You've heard of sweet and sour chicken... but have you tried sweet and sour beef? It's not really a popular concept, even though I'm certain it exists somewhere! My first instinct is to always reach for the chicken -- but when this recipe came about, it was because i'd had a set of juicy top-side steaks in my freezer. And since I'm a big style of Asian-style anything and a total sucker for all things sweet and sour, my mind put two-and-two together and decided it would be a good idea to create a beefy version. And i'm so glad I did :)
When I'm at a loss for what to make, it always happens to end up involving soy sauce, honey, and sweet chili; and that's because those three things are always staples in my pantry -- they're my special sauce on anything! For this story though, it's the soy sauce and honey that are the protagonists. With a bit of spice, lemon, and vinegar, this plate comes together in no time - this is especially since the beef is cut thinly, so it it cooks up really quick. Just make sure you cut it against the grain, so it doesn't turn into chewy leather when it's cooked.
Now -- just a special note. The plates in these photos are from Turath Egypt: an Egyptian Heritage company that sells handmade gifts, made by artists and artisans across Egypt. They have an epic motto -- Support a village, weave communities together, keep the craft alive! if you're ever in the city, please drop by and peruse through their amazing inventory - I own at least 12 of their hand-made scarfs!
1 tablespoon cornstarch
500g lean beef steak, cut thinly against the grain, into strips
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup coloured bell peppers, cut into strips
1 large onion, cut into slices (green onions are also fine)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup water
Sesame seeds for garnish
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and beef strips until beef is completely covered. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add beef; stir-fry for a few minutes until the pink color is gone; around 4 minutes.
Add garlic, and stir-fry for about a minute.
Add peppers and onions, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, reduce heat slightly, and toss to stir fry for 3-5 minutes.
In a cup, mix soy sauce, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, sugar, ground ginger, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/4 cup of water, and mix well.
Pour mixture into the pan with the beef, onions and peppers. Return to a boil and stir until thickened.
Leave to simmer for a few minutes, and serve hot with steamed rice or noodles. Enjoy!