I have this thing with chopsticks. Actually, I’m a lazy collector of them. I use to be much better about it, searching out some lovely ones in Chinatown every trip I made from Albany. Truthfully, one of the hardest things that I had to do when my ex and I split up was to split the collection with her. Outside of my library of Grateful Dead bootlegs, which meant nothing to her, I placed very little sentiment on possessions. So, she knew she could strike deepest at me–which was more than understandable as it was I that was leaving her–by taking something that meant so much to me. So, she was left with 30 pairs of them. And I kind of gave up on it.
But, tell me you’re traveling somewhere and I’ll tell you that I collect them and that you should pick me up a pair. When the Missus went to Iqaluit, I requested a pair–maybe something out of a tusk?. When her mother traveled to Bhutan, I had hoped for a blessed pair. Going to Puerto Rico? No matter, I’m sure they have them somewhere down there–steal a pair from a restaurant.. I won’t tell. I’m tossing around the notion to expand my collection and include eating utensils outside of a typical knife/spoon/fork setting. Every culture has something, so I deduce this will expand my options of getting something from a friend traveling far from where we are here. Not a bad plan, right?
But, plotting and scheming wasn’t the reason to get on this diatribe. I was actually thinking about my chopstick obsession because I found myself trying to decide which pair I wanted to eat dinner with tonight. I chose a newer pair, a gift from the Missus, made of bamboo. And with them I ate
An orange and garlic stir fry of beef, red pepper, white asparagus, bok choy, maitake mushrooms
- 1 pound lean top sirloin, sliced into thin strips–I used hanger steak
- 2 Tspn cornstarch–I used about 1/4 cp flour
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 bunches of Bok Choy, cleaned and halved
- 1 red pepper, julianned
- 1 small bunch green onions, cut on diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2/3 cup beef broth–I used Trader Joes Soyaki Marinade
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)–I used Oyster Sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar–I used juice of 1 navel orange
Combine beef and cornstarch in large bowl. Using hands, rub to coat well.
Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add beef in single layer and cook, undisturbed, until meat begins to blacken on bottom, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until second side browns, about 1 minute. Transfer beef to large plate.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, green onions, and ginger; sauté until vegetables are tinged brown and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add broth, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to boil. Return beef to skillet and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer to platter and serve.
**Some changes/additions to ingredients, but the cooking method was the same