Mongolian BeefLet me tell you how to turn one-and-a-half pounds of flank steak into a fantastic meal, thanks in no small part to lots of cornstarch. The “Mongolian Beef,” from The Woks of Life, gave me a heap of all the sweet/salty/spicy that I could want.

I’ve got no history with this dish (and neither does Mongolia, apparently). It’s completely Chinese-American and it’s a “made to order,” quick stir-fry of crispy, cornstarch-coated beef. A cornstarch slurry is also instrumental here, in creating the oh-so-necessary Chinese sauce that we’re all so used to.

I tripled the amounts in this recipe, so I needed to fry my marinated beef in four batches. But it’s easy to prep this. Nothing’s exotic, here. Instead of using a wok, I fried in a deep sauté pan. I followed the recipe’s practical advice to place my seared beef on a sheet pan that was slightly tilted, to let the oil drain away.

The thickened sauce smells great, thanks to the ginger and the garlic. The amounts of brown sugar, soy sauce, and red chili peppers here satisfy our expectations, for wonderful Chinese food.

Flank Steak (1.5 lbs.) = $21.09

PREP TIME: marinate the beef for an hour, then sear quickly; sauce and slurry need only a brief stir
crispy fried beef is coated in sweet/salty/spicy

Next time, I’ll say goodbye to summer with the “Crab and Corn Cakes with Lime Sour Cream,” from the August/September 2015 issue of Fine Cooking, along with the “Bacon-Wrapped Taters,” from the June 2015 issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. Come back to my site next week, to share the fun.