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« Steve and Sandy Throw a Birthday Party | Main | Zorba’s Dinner »

In a Hurry?  Stir-Fry!

By Zoe McLaughlin

Investing in a wok is a great way to make delicious meals fast. You don't need special training to use a wok and create scrumptious Asian cuisine. And you don’t need a range with a gas burner either; just make sure to buy a flat-bottomed wok.

Woks aren't limited to Asian cuisine. In fact, if I’m in a hurry to leave the house in the morning, I often make scrambled eggs and veggies in a wok. It’s ready in minutes and cleanup is easy.

Today’s recipe is a stir-fry that takes minutes to make and is unique because it uses celery leaves. Often celery leaves are thrown away but they actually have a much stronger flavor than the celery stalk. The beef pairs very well with the cumin seeds and the addition of the celery leaves at the end give this dish a burst of flavor.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Cumin Beef with Celery
1 steak (12 ounces) such as blade or flank (trim any fat or gristle), sliced very thin against the grain
5 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce, divided
2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
5 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
3 celery ribs sliced diagonally ¼-inch thick, leaves chopped and reserved separately
2 small red bell peppers, cut in 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
4 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or medium dry sherry

  1. In medium bowl add sliced beef, 2 ½ teaspoons of the soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch; toss to coat beef.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium high heat until it just starts to smoke. Add meat to wok and sear. Stir-fry the meat about 2 to 3 minutes until cooked through. Remove meat from wok and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 3 teaspoons of oil and heat over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes and heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 seconds to release their flavors; watch carefully to prevent burning. Then add celery and bell peppers and stir to incorporate. Cover wok with lid and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until crisp-tender.
  4. Return meat to the wok and any juices that have accumulated. Stir-fry to heat through.
  5. In small bowl mix the remaining soy sauce, cornstarch and rice wine until cornstarch is dissolved, then pour mixture into wok and bring to a slight boil; cook for about 1 minute or until the sauce thickens slightly. Turn off the heat and add the chopped celery leaves so they just barely wilt, but don't cook.

Makes 2 servings

Recipe by Zoe McLaughlin

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Reader Comments (1)

Oh, my goodness. I saw a photo of this dish in Special Fork's "week in review" e-mail and my mouth began watering. It looks delicious!

September 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

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