Scallion and Steak Rice Cakes

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Chinese cooking is usually very simple to make with the key ingredients on hand and is cooked in just minutes in a very hot wok. We don’t eat very much beef in our home, but this dish is one that brings me back to my childhood. Several versions of this has been kept in our rotation of regular dishes whether it be scallions and beef with flat rice noodles, over rice, or in this case, with rice cakes. It just takes minutes to prepare and the outcome tastes like Chinese takeout.

I like using rice cakes when I’m feeling extra hungry. They’re more dense and filling than flat rice noodles, and I just really enjoy its bouncy chewy texture! You can find these in the refrigerator section of any Asian market. Sometimes it can also be found fresh wrapped in flat trays – I’ve seen this at my local Korean market.

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Anyways, let’s get started cause I’m getting hungry and can’t wait much longer. Good thing the cooking time is under 10 minutes! Have everything already prepared.

Scallion and Beef Rice Cakes
Servings: 4

About 1 lb. sirloin steak, sliced. Don’t use anymore than 1 lb or you’ll have ALOT of beef.
2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. canola oil + more for cooking.
6 scallions, cut into 2-3 inch pieces.
1 half in slice of ginger
1 lb rice cakes (I used the flat oval shaped rice cakes)
2 Tsp. shaoxing wine

Sauce:
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. sambal olek, optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put your thinly sliced steak in a medium sized bowl and add the low sodium soy sauce, corn starch and canola oil. Mix and massage soy sauce, corn starch, and oil into the beef using your fingers or a spoon. Set aside for about 30 minutes.

2. In a separate small bowl, add the ingredients for the sauce and stiry. Set aside.

3. In a wok or a large thick frying pan over high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of oil and heat until the oil is hot. Add the beef and cook until the beef just turns brown, about 1 minute, and set aside in a bowl.

4. Now add the slice of ginger and scallions. Toss and stir in the pan for about a minute.

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5. Quickly add the rice cakes and stir fry for another minute. Add the shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok or pan. Cover with a lid and cooke for about 1 minute. The rice cakes should now be pliable and is starting to get soft.

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6. Add the beef and stir to evenly mix the beef in with the rice cakes. Pour the sauce into the wok or pan and stir fry until all of the rice cakes are covered with sauce. If the rice cakes aren’t chewy at this point, cook for a bit longer until they are.

7. Lastly, find that piece of ginger and remove it! Nobody enjoys biting into a whole piece of ginger!

Serve immediately!

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Kalbi (Korean Shortribs)

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It’s officially Fall in San Francisco and it’s time to brush the dust off of the Winter coats. Before I shift full swing into the cold weather comfort foods, I figured why not do some BBQ’ing one last time! Actually, I’d still take the grill out for these ribs even if it were snowing.

Mr. V and I were going over to a friend’s place for dinner and didn’t want to go empty handed. I didn’t have much time to spend in the kitchen so something made beforehand and cooked quickly was in demand. I marinated the ribs two nights beforehand to make sure the ribs had maximum flavor and Mr. V helped with the grilling the day of. They came out flavorful, juicy, and finger licking delicious. I sorta wished we made more so that there were more leftovers!

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Kalbi
Adapted heavily from Rasamalaysia
Servings: 6-8

MARINADE:
1 small Asian pear
1 small yellow onion
1 C. Light soy sauce
1 C. Citrus soda
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1/4 C. Sesame oil
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. Chili flakes

MEAT:
5 lbs short ribs (cut perpendicularly to the bones)
Water

Optional:
Sesame seeds
Green onions, sliced

1. Put all MARINADE ingredients into a food processor and blend until there are no chunks from the pear or onion.

2. In a large bowl, cover ribs with water and let sit for a few minutes. Drain the water out. This removes the impurities from the meat.

3. In a large ziplock bag or large dish, lay the ribs flat and pour in the marinade, making sure every rib gets covered. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

4. Heat a heavy pan over high heat or prepare your BBQ grill. Cook the ribs until the surface gets charred. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

5. Set on a plate and sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.

Serve immediately. Provide lots of napkins. Enjoy!!