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Bento Recipes: Beef & vegetable stir-fry


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This recipe is a close cousin of beef & broccoli stir-fry, except you can use whatever you want in it.

    1/2 pound of beef, fat trimmed away
    Vegetables as available - I use some of the following, depending on what I have at the time: mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, yellow squash, onion, scallion, cabbage, bamboo, water chestnuts, carrots, and lotus root.
    5 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp of mirin
    1 tbsp katakuriko (potato starch - or corn starch, if you don't have that)
    cooking oil
    Pepper or other seasonings if desired

Slice the beef into thin, bite-sized strips. Cut the vegetables up into bite-sized pieces, with the harder ones (like carrots) being sliced thinner. Mix the soy sauce, mirin, and katakuriko/corn starch in a small bowl. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over moderate heat. Stir-fry the beef (and onions, if present) for about a minute, until it's brown on the outside, then remove it from the skillet.

Add some more oil - again, covering the bottom - to the skillet, add the harder vegetables (carrots, broccoli, etc), and stir fry them for about 5 minutes, until the broccoli (if there is any) turns bright green. Add the softer vegetables, cover, and cook for another few minutes. Finally add the soy mixture, mix it in well with the vegetables, then cover and simmer until the softer vegetables reach the desired consistency and the soy mixture has thickened a little, which should not take long. Serve by itself or over rice or noodles.

Variations: Use whatever meat you want in this! Beef, pork, chicken, wnatever you have on hand.