Heat… the final frontier… Oops! I was having a Star Trek flashback! Ok… so, this post could go a few different ways… for instance, I love the Miami Heat. LeBron haters, hate away. I love Dwyane Wade!!!! Seriously though, I like the chemistry of the team. Go Heat! Even though I don’t think they will get past OKC if (and that’s a big IF) they make it to the finals. But, I digress. I am a very serious sports fan so I could go on and on and I probably will in another random post.
I could talk about the Heat in Texas, my previous state of residence. Can anyone say HOT. Man, there is nothing like that Texas Heat. Humid and stifling hot. 100+ degrees in the shade. Everything in Texas is BIG and HOT. Lol. I lived there for over 20 years and enjoyed every moment, but I must say, it is very refreshing to be back in Ohio where the temperature is a balmy 70 degrees in June.
All kidding aside, let me get to the real reason I’m going on and on about Heat. Food! Healthy food! Yes… food with some HEAT. Some punch, some POW. I love, love, LOVE spicy food. Yesterday I gave you a little hint of Heat in the salmon dish I posted about. Today, I’m taking you to the asian side of the house with a dish that packs some serious Heat. I love oriental food and have found that a lot of chinese restaurants put additives like MSG in their foods to enhance the flavor. I’m not a fan. That stuff can wreak havoc on your body. It’s not healthy at all, and isn’t that the point of trying to cook at home? It’s better for you because you control how it is prepared and you can use healthier ingredients. On top of that, you can leave out all of the stuff you don’t like. How many times have you ordered something out, and it’s got the things you like in it, but it’s got bamboo shoots or bean sprouts or something you don’t like in it. There you are picking them out of the dish. This way you can put in only the stuff that tastes good to you. Can’t beat that with a stick!
That being said, I went about making oriental food at home, and you know what? It’s pretty darned easy! The best part about it is, you can make it taste how you want it to taste. You can make fried rice a little healthier by not drowning it in oil (I’ve got an awesome tip for that which I will share later), or by not stir frying your sweet and sour chicken (bake it!). I was amazed at some of the dishes and how flavorful they were even after you change the method of preparation. I’ve got an arsenal of oriental recipes that I will share over the coming weeks. But for now, back to the Heat! I like ALL things spicy. The more spice, the better it is in my opinion. With that in mind, I found a recipe a while back and tweaked it. So without further “ado” I give you Asian Fire Meat. Careful for the faint of Heat (lol!) If you can’t stand the Heat, back up off the red pepper flakes. Seriously, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
** I wanted to see how many times I could put Heat in this post (11 times!). Pretty impressive huh? Have fun making this one!
ASIAN FIRE MEAT
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, thinly slice and chopped
ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (less if you can’t handle the heat)
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 pound beef round steak, sliced paper thin (flank steak works well here also)
In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, and red onion. Stir in the black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix in the meat by hand to ensure even coating. Cover and let marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. ** If you find that you don’t have time to let it marinate, just give it 15 minutes and go for it. The flavors will not be as intense, but it still tastes good.
Put 1 teaspoon of oil (use extra virgin olive oil or a splash of sesame oil) in a wok and heat over medium-high heat. Stir fry the mushrooms until they are tender and remove them from the pan. Add a ½ teaspoon of oil into the pan. Put in all of the meat and marinade at once, and cook stirring constantly. Cook the meat for two minutes and break it up while it is cooking. **The meat cooks very quickly because it is sliced so thinly. Add the mushrooms back into the pan, stir together and remove from heat. Serve with jasmine rice, noodles or you can roll the meat mixture up in a leaf of red lettuce (Bibb lettuce works well too).