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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beefy stir-fry sates husband, stew craving

 •  Simply asparagus

By Wanda A. Adams


Find food editor Wanda Adams' "My Island Plate" blog online every Monday, Wednesday and

Friday at www.honoluluadvertiser.com/islandlife. She Twitters about cooking, dining and other matters @wandaaadams on twitter.com.

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I've been playing in the kitchen. After nearly a week of being kitchen deprived while in Hilo covering Merrie Monarch, I couldn't wait to get my hands back on a wooden spoon.

My first night home, I wanted beef stew but I didn't have time to make a good one. (I start with soup bones and make a beef broth that takes an hour or two, then dredge beef chunks in seasoned flour and add that; then begin to layer in other ingredients and flavoring agents. Takes the whole day.)

So I settled for a beef stir-fry made with some beef strips I picked up at the store and ingredients I had on hand, including roasted cherry tomatoes, which added a nice, sprightly acidity to the rich melange of beef and onions. To give it an intense beefiness, I reduced beef broth to almost nothing as the basis of the sauce. Onions, green onions and beef released their moisture as they cooked to create a nice gravy.

Nothing fancy, just home food, made off the cuff. But Husband liked it.

This is what I made:


• 1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth

• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 1 onion, sliced and broken into crescents

• 1 bunch green onions, green tops in 1-inch slice, white parts minced

• 1 to 1 1/4 pounds beef, sliced for stir-fry

• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or more, to taste)

• Pinch of salt (or more, to taste)

• 1 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1/4 cup roasted cherry tomatoes*

• A little water or broth

Place beef broth in small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer briskly to reduce until all that's left is a couple of tablespoons of thick, beefy syrup. This takes about half an hour.

In a wok or frying pan, heat vegetable oil over high heat until the first wisp of smoke appears. Stir-fry onions and green onions. When wilted and translucent, remove with slotted spoon or Chinese basket strainer and set aside. In the same oil, saute beef until it turns color. Season generously with pepper and salt. Drizzle reserved beef broth and shoyu over beef, return onions and green onions to pan, along with tomatoes. Add water or broth to make your desired amount of gravy.

Serve over hot rice.

Makes 3-4 servings.

* To roast cherry tomatoes, cut them in half and lay them cut side up on a foil-lined, rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over, sprinkle very lightly with sugar and roast in 500-degree oven until bubbling and lightly browned. Store in refrigerator (these last a long time; I've kept them for a month or so without them going bad).