Beef and Kale Stir-Fry

One of my favorite vegetables that's been at the farmers' market for several weeks now is kale. I've been trying to eat other greens besides spinach since they're so full of vitamins, and kale has been a nice change. It's definitely different from spinach because it holds up to longer cooking and it has more texture. I think it pairs well with strong flavors, too. I have been including it in stir-fry dishes and it holds up well with the high cooking temperature and rich sauces. This stir-fry mainly features kale and beef, but also some other colorful vegetables. From my perusing of Chinese recipes, oyster sauce is classically paired with beef, so I used this rich ingredient here as well. I have been able to find oyster sauce at my ordinary grocery store in the Asian food section, so it should be easy to find. Another new little technique I have tried is dredging the meat in cornstarch instead of making a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. The cornstarch mixture on the outside works to form a browned crust on the outside of the meat while it's cooking, and once the meat combines with the sauce, the sauce thickens on its own. Browning the meat this way adds another dimension of flavor.

Beef and Kale Stir-Fry
Printable Recipe

For the meat:

1 lb lean beef, cut into thin slices
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp unbleached granulated sugar
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp canola or vegetable oil

For the sauce:

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp unbleached granulated sugar
1 tbsp oyster sauce

For the vegetables:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, any color, sliced
8 oz snow peas
4 cups chopped kale

cooked rice (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, corn starch, sugar, and soy sauce and let marinade at room temperature for 15 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp of oil to the pan, then add in the meat. Cook the meat until it's seared on the outside, then remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Immediately add the remaining oil, then the garlic, pepper, and snow peas. Stir-fry the vegetables until they are tender. Once the vegetables are slightly tender, add the kale and stir-fry a minute more.
4. Add the sauce ingredients and the meat to the vegetables and cook until the kale is slightly wilted and the sauce has thickened. Serve with cooked rice.

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