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Ginger Beef and Asparagus Stir-Fry

1 large red bell pepper
1/2 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons shredded fresh ginger (use the large holes of a box grater)
1 pound stir-fry-cut boneless top round beef
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Hot cooked rice, for serving


Prep: Trim and discard seeds and ribs from bell pepper; cut into 2-inch strips about 1/4 inch wide. Snap off and discard woody stems from asparagus; cut spears on diagonal into 1-inch lengths. Heat very large empty skillet over high heat until skillet is very hot, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Add ginger and stir-fry until softened, about 15 seconds. Add red pepper and asparagus and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer vegetables to platter. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet until very hot. Add beef and stir-fry until beef loses raw look, about 3 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet. Mix 1 cup water and soy sauce in small bowl, sprinkle cornstarch on top, and whisk to dissolve cornstarch. Pour into skillet, mix well, and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, spooned over rice. Variation Boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide, can stand in for the beef. Stir-fry the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes, before returning the vegetables to the skillet.

Source: www.cookstr.com