I’m no expert in cooking but I love good food. Now it’s time to stay longer in the kitchen and see if the magic WOKS with me, one recipe at a time.
It is supposedly a full-course Asian meal but I just ended up making two dishes from the original menu (Asian salad and ginger edameme rice were crossed out); simply because I realized that I’d be improvising them in the end. Well I just really did that, so I felt compelled to rename the two dishes – Beef Teriyaki and Mini Samosas.
It’s beef teriyaki on a gloomy Sunday. Forgive me on this photo, I brightened it up. It really was gloomy that day.
To be exact I call it Mini Beef Samosas, which is supposed to be Egg Rolls but since I couldn’t find these egg roll wrappers I chose to buy samosa wrappers instead.
Mini Beef Samosas
Yield: 10 servings/2 per person
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup minced scallions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound shredded haricots
Soy sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup green onion stalks
20 samosa wrappers
Oil for (deep) frying
spicy hot soy sauce
Preheat the fryer. In a wok heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the haricots. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 1 minute. Season with soy sauce, and sugar. Add the scallions and green onions stalks and mix thoroughly. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
Fry the egg rolls in batches until golden brown, stirring occasionally for overall browning, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with the spicy hot sauce.
Making samosas (or egg rolls, too) requires a good amount of time and patience. It took me almost an hour just to fold around 30 samosas. To fold a samosa wrapper, the instructions on the packet say I should: place some meat at the end side, make a triangular fold on top of the meat, perform the same with the meat pocketed inside until you reach the other end of the wrapper, and seal it ba applying a small amount of water to glue the edge. The problem here is, the filling would unintentionally burst out from the wrapper whenever I do the first and second fold. I had to be more diligent and accurate in doing this.
Aside from this folding task, I also missed quite a lot of ingredients for the filling. I intentionally skipped the shrimps, Bok choy, sake, bean sprouts, sweet and sour sauce and mustard sauce. But unluckily, I forgot the egg, which is supposed to be the filling’s emulsifier. Folding the samosas could have been easier only if I didn’t miss the egg.
My mini pork samosas taste pretty okay, but I’m not quite happy with it. I feel like I could have done it better.
Next is Beef Teriyaki. The recipe is originally called Teriyaki Steak but I was wondering why there were no sesame seeds on the ingredients list. Bizarre enough, while I was grocery-shopping, I unwittingly picked a packet of sesame seeds. So my alter-ego won, sesame seeds ruled! Aside from that, the beef I bought was not even steak-cut. Particularly I didn’t follow what the recipe says, “1-inch thick.” Oh dear, I badly need to get myself familiarized with these beef cuts and all that jazz. I’ll get into that sometime soon, but in the meantime, here’s a quick look at this cheat sheet.
I still proceeded, and here’s how the beef teriyaki (steak) went.
Note: When I strike-through the text that means I didn’t take/do it and I had to take/do something else. Got it?
Yield: 4 servings
2 fillets of beef steaks, 1 inch thick, 6 ounces each
1 teaspoon steak seasoning or salt and pepper
1/4 cup oyster sauce with 1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon light oil:
peanut oil or vegetable oil
4 scallions chopped on an angle into 1 inch pieces
sesame seeds (optional)
Slice the fillet steaks thinly across the grain. Toss with seasoning and (oyster sauce and soy sauce, and marinate overnight). Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add oil and the meat and stir-fry. When meat browns at edges, add scallions and cook 2 minutes more, stirring frequently.
I didn’t religiously follow the portions simply because I had more than 2 beef fillets, so I estimated the amount of the marinade sauce that I had to put on the meat. I got worried it would be too salty, but it turned out just right. I think marinating the beef overnight helped a lot as well. Yet of course, I also had to make sure that I won’t overcook the beef, because the texture would really go awry. I wanted it well-done, not rare or medium-rare (and I got it, yey). The caramalized scallions, after being cooked, blended pretty well with the sauce. The sesame seeds sprinkled on top gave the tasty aroma.
Not too bad for my first try, I give myself 4 bowls out of 5.