The summer heat is soaring so dishes that cook in less than 15 minutes are ideal. Making this tasty and aromatic ground beef, shiitake and bok choy stir fry requires five minutes of preparation and 10 minutes of cooking.
And, yes, I fulfilled a promise I made to myself — no more iPhone photos for the blog. I finally dragged myself to recharge the dSLR’s battery and carry the thing (and the tripod) to the kitchen to take photos of today’s lunch. Then, we ate and, after that, I took a leisurely shower.
Darn, it was sweltering earlier today. I’m probably going to keep typing that every time I post a recipe until the monsoon season begins. And it’s not just because I like to whine. The cooking is affected. Cream was curdling when it wasn’t supposed to. Heat and humidity affects how ingredients react, obviously. Cooking over low heat is the equivalent of cooking over medium-high heat because room temperature is higher than normal. And when you combine that with the extreme humidity, it can be a recipe for disaster.
So, we’ll be cooking simple dishes until this terrible heat gives way to the cooler days of the monsoon season. Ground meat is my best friend right now. No chopping, no slicing, no dicing… just throw into the wok and it cooks in such a short time. Any dish that requires long cooking is done in the slow cooker overnight.
It is the desire to come up with tasty meals without getting whipped in the kitchen heat that inspired this recipe. But why just the tips of the bok choy? What happened to the leaves? They were added to another dish that we had a day earlier. A dish involving beef knee caps that went into the slow cooker. The bok choy tips don’t acquire an exciting texture when added to soup but, in a stir fry done right, they retain their crispness.
For the sauce
- In a wok or frying pan, heat the cooking oil to smoking point.
- Spread the ground beef in the hot oil. Cook without disturbing for a minute or two then stir to break up large lumps.
- Pour in the soy sauce. Sprinkle in two pinches of pepper. Stir fry until the mixture is quite dry.
- Throw in the sliced onion and minced garlic. Stir fry for half a minute.
- Add the sliced shiitake and julienned carrot. Sprinkle in a quarter teaspoon of salt and another pinch of pepper. Stir fry for half a minute.
- Next, add the bok choy tips and stir.
- Stir together all the ingredients for the sauce and pour into the pan. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and clear. That should be just enough time to cook the bok choy tips through and still be lightly crisp.
- Serve your ground beef, shiitake and bok choy tips stir fry over rice with split boiled eggs on the side.
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