Reliable recipe for old favorite Chopped Steak
Asato Komata wrote in for a good recipe for one of his favorite dishes, accompanied by an interesting question: "Why is Chop Steak not found in recipe books?"
My guess is it's so basic and homespun that hardly anyone bothers to write the recipe down. I had a similar problem when I tried to find a true recipe for Shoyu Hot Dogs. Finally had to have a Japanese chef just explain the process to me.
Anyway, I did find a good recipe for Chopped Steak (or Chop Steak, in the vernacular) in the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin series of cookbooks. It uses a light, Japanese-style seasoning of soy sauce, sugar and ginger, with a touch of vinegar.
The formula is very similar to a Guamanian dish that's popular at my house, called Bisteak. The basic combination of thinly sliced beef and onions is the same, but Bisteak includes a lot more vinegar.
I sometimes throw in half a bag of bean sprouts just at the end of cooking, which is not at all Guamanian, but does sneak in some vegetables. The texture of the sprouts and the way they soak up the tart sauce adds a lot to the dish as well.
"Favorite Island Cookery Book IV" Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin (1985)
1 pound tender beef, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1-inch piece ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
Combine seasoning ingredients. Add beef and marinate 20 minutes.
Heat oil in pan; add onions and cook until soft. Remove.
Place beef in pan with seasoning. Stir-fry until cooked through. Remove, leaving seasoning liquid in pan.
Combine cornstarch and water; stir until smooth. Add to seasoning liquid and simmer until thickened. Return beef and onions to pan. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (not including salt to taste): 300 calories, 13 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,000 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 27 g protein.
1-1/2 pounds sirloin or beef chuck, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup sliced onion
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce, or more to taste
Tenderize beef by pounding with mallet, if desired. Sprinkle with pepper.
Combine marinade ingredients. Pour over beef and marinate 30 minutes.
Heat oil in skillet. Remove beef from marinade, squeezing out liquid (reserve liquid). Brown beef, stirring constantly.
Add water and reserved marinade. Simmer 15 minutes, or until beef is tender. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (not including added soy sauce to taste): 280 calories, 11 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,000 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 39 g protein.
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