“What’s that smell?” I looked up to see my sister walking through the door as I was just frying up some sliced and marinated beef to go with the baby bok choy that I’d steamed earlier. “Oh, hey! I got in a bit late so I’m just making myself some dinner. Have you eaten?”
“Yeah, Jay’s mom packed us some food for dinner so we just reheated that while taking a study break at uni…”, “Okay” I replied, returning my attention to the frying pan, moving the food around quickly so that it’d cook through without becoming too tough. Judging it to be cooked, I quickly scooped it out on top of the bok choy so that the juices would dribble down onto it and the heat from the beef would heat the bok choy up again.
Easy Sweet Beef Recipe
Humming an old Ella Fitzgerald tune under my breath, I popped the frying pan back on the stove top, told my sister that I’d be back and nipped down to grab a jumper from my room. Skipping back, happy at the idea of finally getting some grub into my rumbling tum, I was greeted with the sight of my sister shovelling my dinner down her gullet.
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She started, eyes shining very much like a rabbit in the headlights, mouth full of rice and chopsticks holding another piece of beef frozen in mid air. I watched, speechless, as she gulped down her current mouthful and carried the next to her mouth. “Whaaaa,” she said, “I couldn’t just sit here with that smell in the air!”
I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Never mind mate, you finish that, I’ll make myself another batch”. So here it is, my recipe for salty and sweet beef. This is a fantastic marinade, but one made to my own tastes, so make sure you taste it once it’s all mixed up and alter it according to your own tastebuds.
However, be warned, if you’re making this beef recipe, then make sure you make enough for any semi-hungry family members who may be lurking nearby else you might find that you’re dinner has suddenly disappeared down someone elses mouth!
This is a wonderful dish which can be made and frozen in batches, and will definetely impress family and friends. Best eaten with some rice and steamed bok choy, or else served with a spoonful of rice in a fresh lettuce leaf as a kind of wrap 😉
Sweet and Salty Beef recipe
Ingredients for marinade (for about 500g beef)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 6 tbsp kecap manis*
- 4 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp castor sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly ground ginger
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 thai/birds eye chillis, deseeded and thinly sliced
How to Make Sweet Beef Recipe
1. Take 500g beef (rump steak or sirloin steak) and stick it in the freezer till it is slightly hardened. Remove once it is fairly firm (but not frozen rock hard) and slice very thinly against the grain. If you do not stick the beef in the freezer then you’ll find it quite difficult to slice the beef as thinly as necessary.
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2. Mix up the marinade and taste. If you prefer it to be a bit saltier, add more fish sauce. Alternatively, if you prefer it a bit sweeter, add some more kecap manis. Add the sliced beef to the marinade and massage it through, then leave in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.
3. Just before you take the beef out, stick some baby bok choy in the steamer and steam it through. Remove it when just tender and arrange on a plate. Heat up a frying pan with a small dash of olive oil, then fry up as much beef as necessary.
Make sure you move it around quickly as if the beef has been thinly sliced, it will cook through quite quickly. Once cooked (it should only take a few minutes), lay on top of the bok choy then pour the sauce from the frying pan on top.
4. Serve with some steamed rice and enjoy
*Kecap manis is a thickened sweet dark soy sauce which is very popular in Indonesian cooking, and I find that it’s fantastic to have in the kitchen to add a sweet and slightly spiced flavour to any Asian dish.