Dish of Malabar Spinach and Beef
(click to enlarge)

Malabar Spinach with Beef
Japan
  -   Tsuru-Murasaki
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3 w/rice  
***
40 min  
Prep

This recipe, clearly in the Chinese style, has been adapted for Japan. A nutritious member of the absurdly diverse Carnation order, Malabar Spinach is not well known in most of North America, but is popular in India through Southeast Asia and as far north as Japan. It is widely available in Asian markets here in Southern California.



1
6
6
1
-------
6
3-1/2
1
1/2
-------
2
1
3
#
oz
oz
cl
---
T
T
T
t
---
T
T
T
Malabar Spinach (1)  
Beef
Mushrooms (2)
Garlic
-- Sauce
Stock (3)
Sake
Oyster Sauce
Salt
--------------
Sesame Oil (dark)
Potato Starch
Water
Prep   -   (25 min)
  1. Rinse MALABAR SPINACH well. Remove leaves and tender tips from stems. Tear large leaves into smaller pieces. Keep stems separate. Use all stems that snap off cleanly, and some a bit larger if you need too. Snap stems into lengths of 1 inch at the thick end to 1-1/2 inch or more at the tender end.
  2. Slice BEEF across the grain about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long.
  3. Slice MUSHROOMS into strips of similar size to the Beef.
  4. Crush GARLIC and chop fine.
  5. Mix all Sauce items.
  6. Make a slurry of Potato Starch and Water.
RUN   -   (12 min)
  1. In a wok, heat Sesame Oil over moderate heat and fry Garlic, stirring until just aromatic. Stir in Beef and fry stirring until all raw color is gone and most exuded liquid has evaporated. Keep the heat moderate.
  2. Stir in Spinach Stems and Mushrooms fry stirring for about 4 minutes more, still over moderate heat.
  3. Stir in Spinach Leaves over high heat. Tumble until coated with oil, then stir in Sauce mix. Bring up to a boil quickly and tumble until the leaves wilt - don't overcook or it will become slimy.
  4. Push the ingredients up the sides of the wok. Stir up the Starch Slurry and pour it into the center. Stir until it starts to thicken, then stir the ingredients together until well coated.
  5. Serve hot with rice (Japanese rice is medium grain).
NOTES:
  1. Malabar Spinach:   [Mong Toi, Saan Choy] 1 Pound as sold should yield 12 to 13 ounces usable. Be careful not to overcook it - it can become slimy. If you need to use some stems that don't snap cleanly, cut them diagonally into short lengths. For details see our Malabar Spinach page.
  2. Mushrooms:   The pattern recipe, being Japanese, calls for Maitakes, which may not be common where you live, and which are still expensive in Southern California. I use the excellent small King Trumpets now grown in California, but other Oyster mushrooms can be used. If using fresh Shiitakes, give them a 20 minute soak in warm water as if they were dried, then wring them out and slice them. This greatly improves their texture. Regular white mushrooms can be used if that's your only reasonable option. For details, see our Fungus page.
  3. Stock:   Beef, Chicken or Pork can be used. The pattern recipe calls for Water with a teaspoon of chicken stock granules.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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