Hello! I know it's been a while since I've shared a recipe but I've just been super busy this holiday season! I'm currently sweating over my 2014 holiday project (check out what I did for the last three years!) Every year, I look forward to December to work on something special like this and I can't wait to share with you all the final product! So today I thought I'd share with you a quick recipe since everyone is spending most of their time prepping for the holidays, and would probably want to stir up dinner quickly! This dish is one of my favorites when it comes to Hong Kong style classics - the Beef and Shredded Lettuce Fried Rice (生菜牛肉炒飯).
Fried rice is one of my comfort foods. And I'm not taking about fried rice from your neighborhood Dragon Palace or Szechuan Garden. I wouldn't eat fried rice from those places even if it's free. It's not them. It's me. (well, it is kinda them a little.) I can't picture people visiting from Italy would want to eat at Olive Garden so forgive me if I'm picky about my fried rice!
I have a handful of favorite Hong Kong style fried rice - the Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice (鹹魚雞粒炒飯) is unique, the Yeung Chow Fried Rice (揚州炒飯) is one of the most basics. The Beef and Shredded Lettuce Fried Rice (生菜牛肉炒飯) which is usually made with ground beef but I went with thinly sliced flank steak instead for this recipe.
And I know what you're thinking - cooked lettuce? It's really not as bad as it sounds if you've only been eating raw lettuce all your life. Cooked lettuce with oyster sauce is quite common on the Cantonese dinner table, and one of my go-to veggie as a kid. The trick for cooking lettuce is not to cook it for too long - you want it to be still slightly crispy and definitely not mushy.
I folded in the shredded lettuce into the rice just a few minutes before I turned off the heat. And for the beef, I changed it up by using thinly cut flank steak instead of ground beef. Flank steak is an awesome cut of meat and it's great for marinating. For this recipe, you don't need a whole lot of beef so half of a pound is enough. And like any other fried rice, day-old rice is your best bet. Making fried rice with fresh made rice is sticky business and you don't want to go down that road of eating rice lumps.
So there you have it! An authentic Hong Kong style fried rice made with cooked lettuce which might just surprise ya!
Beef and Shredded Lettuce Fried Rice (生菜牛肉炒飯)
Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 45 mins
- 1/2 lb flank steak, cut into paper-thin slices
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp rice wine
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups cooked, day-old rice
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 head of lettuce, shredded or sliced into 1/4 inch thick
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- Remove day-old rice from the fridge and let it return to room temperature.
- Slice flank steak against the grain to paper-thin slices.
- Mix the beef with 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, minced garlic, brown sugar, white pepper powder, salt, and black pepper, and rice wine. Let it marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- In a heated skillet or wok over high heat, add beef and cook for 5 minutes. Remove beef and set aside.
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, add rice and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir and break apart the bigger lumps. Add the eggs and stir them into the rice. Keep egg pieces small by stirring occasionally. Drizzle more olive oil if needed. Add the beef back into the pan and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper, and 2 tbsp of soy sauce.
- Lastly, fold in the shredded lettuce and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot with chili garlic sauce.