Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beef, Mushroom, and Green Bean Stir Fry

I decided it was time to try a new recipe again. And after a random draw, this is the one that was chosen.
I was excited! I love beef, I love mushroom, I love green beans, and I love stir-fry. I was just nervous about how expensive the dinner would be. But alas, I committed to make the recipe no matter what. So I went shopping.

I found that I had to use a few things that I never have before. First I had to find rice noodles. These weren't too hard to find (Asian aisle in Walmart) and I wasn't too afraid of trying them after looking at them.

Next I was supposed to find shiitake mushrooms but after looking at two stores I couldn't find any. So I decided to pick a mushroom type I had never tried before instead, and so I bought these:
Crimini mushrooms. And, after looking online these mushrooms were listed as the first substitute for the shiitake mushrooms. Turns out shiitake mushrooms are black mushrooms and the crimini are brown. So only a slight difference. I wasn't very nervous about using them because I LOVE mushrooms. LOVE them.

However, this next item I was VERY nervous about. I was supposed to find fresh ginger, which I have never worked with before. Luckily I found it easily at Reams but I was still skeptical at it being hard to cut and being a strong flavor that I wouldn't like. But a commitment is a commitment, and I peeled the weird looking root-thing and cut it up.
I was really surprised. It smelled amazing! I could cut ginger all day. It made my hands smell amazing and couldn't stop taking deep breaths. This may sound weird but it smelled so clean and reminded me of how my house smells after I polish my furniture with my lemon furniture polish. That may not sound appetizing but it really was and I loved it. Now I know why they recommend ginger for sick-pregnant women and I'm definitely going to try it out when that time comes again.

So after cutting up the mushrooms, ginger, beef, and fresh green beans I was ready to begin the cooking.

You are supposed to put boiling water over the rice noodles and let them sit for fifteen minutes then drain them and put them back in the bowl. So that's what I did.

And while the rice noodles are cooking you fry up the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, then add the green beans and continue frying for a few more minutes until they are just tender, so still pretty crisp, and then you throw in the ginger.

Then you mix all the veggies in with the noodles.

Meanwhile, while the frying was going on, I mixed up the sauce which is some low-sodium soy sauce, some honey, and a tablespoon of water. I did a little more sauce than the recipe called for because we tend to like our foods really saucy, and I wish I had done even more because we ran out.

I also mixed up the cornstarch and pepper and then tossed the beef in it until it's all covered. (I used a spoon to toss because I hate touching raw meat)

After you've freed up your pan from the veggies, you add a bit more oil and throw the meat in for a few minutes to brown it.

Then you throw in the sauce mixture and cook for a minute or so more until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Then you're ready to plate up! First the rice noodle/veggie mixture and then add the beef and sauce.

Yeah, it was DELICIOUS. And it's heart healthy :) I loved the flavor - it wasn't too sweet which I get tired of with stir-fry sauces. The ginger wasn't too strong at all and I really liked the flavor it added; the recipe would have tasted off without it.

It did take awhile to make (around fifty minutes), probably because I haven't ever made it before. In the future I would cut up everything earlier in the day and the actual cooking would go smoother because I would have the timing down better because I know what to expect.

It also cost around eight dollars to buy everything I needed. While that doesn't sound extravagant, for our meager budget, that's a pretty pricey dinner for us. However, I think it's perfect for when I'm planning dinner for a special occasion.

And I can't wait for a special occasion so I can feast my face on this again. All in all, two big thumbs up!


  1. That sounds really tasty! I'll have to get the recipe from you. I swear, I'm the WORST COOK EVER. So I'm always up to a new recipe. Which, more likely then not, I'll probably destroy.

  2. Yeah...other than the disgusting looking mushrooms that only heaven knows why you feed your body such does look rather good. You're gonna have to cook for us one night and have us over. My request? Your famous stir fry of course! Is it rude that I'm just inviting ourselves over? Oh well...I already did :)