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For my Wok-a-holic friends

Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,947
edited December 2012 in EggHead Forum
I stumbled across this Szechuan Beef recipe that was very good, very interesting, and very different.
Being Szechuan, it is necessarily hot, but it also has a sweet tinge.  The dry fried beef also makes it a bit crunchy, so it is a fun dish to eat.



Stir fry carrots until soft.  Remove.

image

Stir fry beef until dark and crunchy.

image

Return carrots to wok and add chili sauces and paste, onions, ginger, sugar.

image

Eat

image
__________________________________________

Dripping Springs, Texas.
Gateway to the Hill Country

Comments

  • IrishDevlIrishDevl Posts: 1,390
    Vi - very nice. Wife and I Are going to get the kitchen redone over the next year or so and I am demanding a wok pit. Something that can kick up the flame hot. Never heard anyone doing this, what do you know about it?
  • ID, I don't know anything about a wok pit, but if you want to do it in the kitchen, I think you should have a couple of requirements in mind.  

    1) The fire should be able to reach 700° to 800°.
    2) Have a good exhaust system.

    Those shouldn't be hard to have done.  The only reason I stir fry on the Egg is to be able to get the heat up enough.  A typical stove won't do that.


    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • IrishDevl said:
    Vi - very nice. Wife and I Are going to get the kitchen redone over the next year or so and I am demanding a wok pit. Something that can kick up the flame hot. Never heard anyone doing this, what do you know about it?

    I had a jennair pro gas stovetop in my last house and it had something like a 40k btu XL burner right in the middle of it. It was plenty hot for wokking and searing. It was nice and pretty reasonable if I remember right (right around $1000)

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,615
    Looks real nice. Very hot?
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • Mickey,
    It was right at Pam's heat limit, and she's usually a decent pepper belly.  It was just fine for me.  You can vary the heat by adjusting the amount of chili paste in it.  I did it exactly like the recipe called for (1 tablespoon)
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • Oh yeah- We had to get a new vent to pass code when we got the big burner. That was more than the stove top. It's always something. Sold the house 1 year later and lost 40G plus that cost of the remodel. Good times.

  • newegg13newegg13 Posts: 231

    Oh yeah- We had to get a new vent to pass code when we got the big burner. That was more than the stove top. It's always something. Sold the house 1 year later and lost 40G plus that cost of the remodel. Good times.


    Ouch. My condolences.
    Amateur Egger; professional rodeo clown.

    Birmingham, AL
  • newegg13 said:
    Oh yeah- We had to get a new vent to pass code when we got the big burner. That was more than the stove top. It's always something. Sold the house 1 year later and lost 40G plus that cost of the remodel. Good times.
    Ouch. My condolences.

    not our best year but everything worked out just fine

  • IrishDevlIrishDevl Posts: 1,390
    Thanks VI, hope I didn't hijack your thread.
  • IrishDevl said:
    Thanks VI, hope I didn't hijack your thread.
    Thanks, I.D., but no.  Whenever there is an exchange of information, I'm happy.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,356
    The Cen-Tex Smoker said:I had a jennair pro gas stovetop in my last house and it had something like a 40k btu XL burner right in the middle of it. It was plenty hot for wokking and searing. It was nice and pretty reasonable if I remember right (right around $1000)
    Good to know; I'm meaning to replace my gas range and haven't found one yet with a high-output burner/wok ring (did see a full stove on Amazon with them, but it was $3,700!!)  
    _____________________________________________
     
    I Know Why The Egged Bird Sings.
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,863
    A high volume vent hood will need make-up air to work properly, unless you open your door or window while you're running it.  You might even need extra HVAC if you plan on running it for any length of time (I engineered the HVAC for labs with lots of fume hoods).  Plus the wok can spit grease everywhere....it's like blackening redfish - wokking is best done out doors.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • A high volume vent hood will need make-up air to work properly, unless you open your door or window while you're running it.  You might even need extra HVAC if you plan on running it for any length of time (I engineered the HVAC for labs with lots of fume hoods).  Plus the wok can spit grease everywhere....it's like blackening redfish - wokking is best done out doors.

    we didn't have to do make up air at the house but we obviously did at the restaurant. It had to be larger than a normal vent and We had to change the vent config to take a lot of the angles out of it. Had to be more of a straight shot out to improve airflow. That was in WI though and they are nuts about that stuff. could very well be different in your town.

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,863

    A high volume vent hood will need make-up air to work properly, unless you open your door or window while you're running it.  You might even need extra HVAC if you plan on running it for any length of time (I engineered the HVAC for labs with lots of fume hoods).  Plus the wok can spit grease everywhere....it's like blackening redfish - wokking is best done out doors.

    we didn't have to do make up air at the house but we obviously did at the restaurant. It had to be larger than a normal vent and We had to change the vent config to take a lot of the angles out of it. Had to be more of a straight shot out to improve airflow. That was in WI though and they are nuts about that stuff. could very well be different in your town.
    I'll bet they made you put the blowers fans outside so there's no positive pressure ducting inside the building.  The suction side of the ducting is very inefficient - probably why you had to improve the airflow (each elbow or bend causes a static pressure drop). 

    The parish out where the local lab's located is like Mexico with building permits. All they care about is the fire system. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 873
    That is a great looking stir-fry. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will try to make that in the next few days. I am auditioning stir-fries for New Years eve and while I've made some good beef stir-fries the top three so far are all chicken. Ideally I'd like a beef, a pork and a chicken based recipe. This beef one may just do it, if it tastes half as good as it looks in your pix. 

    Jim
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Two Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • btw- this is going to be my first Wok cook! looks awesome. Just got my spider and my wok should be here in a few days. I'm really excited to add wokking to my repertoire. we love this style of food but I've never been very good at it. Time to step it up for Centex.

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 873
    In the FWIW department, I just made this stir fry for lunch and it is wonderful. It is my favorite beef stir-fry I've made to date. There is only one problem though: It is a bit too spicy for the guests I will be serving on New Year's. I am probably not going to have a chance to make this again and mess with the spices to try and tone it down. I loved it and I didn't think it was too spicy. In fact I called it stealth spicy. My first couple bites I didn't really notice too much heat, But by the third bite my mouth was tingling. It was borderline too spicy for my wife. But I absolutely loved it. Thanks VI for posting this recipe for us.

    One other thing while I'm at it. If you are like me where you're doing this in the cold weather and have to bring your wok inside to plate the food, make sure you allow for that. You can't really have your plate outside with you with the wok, because in this weather the serving plate will get far too cold. I always stop my stir-fries about 30 seconds short because that's how long it takes me to get into the house. At the end of this stir-fry you're just adding in some ingredients and combining them. There is no time to reduce there. The place to cut down some time is when you're browning the beef. My beef looked just right, but when I got it into the house some of the smaller pieces had overcooked slightly and were a little on the dry side. The next time I will take a minute out of the time when you're frying the beef For around 10 minutes.

    Jim
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Two Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • I replied to Mickey that the heat level was at the max for my wife (and she can take a lot of heat).  The only hot ingredient is the chile paste and you can vary that to increase or decrease the heat.

    We are not bothered with the cold weather.  I usually gets down to the freeze point two or three times a year, but I don't recall it going lower in quite a few years.  When I cook on the Egg, it's not the coldest part of the night, maybe 40-45°, so I keep the plate outside next to the Egg.

    Yes, the cooking time for the beef has a narrow window, I think.  Easy to undercook, and easy to overcook.  Mine was a tad overcooked, but still very edible.

    Glad you liked it.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 873
    edited December 2012
    I did see your comments about the heat levels. I have this thing about making a recipe the way it was written, at least the first time out, to establish a baseline. So I knew that it would have a certain amount of hotness in it, and where it had Szechuan in the name I had certain expectations too. What with getting my new BGE in the next few days, and having to set it up, plus a bunch of family commitments, I just don't think I'll have time to fool around with it again. Plus I'm not so sure that taking a lot of the hotness out of it would also render it a so-so not particularly great recipe. I will definitely make it again, just for the right audience.

    I'm a little surprised that you would bring the serving plate outdoors even at 45°. I usually don't start bringing serving plates outside until it's around 60°. Or on non-wok cooks I will run into the kitchen at the last minute and grab a bowl. As you know this isn't a luxury you have with a stir-fry.

    Yeah I didn't kill my meat either. There were some smaller pieces that were left over pieces off the ends of some of the strips I cut. The smaller pieces would cook faster anyway and they were what was dried out. The main pieces were still okay, but next time I'm going to shorten the time slightly. Now that I know what to look for and how fast the browning happens it will be an easy adjustment.

    When I was looking at your pictures just now my pictures were fresh in my memory because I'd just pulled them in off the camera. You had recommended a 16 inch wok for my large BGE. It is a good fit and I like having the room. But I noticed your walk looks different than mine. Is the wok in those pictures a 14 inch wok? Also I'm curious what cooking temperature did you use on your BGE for this cook?

    Jim
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Two Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • Jim,

    I'll answer in order of your post.

    Yes, I like to make a recipe exactly as written for the first time, too.  And, I think if I make this dish again, I will use the same amount of chili paste because I liked the heat and my wife liked it too.  She just drank more wine at dinner.  I agree that if it were toned down, it might take on a bland character.

    We are having our coldest spell this season.  If I were stir frying tonight, I'd be doing it right now.  I just looked at the temperature and it's 52° ( http://willsononline.com/weather ).  If I took the plate out when I first start the stir fry, it wouldn't affect the dish enough to matter IMHO.

    I just measured my wok and it's 16" from rim to rim.  Maybe it is the angle that I shot the picture.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,863
    This may be a naive Asian faux paux, but I just dump my food from the wok into some tupperware, put the lid on loosely and plate it from that container, sometimes 15 minutes later.  Seems to arrest the cooking and keep the moisture within proper parameters of yumminess.  Keeping it in a hot wok, I do nok.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

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