Beef Fried Rice with Chinese Broccoli (牛肉芥蓝炒饭)

This is Chaozhou-style beef stir-fried rice – easy, quick, and delicious. Satay sauce and Choi Poh are significant ingredients in Chaozhou cuisine. The satay sauce adds some nuttiness and creaminess to the fried rice. The Choi Poh provides a crunchy texture and umami taste.

INGREDIENTS

  • 226 grams (1/2 lb) of beef, diced
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1.5 tsp of dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp of white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp of oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of Garlic
  • 1 tsp of ginger
  • 85 grams (3 oz) of diced broccoli
  • 85 grams (3 oz) of diced carrot
  • 2 -3 tbsp of Chaozhou style preserved daikon radish (Choi Poh)
  • 450 grams (1lb) of cooked leftover rice
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp of satay sauce
  • White pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the beef into 1/3 inch cubed. I prefer to use rib-eye steak as it delivers a rich, buttery, beefy flavor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any rib-eye steak today, so I used sirloin tip, which is a much tougher cut, but we will use some baking soda in the marinade to tenderize the beef. Besides that, you can also use strip steak and flank steak.

Marinade the beef with 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1.5 tsp of dark soy sauce, some white pepper to taste, and some baking soda. Baking soda will break down the tough meat fibers. That’s how it tenderizes the meat.

Chinese broccoli is also known as Jielan (芥蓝)in mandarin. It is a leafy green with a quite thick stem and a small group of flowers in the center. Jielan tastes similar to regular broccoli but it has a slight touch of mustard flavor. If you can’t find it, regular broccoli will do just fine. Or you can use broccolini, which is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli.

Dice the stem part of the Chinese broccoli into thin rounds; roughly cut the leaves into bigger pieces. Separate the leave and the stem because they take different times to cook.

Choi Poh (菜脯) is Chaozhou-style preserved daikon radish. Make sure you get the one preserved with salt because there is another kind preserved with sugar; don’t get that one. Choi Poh has a strong umami taste and a crunchy texture. It is salty so don’t put too much: 2 – 3 tbsp is plenty. If you don’t have it, feel free to skip it. Or you can use other kinds of crunchy pickled vegetables such as pickled mustard stem (Zhacai榨菜), pickled mustard green (酸菜), pickled yard beans (酸豆角). Just take a look and see what is available in your local Asian markets.

Besides that, I also diced one small carrot, 1 tbsp of garlic, and 1 tsp of ginger.

This is jasmine rice that I cooked one day ahead; you can use leftover rice from the take-out box. If you don’t have leftover rice, you can check this video to learn how to make rice for fried rice.

Crack two eggs and beat them well.

Chinese stir-fries are very quick. Usually, when the heat is on, everything will be done in like 5 minutes. Therefore, I like to gather all the seasonings together ahead of time.

  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp of satay sauce: is a significant ingredient in Chaoshan cuisine. I don’t know any replacement, but fried rice is very flexible, so you are free to use other flavor bases such as sriracha, sambal chili sauce, chili oil, hoisin sauce, or curry paste.
  • some freshly ground white pepper to taste

Turn the heat to high and heat the wok until smoking hot. Add 1.5 tbsp of oil and swirl it around to cover the bottom. Pour in the beaten egg. Wait for it to set. Then use the spatula to break the egg into smaller pieces. Turn off the heat. Remove the egg from the wok.

Turn the heat back to high. Add more oil to the wok (2 tbsp) along with the beef and let it pan fry on one side for 30 seconds. Give the beef a few flips so you can sear the other side. Keep stirring until the beef looks charred on the surface. Turn off the heat. Remove the beef to the side. Make sure you tilt the wok so you can leave the oil behind.

Turn the heat back on low. We will use that oil to saute the garlic, ginger, Caipu, carrot, and the stem part of the Chinese broccoli. Stir for a couple of minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through. Switch the heat to high and add the day old rice. Stir this for a few minutes.

A lot of people don’t know how to cook fried rice in a carbon steel wok because starch likes to stick the metal badly. There are only two tricks. First, make sure your rice is not too wet. Second, the heat needs to be on high heat. This way, the rice can be seared immediately when it touches the wok, so it doesn’t stick even if you stir it constantly.

When you see some rice grains dancing and jumping in the wok, that is the time to pour in the sauce. The seasoning in this recipe is more like a paste so I can add it all at once. However, if you are making a different fried rice recipe with quite a lot of liquid sauce, you should add it in batches so it doesn’t drop down the temperature suddenly or else the rice will stick to the wok right away.

Keep stirring until the seasonings are well mixed. Introduce the egg and the beef back to the wok. Don’t forget the leafy part of the Chinese broccoli. Keep mixing until all the greens are welted. You should always give is a taste before serving to adjust the flavor. I made this many times so I know it is going to be perfect.

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Beef Fried Rice with Chinese Broccoli (牛肉芥蓝炒饭)

This is a fried rice recipe from Chaozhou, so it will use a couple of unique ingredients (see notes), which are hard to find for people who don't have Asian grocery stores around. Don't be put off because I do give replacement options. This dish is actually pretty easy and quick.

Ingredients

To marinate the beef

Others

  • 2-3 tbsp of oil to stir fry
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of minced ginger
  • 113 grams 4 oz of Chinese Broccoli, can be replaced by regular broccoli
  • 85 grams 3 oz of diced carrot
  • 2 -3 tbsp of diced preserved radish optional
  • 450 grams 1lb of cooked leftover rice

Instructions

  • Dice the beef into 1/3 inch cubed, then marinate with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, white pepper, and baking soda.
  • Dice the stem part of Chinese broccoli into thin rounds and cut the leaf part into bigger pieces, so they cook simultaneously. If using regular broccoli, use your judgments to dice it into the same size pieces.
  • Crack two eggs and beat them well.
  • Combine the seasoning ingredients in a bowl before cooking.
  • Turn the heat to high and heat the wok until smoking hot. Add 1.5 tbsp of oil and swirl it around to cover the bottom.
  • Pour in the beaten egg. Wait for it to set, then use the spatula to break the egg into smaller pieces. Turn off the heat. Remove the egg from the wok.
  • Turn the heat back to high. Add more oil to the wok (1.5 tbsp) and stir fry the beef until nicely charred. Turn off the heat. Remove the meat from the wok. Make sure you tilt the wok so you can leave the oil behind.
  • Turn the heat back on low. Use the leftover oil to saute the garlic, ginger, preserved radish, carrot, and the stem part of the Chinese broccoli. Stir for a couple of minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
  • Switch the heat to high and add the day-old rice. Stir this for a few minutes or until some of the rice grains are jumping in the wok.
  • Add the sauce and stir until well mixed. Add the egg, the beef, and the leafy part of the Chinese broccoli. Keep mixing until all the greens are welted.
  • Taste and adjust the flavor before serving.

Video

Notes

Chinese broccoli is also known as Gailan (芥蓝). It is a leafy green with a thick stem and a small group of flowers in the center. It tastes similar to regular broccoli, but it has a slight touch of mustard flavor. You can use regular broccoli or broccolini, a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli.
Preserved radish is known as 'Choi Poh' (菜脯), often used in Chaozhou cuisine and Thai cuisine. Make sure you get the one preserved with salt because there is another kind that is preserved with sugar mainly; don't get that one. Preserved radish has a strong umami taste and a crunchy texture. You can skip it or use other kinds of crunchy pickled vegetables such as pickled mustard stem (Zhacai榨菜), pickled mustard green (酸菜), pickled yard beans (酸豆角). Just take a look and see what is available in your local Asian markets.
Satay sauce: any brand will work. I don't know any replacement, but fried rice is very flexible so you can use other flavor bases such as sriracha, sambal chili sauce, chili oil, hoisin sauce, or curry paste.

 

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