Shiitakes in beef with black bean sauce

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I had a few of our shiitake mushrooms.  I had a few of my friend Linda’s green onions.  Dianne had given me a beautiful head of local bok choy.  It was begging for Asian.

This is an adaptation of an Epicurious recipe. It was delicious.

Beef with Black Bean Sauce
(serves two)

For the sauce:

1 cup stock (chicken, veg, whatever – I used water and half a porcini cube)
2 t. cornstarch
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 t. chili-garlic sauce
1 T. sugar

For the stir-fry:

1 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
¼ c. fermented black beans, chopped
Enough vegetables for two people (mushrooms, peppers, leafy greens, snow peas, bok choy, broccoli, and anything else you like)
½ lb. beef, in small, thin slices

In a small bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it wilts about begins to brown, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and black beans, and cook another few minutes.

The only tricky part is figuring out when to add the vegetables. If you’re using mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, or any other long-cooking vegetable, add them with the onions. Snow peas and leafy greens should go in after the garlic, ginger, and black beans. Use your judgment, but don’t worry if something gets a little overcooked while something else is barely done. It’s a stir-fry. You have a lot of latitude.

When the vegetables are all cooked, push them to one side of the pan and turn the heat to high. Add the beef to the empty part of the pan and cook just until it’s seared on both sides.

Add the sauce (stir it well before you put it in), and cook just until everything’s heated through. Serve over rice.

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