Start to Finish: 45 minutes Servings: 6 Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Steak fried rice, like the entire family of related fried rices, has one ironclad rule: You cannot make a pot of hot, moist rice just before preparing this meal. The rice has to be chilled and partially air-dried. Among Chinese families, fried rice is looked at as a way to use up leftover rice and meats. You can follow this lead, or, for scrumptious and simple results, make the rice the day before and work with raw steak trimmed for stir-fry.
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Steak and Marinade
- 3/4 pound beef round tip steak, trimmed for stir-fry
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Canola or peanut oil
- 3 scallions, trimmed into rounds, white and green parts separated
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch ginger root, peeled and minced
- 4 cups cold, cooked rice, ideally medium grain
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon molasses
Marinading the Steak
Sprinkle the soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch over the steak strips in a medium-size bowl. Stir the strips in a clockwise direction until the ingredients mix smoothly and evenly. Let the bowl sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes while you continue the preparation.
Dump the cold rice on a cookie sheet and break up any lumps with your fingers. Once you start cooking, you'll need to work quickly and have the rice ready to go.
Heat a wok or deep-bottomed stir-fry pan over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of canola or peanut oil when the wok becomes warm, and swirl it over the bottom. Pour in the beaten egg and swirl it with chopsticks until it is barely cooked through. Remove the egg from the bottom of the wok with a spatula and set the egg aside in a small bowl.
Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the still-hot wok. Toss in the white scallion rounds, the ginger and the garlic. Stir with a spatula until these ingredients release their aroma; then tip in the bowl of marinated steak. Flip with a spatula until the steak looks almost cooked, but the strips still show a bit of red on its edges. Push the steak strips away from the center of the wok.
Tip the cold rice into the middle of the wok, first adding another tablespoon of cooking oil and letting it heat up quickly if the wok appears dry. Toss the rice briefly to coat it with oil and add the bean sprouts. After the rice and bean sprouts begin to cook, stir the beef again into the center of the wok. Return the cooked egg to the wok.
Add the finishing soy sauce and molasses, still stirring. Turn off the heat the instant the steak strips appear to be cooked, no longer appearing red at the edges. Add the green scallion rounds and stir. Allow the wok to sit for about 2 minutes, for the flavors to meld, and serve.
- If you are making beef fried rice from scratch, cook a cup of raw medium-grain rice the day before, which will yield 4 cooked cups of rice. Let the pot cool on the stove, lid off. After about 20 minutes, pour the warm rice onto a cookie sheet to dry and cool, and place it in the refrigerator. You can locate the rice outside on a cool, low-humidity day to partially air-dry. In a pinch, you can cool and dry the rice in the refrigerator, or outdoors when it’s chilly, in as little as four hours.
- You can use almost any cut of steak for this dish. To cut strips from a whole steak, briefly place the steak in the freezer until it firms up. Cut across the grain, slicing 1/4 inch apart.