Beef with Pickled Lotus Root features chewy, twice-fried beef shreds with Celery, Cumin and sweet and sour Pickled Lotus Rootlets.
This dish is similar to my Dry Fried Beef with Pickled Bamboo (香筍干烧牛肉) in that the beef is subject to a double-frying, first in deep-oil, and then again in the pan. The main difference here is that the beef, instead of being cut into very thin shreds, is sliced into large matchstick size, and the second frying is briefer. The result is that the beef still ends up being nicely textured, but is not quite as dry and chewy you get with the traditional Gan Shao (干烧) cooking method.
The funky flavor of Pickled Bamboo worked beautifully in that Dry-Fried Beef dish, but here, I have gone with the slightly sweet and sour notes of Pickled Bamboo shoot, along with Celery, Garlic, and Cumin.
About Pickled Lotus Root
Pickled Lotus Roots, as well as the smaller Rootlets, are widely available in Asian grocery stores and come in either jars, as seen above, or in bags. The ones I used actually came in a bag, but I forgot to photograph it and had already used most of the contents before making this dish. There are quite a few variations… some are pickled in brine, some in sugar, and they may or may not contain sugar, or chili. The ones I purchased were quite sweet and had a very mild vinegar tang.
The ingredient quantities I used for this preparation yield a light meal for one, or else enough for two people with another dish or two alongside. Three garlic cloves are used, which is enough to really taste, but feel free to add or subtract. If you don’t care for cumin, feel free to omit it, but the tiny little amount here makes the dish sparkle, in my opinion.
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Beef with Pickled Lotus Root
- 1 cup Beef cut into thin sticks.
- 1 cup Celery cut into thin sticks.
- 1 cup Pickled Lotus Root cut into thin sticks.
- 3 Garlic cloves cut into slivers
- 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
- 1 tsp. Garlic Salt
- ¾ tsp. Cumin Seed
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- ½ cup Chicken Stock
- 2 Tbsp. Shaoxing Wine or Dry Sherry
- 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- ½ tsp. Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp. Cornstarch mixed to a slurry with a little water.
- Toss the Beef with the Garlic Salt and then the Cornstarch until well coated, and shake off any excess.
- Add the Chicken Stock to the Cornstarch slurry along with the Wine, Soy Sauce, Sugar, and Sesame Oil. Mix well and set aside.
- Deep fry the Beef at medium until well browned and then drain.
- Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan over moderate high heat and add the Cumin Seeds.
- As soon as the aroma of Cumin rises, add the garlic and stir fry for a few seconds, then add the Beef.
- Continue to stir and toss the beef until it is cooked through and starting to get crispy at the edges.
- Now add the Celery, followed by the Lotus Root and stir for a minute or so longer until all is heated through.
- Add in the reserved sauce mix and stir until it thickens and glazes the other ingredients.
- Serve immediately.