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Beef stir-fry is an Asian dish made from beef and vegetables. The beef is usually sliced into very thin strips before being cooked. Just about any type of vegetables can be used in this dish, and these are usually cut into uniform bite-sized pieces. These ingredients are then cooked quickly one at a time in a wok or stir-fry pan. Sauce is also usually added, and this can either be purchased prepared or made from scratch.
As its name suggests, beef is one of the main ingredients in beef stir-fry. Nearly any cut of beef can be used for this recipe. The beef is usually slices into short, thin strips with a sharp knife before it is cooked. It should be cut against the grain to ensure that it is not tough after cooking. To make slicing the meat easier, it can be placed in the freezer until it is partially frozen and firm.
Vegetables are other very important beef stir-fry ingredients. Just about any type of firm vegetable can be used to make this dish. Green, yellow, or red peppers are often used, along with onions and mushrooms. Carrots, squash, broccoli, and water chestnuts can also be used.
The vegetables beef stir-fry add texture and color as well as flavor. To keep the dish somewhat simple, most culinary experts recommend using only three or four vegetables in stir-fry dishes. Stir-fry vegetables are also usually cut into uniform bite-sized pieces before they are cooked. This helps ensure even cooking, and it makes the dish easier to eat.
A pan called a wok is typically used to make Asian dishes, including beef stir-fry. This large pan is bowl shaped, and it usually has a rounded bottom and a handle on either side. A large skillet can also be used to make this dish if a wok is not available.
To cook beef stir-fry, the pan must first be heated on a stove or over a flame and allowed to get very hot. A small amount of oil is also usually used to help prevent the food from sticking. Seasonings like garlic and pepper may also be added at this time to give the dish extra flavor.
Stir-fried dishes are typically cooked very fast, and the food is stirred frequently. The meat is usually cooked first. It should be added to the pan and stirred, until it is almost cooked to the desired doneness.
The meat is then usually removed from the pan and set aside, and the vegetables are added to the pan next. For the best results, each different vegetable is usually cooked separately. They are usually cooked until they are somewhat tender, yet still crisp. After the last vegetable has been cooked, the other vegetables and the meat can then be returned to the pan.
Beef stir-fry can be eaten plain, but many people add a stir-fry sauce to this dish. Stir-fry sauces can usually be purchased from the Asian food sections in most supermarkets. These sauces can also be made at home, and they will often contain ingredients like soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch. Beef stir-fry is also usually served over a bed of rice.