I love my 14 inch carbon steel wok. Yup, I said it – LOVE!! Matt gave me a wok last year for my birthday and our old 12 inch frying pan has barely touched the stove since. We are constantly using the wok for a variety of culinary tasks such as sautéing peppers and onions, frying bacon, concocting the ideal combination of sausage and pasta, browning taco meat, and, of course, making delicious Asian stir fries.
If you want to learn more about woks and the yummy creations that can be made in them, I recommend that you invest $23 to buy Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young. In addition to featuring dozens of delicious recipes with full color photos, this book includes several pages of clear, concise instructions that cover techniques like seasoning a wok, slicing fresh ginger, shredding scallions, and properly cutting a variety of meats and poultry.
We’ve spent the last year honing our stir frying skills on several of the recipes in the book including Kung Pao Chicken, Mongolian Lamb, and Hot Pepper Beef. Here’s the recipe for our latest dinner from the cookbook: Cumin-Scented Beef with Cauliflower, Carrots, Tomatoes and Green Onions… yum!!
Cumin-Scented Beef Stir Fry with Vegetables (from Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge)
You will need…
12 oz. Flank Steak, cut against the grain into ¼ in wide strips
1 tablespoon Corn Starch
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons Dry Sherry (or Rice Wine if you have it)
1 tablespoon Peanut Oil
1 ½ cups Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Garlic, Minced
½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 cup Cauliflower Florets, cut into bit-sized pieces
½ cup Carrots, thinly sliced
½ cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
¾ teaspoon Salt, divided
1 teaspoon Cumin
½ cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
10 oz. Cooked White Rice
Combine the beef, corn starch, soy sauce, sherry, and peanut oil in a bowl and mix well. Heat the canola oil in a flat-bottomed wok over high heat until the oil is 280°F. (We used our normal meat thermometer to check the oil heat.) Add the beef to the oil and spread it evenly in a single layer on the bottom of the wok. Cook until the outside surface of the beef is just starting to change color, about 15 seconds, and then remove the wok from the heat. Carefully extract the beef from the oil with a kitchen skimmer and place on a paper-towel-lined plate.
Pour the oil into a large cup or bowl and set aside. Clean and thoroughly dry the wok and the return to the stove over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil along with the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir fry for 20 seconds or until aromatic. Add the cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add in the cumin and stir fry for 5 seconds. Return the beef to the wok and stir in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and green onions. Stir fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute until beef is cooked through and ingredients are well combined. Serve with rice and enjoy!