Thai Style Beef and Broccoli

Happy Thursday Fellow Foodies!

Last night I was craving something different, something exotic, but something I had all the ingredients for in the house already. While I do consider my pantry very well stocked, even the most well stocked kitchens don't contain everything all the time!

I have a very old cookbook, that I believe I purchased in 1996, called "True Thai", written by a chef named Victor Sodsook. This chef is a genuine article. I have prepared many recipes from this enormous volume of Thai Cuisine. This book has a 16 page explanation of Thai ingredients and cooking equipment a page of culinary translations, and somewhere between 350-375 pages of recipes. There is even a section in the back with mail-order sources for ingredients (which I no longer use, since the advent of the Internet). Here is the book as displays it (in case you want a copy of your own):
True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking

I have used my copy so much that it is now missing it's paper jacket, taped up in places, pages are curling and stained, and there are several dozen paper page-markers and dogged-eared pages of dishes that I cook all the time.

Last night-as I said-I was craving something Thai. I had a steak thawed out that needed to be cooked, some broccoli florets that were desperately in need of use, and a my trusty Thai cookbook. I found a recipe on page 150 for Beef with Broccoflower (a hybrid cross between Broccoli and cauliflower).  I decided that my broccoli would make a great stand in for the broccoflower, and I was only missing one ingredient in the recipe-"crushed yellow bean paste". After reading up on what yellow bean paste is (salted and fermented crushed soy beans), I reasoned that I could use miso (which I ALWAYS keep on-hand) as a viable stand-in. BONUS...This recipe was SUPER EASY and only took about 10 minutes from start to finish!!!

So, here is the recipe as I made it:

Thai Style Beef and Broccoli

3 Tbs. vegetable oil
8 cloves of fresh garlic-crushed into a pulpy mash
8-10 ounce high quality steak-such as new York strip or fillet steak-sliced very thinly
1 Tbs. oyster sauce
2 Tbs. Crushed yellow bean paste (I used red miso)
3 Tbs. light brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar if you can find it)
1 bunch of broccoli florets (About a pound)
2-3 Tbs. Chicken broth (I use Swanson's)
Chilies in Vinegar sauce (a very easy mix of minced chilies of choice, vinegar, salt, and sugar)

Place everything within easy reach of the stove. Set a large sauté pan or or wok over medium heat, once the pan is hot add the oil and swirl it around to coat the pan.

Add the garlic and cook for a 2-3 minutes until it becomes very fragrant and golden in color. turn the heat up as high as it will go, and add the steak strips.

Stir fry for 30 seconds, and add the next 3 ingredients. Cook a minute or so. Add the broccoli and the chicken stock, toss everything together to coat the broccoli. Simmer, uncovered 3-4 minutes, tossing often until the broccoli is bright green but still crunchy.

Serve with rice or noodles, and the chili vinegar sauce on the side with a spoon for drizzling over your dinner.

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