Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes and Beef with Vietnamese Flavors

Sweet potatoes are definitely not one of the first ingredients that come to my mind for a stir-fry, but after this dish, it might have to change. This recipe was immediately intriguing to me when I came across it in The Food Matters Cookbook, and it most certainly did not let me (or my husband) down. The sweet potatoes are caramelized and sweet, the beef rich and earthy, and the cilantro and lime fresh and light, punctuated by a bit of heat from the chiles. The key to the success of this dish is not overcooking the sweet potatoes, but also allowing them to cook undisturbed for a bit at the beginning so you get a little bit of delicious, crunchy caramelization. When the sweet potatoes and other veggies get added to the pan, err on the lighter side with salt because the fish sauce (or soy sauce if you don't have and/or like fish sauce), will add a lot of salt and you can always add more right before serving. Serve this delicious mixture over brown rice and enjoy!

Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes and Beef with Vietnamese Flavors
from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
serves 4

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces beef chuck, flank, or sirloin steak, cut into bite-size pieces
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and grated, about 4 cups
1 cup sliced scalloins
1 or 2 fresh hot chiles (like jalapeno or Thai), seeded and chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup nam pla (fish sauce)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, basil, or mint

1. Put a large skillet over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the beef. Stir immediately, then stir every 20 seconds or so until the meat is no longer pink, just a minute or 2. Transfer the beef to a plate.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When it's hot, add the sweet potatoes, scallions, chiles if you're using them, and garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring only occasionally, until the potatoes change color and begin to brown, then stir more frequently until they are tender but not at all mushy, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Return the beef to the pan along with the fish sauce and lime juice. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly and you've scraped up all the bit of meat and vegetable. Toss in the herb and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment