Beef and Black Tea Stir-Fry
- 1 tablespoon black tea leaves (or use a high-quality tea bag)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 pound broccoli, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 ounces sirloin, skirt or other beef steak, sliced as thinly as possible
- Black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 fresh hot chile (like Thai or serrano), minced
- 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated, all chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for serving, optional
- 8 ounces rice, buckwheat (soba) or wheat noodles, preferably whole grain
1. Steep the tea leaves in the boiling water for at least 5 minutes, then strain the tea. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Core the broccoli and break it into florets; slice the stems into coins about 1/4 inch thick.
2. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add the beef to the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let it sear for a minute or 2; stir and let it cook for another minute. It should be browned outside but still pink inside. Remove from the pan.
3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the broccoli, garlic, ginger, chile and scallion whites; cook, stirring, until the broccoli is bright green, glossy and beginning to brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Return the beef to the pan, stir in the tea and soy sauce, and cook until some of the tea evaporates and the sauce thickens a bit, a minute or 2 longer.
4. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in the boiling water until they’re tender but not mushy. Check them frequently: The time will vary from a minute or 2 for thin rice noodles, to 5 minutes for soba, or up to 12 minutes for wide brown rice noodles. When the noodles are done, drain them, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Toss the noodles with the broccoli and beef, adding cooking liquid as necessary to keep everything moist. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with the scallion greens and serve, passing more soy sauce at the table if you like.
Excerpted from The Food Matters Cookbook, written by Mark Bittman. Copyright (c) 2010 by Mark Bittman. Used by permission of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.