that won't require picking up the phone and that's a bit healthier, with the addition of green and yellow wax beans and some grape tomatoes on top of the usual bunch of scallions. Feel free to add in some sugar if you like the sauce a little on the sweet side.
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Freeze the beef for about 15-30 minutes. This will make it easier to slice. Slice thinly against the grain.
Heat a wok or 10-inch skillet over high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the oil and continue to heat until nearly smoking. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring continuously so that the garlic does not burn, for 10 seconds. Add the beef and cook until nearly done but some red remains, about 45 seconds. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the green beans, yellow wax beans, tomatoes, chiles, and scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce, water, and cornstarch together in a bowl, making sure to dissolve all lumps.
Push the vegetables to the sides and form a well in the center. Pour the slurry into the well and let come to a boil just briefly. Mix well, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the beans are crisp tender, about 1 minute. Remove the lid, add the beef, and stir to heat through and combine flavors, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.