It’s that time of year again. The kiddos are back to school and everyone in the house is frantically trying to adjust to a new schedule. Time is a rare commodity, and home-cooked meals on weeknights between after-school activities might seem like a luxury. On a super busy weeknight like that, there’s something about Chinese take-out that beckons to me, and I’d be lying if I said I never give in. (Who doesn’t?) But it always surprises me that I forget just how easy it is to whip up at home – and how much more delicious! The gorgeous cover of Better Homes and Gardens’ Fresh: Recipes for Enjoying Ingredients at Their Peak reminded me of just that.
The stunningly vibrant dish of Soy-Glazed Flank Steak with Blistered Green Beans is hard to miss when you’re walking through a bookstore. It’s the rainbow of colors that first caught my eye, but when I flipped back to the recipe, it was the Asian flavors that hooked me in. Any recipe that’s flavored with garlic, ginger, soy, and brown sugar can’t be bad in my opinion. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.
Soy-Glazed Flank Steak with Blistered Green Beans
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 15 min
1 pound fresh green beans
1 pound beef flank steak
6 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
4 green onions or scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet rice wine (mirin)
1 teaspoon red chile paste (sambal oelek)
Sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
Hot cooked jasmine rice (optional)
1. Trim and halve the green beans on the diagonal; set aside. Cut the flank steak across the grain into thin slices; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the garlic and ginger; set aside. In another small bowl, combine the soy sauce and brown sugar; set aside.
2. In a very large skillet or work, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans; cook and stir for 7 to 8 minutes or until beans are blistered and brown in spots. Add the cherry tomatoes, if using. Cook and stir until wilted and slightly softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer bean mixture to paper towels to drain. If necessary, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet.
3. Add the garlic-ginger mixture to the skillet; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add half the beef strips to the skillet; cook and stir about 3 minutes, or until the beef is browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the browned beef to a bowl; repeat with the remaining beef. Return all the beef to the skillet. Stir in the green onions, rice wine, chile paste, and the soy sauce-sugar mixture. Cook and stir for 1 minute; add the green beans. Cook and stir until the beans are heated through, about 2 minutes more.
4. If desired, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with hot cooked rice.
• I trimmed the green beans and left them whole because that's how they were in the cover photo.
• I used sesame oil instead of peanut oil because it’s what I had on hand.
• The recipe says it takes 6 cloves of garlic, minced to make 1 tablespoon; of course this will depend on the size of your garlic cloves. I found that 3 medium cloves was about 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.
• To make the meat super tender and flavorful, I marinated the sliced steak in a mixture of the following for a couple hours in the fridge: 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon red chile paste. Then I proceeded with the rest of the recipe.
• I left the sesame seeds and scallions out of the photo, but I added them before we ate this meal.Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories per serving: 312
Fat per serving: 16g
Sodium per serving: 672g
Fiber per serving: 4g
Protein per serving: 28g
Cholesterol per serving: 53mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 15g
Fresh, Better Homes & Gardens, Copyright 2013
I made a double batch and served this meal to a few friends for dinner. It was a hit all around, even with skeptics who don’t normally like Asian flavors. (I know, I was in shock that such people exist too…who knew?) Everyone took seconds (which is unheard of) and some people had thirds, so my best advice is to make more than you think you’ll need. It’s a quick meal to make too, and so much healthier than ordering out. Step aside, take-out.
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
Absolutely. The beautiful, vibrant colors and various textures and flavors of this dish evoke the very name of the book: fresh!