12 August 2010

Beef with cumin

So. To get everyone up-to-date on life in the Dude household... We bought a Big Kahuna Burner.  Been playing with it. Turns out its good fun.  And crazy hot.  75, 000 BTUs of heat = about 3 1/2 times the heat of your total kitchen heat output.  But instead of being directed at 4 pots and your oven, all of that heat is directed at one single wok.  Yeeha!

Well, second time out we tried beef from the Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook.  One mistake (detailed below), but a good recipe.
4 tsp Shaoxing wine
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp light soy sauce
1 ½ tsp dark soy sauce
4 tsp potato flour
4 tsp water
1 lb trimmed round steak, chopped to bite size pieces
This is the only mistake I made, as best as I can tell.  I didn't chop the beef small enough.  In the very brief time that it takes to cook the beef in this recipe, it really doesn't shrink.  So chop it small.

Prepare the beef and mix it with the marinade ingredients above.  While it marinates at room temperature, prepare the rest of the recipe.


3 tsp finely chopped ginger
4 tsp finely chopped garlic
3 fresh hot chiles, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp dried chili flakes
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 ½ cups peanut oil

Herbs & spices

You need to have everything ready in advance, because the cooking goes fast. This is like Food Network cooking, minus the sous-chefs.


Heat the peanut oil in a wok over your lovely hot wok burner until reasonably hot, but not smoking.

Deep fry the beef chunks in the hot oil until a beautiful dark caramelized delicious tasty yummy brown colour.

Deep-frying beef

Fish out that lovely beef when it looks done (about 90 seconds ish):

Deep-fried beef

Look at that!  That's some awesome beef.  Too big for a mouthful, but the caramelized coating looks awesome.

Deep-fried beef

Oh yeah, that's a whole bowl of win.  Now pour off most of the oil.  Wipe off the lip of the wok (so you don't start a giant grease fire) and put the wok back over the heat.  Toss in the spices and herbs (sans sesame oil and scallions).  Your neighbors will be able to smell each layer of flavour as you toss it in the wok...


Fry until fragrant.  Toss the beef back in there.

Wokked beef

Season with salt to taste.  When everything smells awesome (really, about 30 seconds), turn off the heat. Toss in the sesame oil and scallions.  Serve.

Beef with cumin

What a lovely recipe. Faintly spicy, rich, beefy delicious. Like I said, if I had properly chopped the beef, this dish would have been perfect.



Funder said...

What did you do with the hot oil? I always wait til it cools then pour it into a non heatproof container to reuse or dispose, but that wouldn't work for this type of wok cooking.

Bbq Dude said...


I had a pot on my cement patio that I poured the hot oil into. Carefully. Then I wiped the outside of the wok, so I didn't carry over that small drip of oil. A grease fire on this baby would be more excitement than I'm looking for...

In similar situtations, I generally wait for oil to cool, because pouring out hot oil doesn't seem super clever. In the future, I'm going to cook with two woks (I purchased a second wok online that just arrived).

Funder said...

Cool, thanks!

KirkK said...

Hey BBQ Dude - I'll usually get some beef (or lamb - cumin lamb is fantastic) from Zion Market... they have several grades of sliced rib eye based on fat, thickness, and quality. BTW, get that wok seasoned so you can be on your way to wok hay.... and can I recommend Grace Young's "Breath of a Wok" if you don't already have it?

Bbq Dude said...


I purchased a smaller wok from The Wok Shop (found them through your site BTW - thanks), and started seasoning it tonight in the oven. I got one layer on, and it looks great. The other wok that came with the burner is 22", too big for the oven so will have to do that over the burner - hopefully this weekend.

I will definitely get Breath of the Wok, I appreciate the recommend.

And will have to try the cumin lamb... I love me some lamb.

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