Jet Tila here .
And today we're making Mongolian beef that Chinese American comfort delicious classic .
Uh The secret here is getting that beef super tender and I'm gonna show you exactly how the restaurants do it .
Let's get started .
The big secret I want to let you in on in this dish is how to marinade your meat at home and get it walk tender like they do in the restaurants .
So let's start by marinating our beef .
I'm starting with flank steak , which I think is probably the best all purpose cut of beef for the walk because it's chewy .
Um But if we tame it with this marinade , it has a really beautiful beefy taste .
These are the secret ingredients to marinade uh your meat at home like the restaurants baking soda that's gonna help tenderize the meat .
There's a fancy word that chefs use called denaturing , but all that really means is getting that meat to kind of like fall apart by means of the baking soda .
So the next thing is cornstarch , cornstarch is going to help pull in the marinade flavors and also create that kind of fun kind of slippery texture .
So those two kind of alter the meat texture .
We want salt now to give flavor to really punch up that beefiness .
So we're gonna have to add some water to distribute all of those ingredients and then we're gonna add a little oil .
Now , what oil is going to do is keep you from using too much oil in the wok .
It's kind of like getting the oil in earlier .
So when the meat hits the pan , it doesn't stick .
So , all right , marinade is made .
Now let's cut the meat flank steak .
The classic kind of chef tip of cutting against the grain applies here .
First , I'm gonna cut with the grain .
I want cubes here .
So let's say one inch by one inch .
So I'm gonna go with the grain one inch .
So what you see here is an entire flank steak , as you would see it at the market , you can ask the market to cut off a half or you can go by the poundage you're going to need , I'm only gonna use half this flank steak .
Now , cutting against the grain simply means cut against the muscle fibers because if you cut against the muscle fibers , there's nothing to hold on to imagine a cluster of rubber bands .
If you cut against the rubber bands and they splay open , that's really similar to the proteins in the meat .
So when you cut against the grain , the meat stays tender .
All right .
So now I've cut the flank steak into one inch strips with the grain and now I'm gonna cut them into one inch pieces against the grain .
So I'm cutting cubes today .
Um , but if you wanted that classic two inch wide kind of plank that like most stir fries are made of , you would actually marinate it the same way , but you would cut it against the grain kind of this way .
Oh , ok .
So the marinade is done .
So you really wanna work that marinade into the beef ?
Um Pretty well .
I mean you want to massage it in there because you want the baking soda and the corn starch to really coat the beef .
Well , what's gonna happen is as it marinates , the meat starts to tenderize and it sucks in all that flavor .
All right .
So um let me wash my hand really quick to stay clean .
All right .
So with clean hands , I'm gonna wrap this tightly and stick it in the fridge .
The marinade is gonna work its magic .
So give this marinade at least 2 to 4 hours all the way to overnight to really get it super tender .
So while that's marinating , hit paws and come back when it's time to cook .
Welcome back .
So the beef is marinating , it cannot over marinade .
So we're gonna take a few more minutes to finish our prep and then grab it .
All right .
So let's get down to the veg prep part of this um garlic .
So the way to cut garlic is to leave the whole head intact and just cut off a little bit of that root .
End all the garlic cloves are only holding on by this little piece here .
Now , you can actually just get in and break off the cloves that you need .
If you lean down with your knife onto each clove , the skin literally will just pop right off that simply .
Now with the garlic cleaned , I'm gonna show you how to mince .
Don't mince garlic too finely for the walk .
All you're going to do is smash it as flat as possible .
And then with your guide hand , which is your non dominant hand , make sure to curl your fingertips under and make sure to keep that thumb behind uh those guide fingers .
And I'm just going to do a nice thin slicing pass meaning quarter to an eighth inch .
Once that's done , quarter , turn the garlic and then give it another thin slicing pass .
That's as far as you're ever gonna need to take garlic for the Asian kitchen .
I'm gonna push that over to the side .
I also like rinsing my knife after garlic because garlic has these really delicious pungent oils , but they are sticky .
So give that knife a good wipe .
All right , bell peppers .
Uh This is how I like to cut bell peppers .
Um Remember the jet Tila rhyme .
A tile becomes a slice , a slice becomes a dice .
So first we'll take a quarter inch tile off the back , we'll take a quarter inch tile off the front .
And usually if you know what you're doing , the stem pops right off just like that .
And now , uh , insert the knife into one side , don't go all the way through , flatten the knife and just roll the seed pod away and you get these perfect little planks of bell peppers , I'll do a little faster on this one .
So front , back knife in and roll .
It's also a really cool way to impress your friends .
Uh , when they come over also to keep your work efficient .
I like to put , uh , both bell peppers on top of each other , cut them into planks .
And for this , actually , I think I'm gonna cut large dice .
So , uh , one inch by one inch works for me .
So there and I want both colors and same thing here .
And if you wanted to save some for garnish , I'm totally cool with that too .
And with the tops by cutting your bell peppers this way , you have zero , waste .
Awesome , really fast and really easy .
I also like using a big cutting board because my wife can't stand it when there's a bazillion bowls .
Be thoughtful of the people who clean up around you .
And if it's yourself , makes your life a lot easier .
So the way I like to cut onion is to take about a quarter inch slice off the top .
And I do the same thing to the root side .
So the onion sits up straight , cut the onion right in half , North Pole to South Pole and peel them .
This way makes life a lot easier .
Onions are so much easier to peel um , in the halves and once your halves are peeled , you have a lot of options .
I could slice , I could dice , I can cut Leonis .
But for uh this dish , I'm just gonna do large dice .
Another good tip for you .
Let's always cut the root end again .
You can actually tell if you see the rainbow .
That's the front , the , the top that grows up and this is the root which goes down .
Um I want you to cut that root end right out because that's the piece that holds the onion together by taking that out .
When you cut the onion up , it falls apart beautifully .
So for large dice , I'm just gonna go half and then come the other way and cut one inch pieces .
And as you can see the onion falls right apart , so half one inch pieces and the last thing I need to cut is ginger .
Ginger is quite intimidating to some people , but I'm gonna show you how to make it really simple .
I just want you to square off the pieces of ginger .
And if you see like little fingers just go and break them off , just kind of isolate the largest kind of mid piece possible .
And if you won't sit up straight .
You know , you need to kind of tame it down like that .
And then you're gonna take the , the the edge side of the knife and just apply really , really light pressure and just turn it just spin as you're applying pressure , the skin of the ginger will just peel away because there's a moisture layer in between the skin of the ginger and the actual body of the ginger and peeling ginger actually is purely cosmetic .
Uh You really can't taste the difference between peeled and unpeeled .
So for this cut , I want that blades of grass cut .
So again , if it rolls tame it eighth inch slices and then I'm gonna stack these eight inch slices on top of each other and cut these eighth inch slices .
Also kind of known I like to call this cut the blades of grass cut too .
So if you can see they're perfect little blades of grass and I'm going to leave them like this .
If you wanted to mince just cut these perpendicular and you get the perfect mince .
All right .
So ginger done .
So I know this cut looks really fancy and uh don't let it intimidate you if your cuts don't come out like this .
No big deal .
Um I just want small and uniform .
It's gonna work perfect in this dish .
Last thing we're gonna cut are scallions .
Mongolian beef is a great dish because it really gives you a lot of knife practice .
Those of us that are hardcore knife heads .
We can get in there and uh and get a lot of work done here .
Um With scallions , I take the root side off , I line them up .
I take the top side off .
I'm gonna show you how to cut scallions two ways .
That'll look really nice in this dish .
So let's separate kind of the whites from the greens with the whites .
I just want you to buy a slice them into one inch and all that means is this is perpendicular , put a little angle on it and keep them about one inch .
And we're gonna cook these like veggies with the onions and the bell peppers .
Let's take the greens now and create a beautiful garnish .
So all I want you to do is kind of stack them .
Uh remember perpendicular is no bueno in the kitchen .
You want a nice little angle and then with this little bias slice , it creates a really pretty garnish and um I always do them this way just because they look better and you always eat with your eyes before you actually eat the food and the food looks great .
It's gonna taste better , right ?
Scallions are done .
I just need to make my sauce and we're ready to go .
I want you to think about Asian food as five flavors , right ?
Hot sour salty , sweet and savory .
So we're basically mixing uh these sauces that equate to those flavors .
So oyster sauce is the champion , right ?
That's gonna be your kind of every flavor sauce except spicy .
That's gonna have a nice sweetness , a good savoriness , uh , a touch of acid in it .
Um , and , and if you had to go into a , a culinary knife fight with just one sauce , oyster sauce would be my sauce for sure .
It really can do just about anything .
Hoisin sauce .
Adds a beautiful kind of sheen and sweetness , soy sauce gives us a nice kind of uh salty backbone .
A really nice kind of support .
And then uh vinegar is always going to lighten and brighten a dish .
So I'm not looking for a lot because I'm not going for that kind of sweet and sour flavor .
But I want acid to really kind of bounce and round out these flavors .
Few more things , garlic , ginger corn starch and water together to get it to kind of make a gravy and stick to the beef .
You want to make a slurry and all that means is equal parts corn starch to water in there and then mix it all together .
So corn starch is what thickens sauces , but it needs to go in by way of a slurry because cornstarch right into food will basically just clump up .
It's such a fine textured powder .
It will not blend into thick sauces .
So you need to thin it out first with water and then introduce it into your sauces that way .
And that's what we call a slurry just like that .
And although it's cloudy in the bowl , cornstarch activates at 100 and 60 to 180 degrees and clarifies and gets beautiful and shiny .
I know you're watching me eyeball the amounts .
Um , I've made this dish about a bazillion times before .
Follow the recipes and it'll come out perfect every time .
All right , family .
Let's get hot .
Let's get that walk hot and let's fire this dish .
Wok is getting hot .
Let's pull the beef out of the fridge .
That's been marinating .
What you're gonna notice is the beef is actually absorbed that water , the corn starch .
So it's gonna feel kind of dry .
But once it hits the pan , you'll see it gets beautiful , shiny and tender .
So if your beef needs more time to marinade , feel free and just hit pause and come back to it .
But if you're ready to go , let's get cooking .
So this is a brand new fresh walk from the market .
Here's a really cool tip .
If you fire the walk and you start to smell kind of like a little plastic smell .
That means this walk has a little plastic coating on it .
And it's very simple to remove .
Take a big fat tablespoon of kosher salt , take some paper towels and just carefully , very carefully , just kind of scour the inside of this walkout and that helps kind of polish down any of that kind of coating that .
The walk might ship with and then get rid of that salt .
There you go .
A walk that is prepped and ready to use for the first time .
Um , ok , so we're gonna cook this in kind of two steps .
We wanna get the beef cooked first because the beef is in such big pieces .
We're gonna cook that first .
Drain off the oil and then continue cooking the rest of it .
So I'm gonna use a little bit more oil than I need .
Dump out any excess .
And you want this pan pretty ripping hot , the hotter this pan is the less the meat's gonna stick .
So , very gently slide that beef into the center because it is a hot pan .
You don't want this to splash , get that oil around and let this beef really sear up on its own .
This is where you're OK using more oil because all I'm gonna do is drain off the excess that I don't need in a Chinese restaurant .
They're actually precooking this beef and oil first before they bring in the rest of the components .
Every good cook , you have two jobs , fold the food over and then scrape down any bits that are sticking .
If you stay ahead of it , you won't get any burned bits in the pan .
So I want you to just brown the exterior of this beef and take it to about medium rare because I'm trying to account for the cook time of what's left .
So I've got big old pieces of onions .
I've got big old pieces of bell peppers and they're probably gonna take about 4 to 6 minutes .
So I need to get this beef from 4 to 6 minutes of perfectly cooked if that makes any sense .
Thank you .
Use the surface area of the walk to make sure you're getting as much searing as you can with this beef .
And again , I've used flank steak here .
But if you want to get really fancy and use like a filet mignon or tenderloin , that's also a beautiful way to go with this dish .
So , yeah .
Course almost there .
That , so uh the beef is medium rare and I want to drain off any extra oil I really don't need .
So I'm gonna give it a final really good scrape and then just drain off any excess oil that I might have .
All right back to the pan aromatics first .
Let's add the garlic and ginger .
We cut to really get those flavors to open up .
So it's time to add the ginger and garlic because the beef is medium rare .
You can tell it's medium rare because it's light pink in the middle and brown all around .
So bell peppers and onions were cut to the same size .
So they're gonna cook at the same time .
So I cut way more bell peppers and onions than I needed because I really wanted to show you that technique .
But I'm just gonna reserve these for the next dish and all you're looking for visually is uh a browning of the edges of the onions and the bell peppers don't overcook it .
All right .
Let's get the scallions in that we left large and I'm gonna stir this sauce before I add it to the pan because I want that corn starch to be really mixed in .
And this is the perfect time to add some dried chilies .
And all I'm doing now is kind of bringing that sauce to a boil , getting that sauce to that 160 to 180 degrees .
So it clarifies and really cooks into a really beautiful glaze .
That Mongolian beef is definitely one of those um Chinese American classics that existed for a long time .
And a lot of people kind of try to bust my shops about authenticity .
I mean , I'm an Asian American kid born in the United States .
This dish is authentic to me , you know what I'm saying ?
So , you know what ?
I have no issues calling this an authentic dish .
So the sauce is actually starting to bubble and thicken and that's telling me I'm really close to done .
All right .
Um Beef is cooked through the veggies are seared , but they're not kind of limp and falling apart and the sauce is sticking to a beautiful gravy .
Oh my God .
Let me look at that .
Sometimes you'll see this served over um a bunch of crispy noodles or a bowl of rice .
I kinda like to serve this family style with assortment of other dishes .
A little bit of garnish .
I'm starving now .
Oh , there it is .
Uh , a beautiful hot platter of mongolian beef .
That marinade makes this beef really feel like filet mignon .
Uh , the sauce .
That's sweet .
Savory marries perfectly with those kind of earthy bells and onions .
Well , there it is my friends , Mongolian beef .
Um , thanks for cooking with me today .
Um , I really hope you had as much fun as I did and we'll see you next time .