1 orange (Keep peel)
12 ounces flank steak
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg white
1 tablespoon rice wine (sometimes called mirin) or pale sherry
1⅓ cups white rice
1″ fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon sugar
5 dried red chiles
1½ cups peanut oil
Fresh zest from 1 orange or 2 teaspoon dry zest
wok or Dutch oven
zest peeler or potato peeler
Makes 4 bowls. Takes 1½ hours.
Remove peel orange. Save orange slices. Remove zest, the orange part of the peel, with zest peeler. Dice zest. (If you want to have a more authentic taste and can afford to plan ahead, spread the zest evenly over wax paper and let sit for 1-to-2 days until it is dry and brittle. Or just buy orange zest.)
Cut flank steak into strips 2″ long and ¼” wide. Add cornstarch, egg white, and rice wine to mixing bowl. Toss strips until they are well coated. Add steak strips. Put in refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour.
While beef marinates cook rice according to instructions on package. Mince ginger and garlic clove. Add sesame oil, ginger, and garlic to skillet. Sauté at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until garlic turns color. Stir frequently. Remove sautéed ginger and garlic to mixing bowl. Add beef broth, soy sauce, pepper, and sugar to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk.
Dice red chiles. Add peanut oil and steak strips to wok. Sauté on medium-high for 2 minutes or until steak strips start to turn brown. Remove steak and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1½ tablespoons of peanut oil Add 1½ tablespoons reserved peanut oil, orange zest, and red chiles to wok. Stir frequently. Sauté on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until chiles darken and oil smells fragrant. Stir frequently.
Add ginger/garlic/broth/soy sauce from mixing bowl to middle of wok. Return steak strips back to wok. Sauté at medium-high heat for 1 minute or until the steak strips become crispy, shiny, and have absorbed most of the sauce. Serve on top of rice. Garnish with orange slices.
1) Orange beef originally came from orange cattle roaming the Painted Dessert in Arizona. Their orange hide helped the beeves, or cattle, blend in with the Dessert’s orange rocks. This camouflage technique helped the beeves escape voracious giant carnivorous beavers.
2) Things looked bad when the vicious beavers began Beaver Dam, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Animal World. The water level in the Painted Dessert began to rise. Then rose even more. The beeves moved higher and higher up the canyon walls. Soon they would reach the green rocks where their orange hides would stand out starkly against the green rocks. The toothy beavers began salivating.
3) Then in a fortuitous stroke of fiction, humans, the Rohohoe tribe, in fact, arrived in the Painted Dessert, bringing commas for run-on sentences and arrows for hunting.
4) And hunt they did. Giant beavers tasted great when sauteéd in a lemon-basil sauce. Life was good for the Rohohoe. It was even better for the beeves. Their feared predator gone, their numbers rebounded or soared, whichever metaphor works best for you.
5) The ancient Chinese loved orange beef, having acquired a taste for it years before. Unfortunately, the abominable snowman, yeti, hunted their own orange beeves to extinction. Orange hides really made hunting in the snow-covered mountains of Tibet overly easy.
6) Fortunately, the ancient Rohohoe loved Chinese jewelry. Trade talks, smoothed by a mutual love of ScrabbleTM proceeded rapidly. And so began the great orange beef cattle drives.
7) Until global warming caused sea levels to rise to such an extent that the land bridge between North America and Asia disappeared. Snap. Just like that.
8) Deprived of Chinese jewelry, the Rohohoe economy dissolved into anarchy. Traces of this once proud people show up only in the finest cookbooks. Bereft of fresh orange beeves, Chinese founded culinary schools. They would rely on their own ingredients. No longer would Chinese caravans ply the world’s continents. No longer would their tradesmen paint, “Cho was here,” on stones all over America’s Southwest. Oh, I guess I should tell also those archeologists, sweltering in the hot Arizonan sun, what those petroglyphs mean.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.