Friday, January 15, 2010

Comfort Food: The Best Chinese Food

A Steaming Bowl of Chinese FoodImage by voteprime via Flickr

Who knew you could make Chinese food in a crockpot? I certainly did not! So when I found the recipe Chinese Beef and Vegetable Stew in my copy of The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever, I just had to try it. One of the best things about this dish is that it isn't loaded with fat like most Chinese stir fry dishes are. I loved it and highly recommend this recipe--I've even added my ideas for adding some extra vegetables to the pot.


Chinese Beef and Vegetable Stew

makes 5 to 6 servings

  • 4 cups (packed) shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin 1 1/2- inch-long strips
  • 1 4 oz can straw mushrooms, rinsed and drained
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 pound beef top round steak stir fry strips
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese chili paste with garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 fresh broccoli crown, florets separated and steamed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1. In a 5 to 7 quart electric slow cooker, mix together the cabbage, bean sprouts, green pepper, straw mushrooms, scallions, water chestnuts, and beef. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons each of the sherry and soy sauce, the water, hoisin sauce, chili paste with garlic, and garlic powder. Pour over the beef and vegetables in the pot. Sprinkle with the garlic pepper.

2. Cover and cook on the LOW heat setting 5 1/2 to 6 hours. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons sherry and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Increase the heat setting to high. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Place the cover slightly ajar and cook on high 1/2 hour, stirring once or twice, until the sauce clears and thickens slightly. Stir in the broccoli and red pepper and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer.

3. Serve over steamed rice.

Additions/Substitutions: Canned bean sprouts can be used for the fresh. A 4 oz can of button mushrooms pieces and stems can be substituted for the straw mushrooms. A 16 oz bag of frozen young green beans or frozen broccoli thawed can be used in place of the fresh broccoli. Consider adding canned bamboo shoots or 1 to 2 carrots cuts into matchstick pieces.

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