Few meals stand out in my memory like pepper steak stir fry. It was one of my favorite foods mama cooked growing up. I’m not really sure what it was about it, but I loved the little strips of meat that were uniquely mine paired with crunchy water chestnuts and sautéed vegetables. In my mind, it was special, a step above the average spaghetti or taco night.
My brother and I always had to help in the kitchen when we were little, and my job was to set the table. Joey had to put the ice in the glasses. It was this kind of meal that I would anticipate greatly while folding the napkins and placing the silverware.
Once I grew up and moved away, for the longest time pepper steak was not available in my grocery store. I learned to substitute ground beef, but it wasn’t until I made dinner last night that I realized just how much I’d missed it.
I seasoned the pepper steak with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then got out my indoor grill pan. The key to achieving those pretty grill marks is a really hot pan and a nicely greased surface. I used extra virgin olive oil.
This meal comes together so quickly and is perfect for a weeknight supper. While the vegetables are cooking and your meat is grilling, cook up some instant brown rice using chicken broth instead of water.
I seasoned the vegetables with some salt and pepper, then added a little heat with some crushed red pepper flakes. I like it hot.
Add the meat to the vegetable mixture…
Then pour your sauce right over the top. This sauce is so simple: soy sauce, chicken broth, sugar, cornstarch and dry yellow mustard. The cornstarch is what thickens it up, the rest of the ingredients bring the flavor.
Allow the sauce to thicken up in the pan for just a few minutes. Meanwhile, fluff your brown rice with a fork, season and add butter.
You can tell the sauce has thickened when the consistency begins to stick to the bottom of the pan or coat the back of your spoon. It takes about 3 minutes.
Plate the dish by spooning a good amount of brown rice into a bowl. Top the bed of rice with the meat and vegetable mixture, then sprinkle over something crunchy like sesame seeds or slivered almonds. Isn’t that pretty?
Pour yourself a glass of tea and enjoy!
To make this recipe, you’ll need these ingredients:
- 1-2 pds pepper steak
- Minute brown rice
- 16 oz. bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
- 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 Tbs ground, dry yellow mustard
- Seasonings: salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes
- Sesame seeds or slivered almonds for garnish
What foods bring back good memories for you?