Gav Martell: He’s in the Kitchen


Crispy Maple Beef Recipe

A Canadian Take On an Asian Classic

Dinner from the wok always seems to be a winner in our home. Rice is a simple and quick side dish that the kids love and pretty much anything I throw together gets gobbled up with enthusiasm, as fingers struggle to make chopsticks work as a shovel to get food to mouth in as quick a fashion as possible.

Rather than using sugar found in a lot of recipes, this dish calls for some Canadian maple syrup for sweetness. The sweetness contrasted with the zip of the red wine vinegar makes this a morsel by morsel mouth-pleasing wok winner. Try it out on your crew and let me know what they think!

Crispy Maple Beef
Serves: 4 to 6
1 pound stir-fry beef
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Vegetable oil
1 cup cornstarch
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 cups prepared white rice, to serve
4 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
 Mix the beef, baking soda, and 3 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. Cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight (the baking soda will tenderize the steak).
 To begin the sauce, mix the syrup, vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
 Heat a large wok over High heat. Add enough vegetable oil to come about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the wok, and heat to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, add the cornstarch and egg white to the beef, and mix well to coat.
 Cook the beef in small batch at a time (about 1/2 cup) so that it does not bring the temperature of the oil too low. Stir gently until it begins to look crispy, about 1 minute. Using a wire mesh strainer, transfer the beef to a colander to drain. Remove any fried bits from the wok.
 Return the beef to the wok, and fry again until crispy all over, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a strainer to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the wok.
 Return the wok to High heat. Add the beef, sauce mixture and sesame oil. Stir-fry until all of the ingredients are well blended, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately over steamed rice.