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Stir fry dishes are one of the easiest, fastest and most convenient dishes to pull together when you are looking for something hearty and fulfilling. My Asian blood in me almost most of the time screams for something hot from the work and almost certainly the dish needs to be served over a bowl of steaming hot rice.

This is one of my favorite stir fry dishes. This dish was inspired by my Aunt Lydia. She makes it the best! Using hoisin sauce as the key ingredient here, this dish is full of flavor when cooked with beef or chicken. If you haven’t already tried hoisin sauce, then think of it as a Chinese style barbeque soy sauce. It is absolutely lovely!

Here I made my stir fry dish, it is super easy with just a few ingredients that you probably already have sitting in your fridge.

If you’re thinking of trying this, then please snap some photos and share it with us.

Have a great weekend.

Stir Fried Beef with Hoisin Sauce

1 lbs flank steak, slice into thin strips. (or into chunks) don’t forget to slice it across the grain.
2 whole carrots, you can shred it or cut into strips.
1 small onion, sliced
1 tbs fresh ginger, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced

Vegetable oil for stir fry
1/4 cup of water

Marinate
4 tbs hoisin sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbs shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
1 tbs cornstarch
Pinch of salt.

Combine all together and marinate the sliced beef and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

When the beef has done marinating, heat your wok or use a non stick pan and add about a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is heated, drop in the sliced onion, ginger and garlic and stir it up till it’s all nice and  fragrant. Now, add in the carrots and stir fry briefly for a minute and then remove it from the pan.

Then add in 2 tablespoon of oil to the same pan or work and start frying up the marinated beef. Cook the beef until it changes color and the sides are nicely brown. Now, add the carrots, onion and ginger back to the pan with the meat and continue to stir fry a minute. Add in the ¼ cup water and allow the sauce to come to a boil and stir it till it thickens. You may add in a pinch of sugar at this point if you want. Just to balance out the saltiness of the sauce.

Serve this up with a bowl of steam or fried rice and enjoy!

 

 

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Macarons

I have recently revisited my love hate relationship with the ever so complicated macarons. Sometimes I can’t understand why this cookie simply made with only egg whites, almonds and sugar can be so complicated. Just three easy ingredients can drive me absolutely crazy in the kitchen.

It’s the kind of baking that can really put you over the edge when baking. And because of it being such a challenge, I am now driven to get this right.

I believe that I have figured out all the steps from blending to mixing in the meringue. This can get confusing. I have seen some people mixing it really carefully and then only to have the peaks cracked in the oven with no feet. And then I have also seen professional pastry chef violently mixing the batter together and then miraculously producing flawless macarons.

For me, I believe my mistake clearly lies in the oven. My oven and I are still working on the perfect  baking temperature. I think that I need to lower the heat a little more that the once recommended which seems to suit these fussy little cookie to produced the iconic feet that everyone is talking about.

These are the ones that I made a couple weeks ago and was really happy with how it turned out. I made a salted caramel macarons and my all time favorite rose flavored once.

However, after being really ecstatic over my baking success I called my sister to spread the news and then told her I would bake some with her at her place. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight and ended up throwing the entire batch away. There were no feet and I was really disappointed as I wanted to bake some for her.

I supposed every oven is different. And you need to get a better understanding of how your oven works. This is one of the main causes of many bakers; even the pros have suffered defeat because of this. But practice makes perfect. So, I think I need to have a talk with my sister’s oven. Just get to know it a little more before I attempt to make another batch soon.

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I really love making stuffed red bell peppers for dinners. There is no substitution to the lovely red bell pepper. It gives out a wonderful sweetness like no other rather than using green peppers. I do love my green peppers but I find that using the red ones in this recipe really brings out the richness of this dish.

The true beauty about this dish is that it is really versatile. You can make this using your leftover Christmas turkey or even a rotisserie chicken. There are no limits on how you can stuff them. I’d like to think of the bell pepper as a blank canvas, the stuffing as the paint and then you the artist.

This dish makes a perfect side dish or as a main accompanied by your favorite salad. If you’re serving this to your vegetarian friends or family, simply omit the turkey and replace with grilled mushrooms or cheese or even couscous.

I used Martha Stewart’s recipe as a template and then adapted it my own liking. I went with the Mexican style flavor, using black beans, grilled corn, Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro, cayenne pepper, diced tomatoes and roasted turkey. (This is how I used up my leftover Thanksgiving turkey)

What’s your favorite kind of stuffing?

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