Did I ever tell you that I didn't really like Chinese food for a LONG time? I used to eat it a lot in high school. Creston had a notorious Chinese place, I think it was Chung Garden...but since we were teenagers, we nicked named it "Shlong Garden." Anyway, the food was pretty good. I think the sweet and sour chicken actually contained chicken, beef was actually beef, and pork was pork. The food was so laden with MSG, however, that after an hour I was always violently throwing up. I don't think it had anything to do with the cleanliness or food poisoning. No one else in my posy ever got sick. My body just can't handle MSG. It took me many years to realize this. I avoided food from any Asian decent for many years because it just didn't agree with me. Now that I am aware of this fact, it is much more enjoyable and I make it myself because the Bear loves it and I am in control of what and how we cook it. Here is one of my favorite MSG free recipes.
Broccoli Beef Stir Fry
1 lb. lean beef such as eye of round cut into 1-inch strips (I get the "stir fry" beef at my grocery store that is already cut)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 bunch broccoli, cut only the florets
2 cloves crushed garlic
1-inch peeled ginger, finely grated or minced
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (make sure it is MSG and gluten free, I use Hy-Vee or Market Pantry)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (ground chili paste)
1 bunch chopped green onion
4 cups cooked brown rice (cook according to package directions)
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and beef. Cook for 3 minutes, then stir and toss the beef around to cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the beef to a bowl and set aside.
While the beef is cooking, whisk together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, and sambal oelek in a small bowl. Set aside. After removing the beef from the skillet, add the broccoli to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sauce mixture and beef back to the skillet and lower the heat down to medium, stirring constantly. When the sauce reaches your desired thickness, remove from heat and add the green onions. Top over hot brown rice. You can use extra green onions for garnish.
P.S. I don't really eat with chop sticks as seen the photo:) These were left-over from a sushi craving I had last week. Actually, sushi sounds pretty good and I might have to visit my favorite place tomorrow after physical therapy since I'll be in that area. If you live in KC and the Overland Park area, check out Ichiban Sushi on the corner of College and Quivera. I love my little sushi man!
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