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Black Pepper Beef Stir-Fry

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Beef stir-fried in black pepper sauce is a typical Cantonese cuisine and certainly a favourite takeout dish for anyone craving for Chinese cuisine. The most common way of preparing this dish is using beef slices, cooked till soft and tender in a black peppercorn sauce made form oyster sauce and soy sauce and tossed with vegetables like capsicums or bell peppers and onions. Other popular meat used are chicken or pork. Stir-fried dishes are simple to prepare, full of flavour and perfect weekday dinners for everyone. For my gluten free recipe, I am using beef rump steaks cut into cubes ( you can use any lean and tender steak), seared until brown and tender, then stir-fried in coarsely ground black peppercorns sauce made with blackstrap molasses and medium dry sherry. Subsequently, adding fresh and crisp fresh onion, spring onions (shallots) and capsicums, making this dish a delicious and well balanced meal. This recipe is also soy free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, corn free and refined sugar free.

Chinese Restaurant Style Meat (Velveting)

Ever wonder why meat in Chinese restaurant dishes are so soft and tender?! Normally, economical cuts of meat are used in Chinese restaurants, which means meat can be quite tough. The secret to tenderising meat and achieving this type of soft and tender texture for the meat is called “velveting”. Simply add baking soda (also called bicarbonate of soda) to raw meat like beef, chicken or pork, mix well and let the meat rest for 30 minutes. Thoroughly rinse and drain the meat, followed by marinating the meat. Usually, marinating ingredients include some corn starch or potato starch (sometimes rice flour), ground white pepper, medium dry sherry, salt or gluten free soy sauce before stir-frying. This process of marinating will also soften the meat giving it a smooth and delicate texture. This method of marinating meat is the method I used in many of my stir-fry recipes, a technique that I learnt from my mum for her home cooking style.

Capsicums (also known as bell peppers or peppers) belong to the flowering plants genus of the nightshade family Solanaceae. They originated in Central and South America and were farmed and eaten as food since many thousands of years ago. The famous explorer Christopher Columbus introduced capsicums to Europe and then the rest of the world. Capsicums are featured as an ingredient in many different cuisines globally. They are not only consumed as food vegetables and spices but also used as medicine. Capsicums have bell-shaped fruits and are distinguished by their vibrant and shiny appearance of different colours comprising of red, orange, yellow and green. Often known as sweet peppers as they do not have capsaisin, a compound that generates hotness in chilli peppers. Capsicums are highly versatile, they can be used raw in salad, added to stir-fry dishes and stews, stuffed, roasted and baked and even pickled.

Furthermore, Capsicums are an excellent source of essential vitamins and mineral like vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, folate/folic acid (vitamin B9), vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. In addition, capsicums have valuable bioactive composites from their flavonoids contents especially alkaloids and tannins, which have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-septic and antioxidant functions. Green capsicums are picked before they completely ripen, whereas yellow and orange capsicums are midway ripen and red capsicums are allowed to ripen fully before being harvested, so they comprise of more beneficial nutrients and higher carotenoid (beta-carotene) contents, essential antioxidants in fruits and vegetables with radiant colours. Health benefits of capsicums include: support healthy eyes and lower risks of age-related eye diseases; boosts the body’s immune system; lower risks of cardiovascular diseases; enhance skin health and decreases signs of aging skin; reduce risks of cancer especially pancreas, bladder, prostate, cervical and breast cancers; improves central nervous system health; prevent and cure anaemia; relief symptoms of food poisoning and fungal infections; regulates blood pressure and lowers risks of strokes.

For nutritional values and health benefits of beef rump steak, check out my Braised Beef with Shiitake Mushrooms and Black Fungus recipe.

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2 Responses

  1. Beth
    | Reply

    Hi, I really appreciate your Asian recipes.
    May I ask if there’s any substitute for Sherry if I am allergic to Brewer’s yeast as well? Thanks!

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Hi Beth,

      A good non-alcoholic and yeast free substitute for Dry Sherry is Apple Cider Vinegar.

      If the recipe is asking for a small amount of Dry Sherry, use an equivalent amount of Apple Cider Vinegar.

      However, if the recipe asks for 1 cup of sherry, substitute with 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar diluted with 1/2 cup of water. Then add 1 tablespoon of stevia, for a more enriched flavour.

      Hope this helps. :)

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