Curious thing, this sesame seed. So small and (almost) insignificant, yet huge in flavor. Especially sesame oil. I couldn't really tell the difference in taste between buns with and without sesame seeds, but it is very easy to tell if a savory dish has sesame oil.
Here's an interesting information. Some texts claim that the phrase "Open Sesame" is reflective of the fact that the pods of the sesame seed plant tend to burst open with a sharp pop when it reaches maturity. Ain't Ali Baba smart to reference that? ;-)
This recipe was generously adapted from the December 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine. So far, every recipe I tried from that magazine was delicious!
What you need:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 pound top blade steak, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced coarsely
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
What to do:
Heat a pot of lightly salted water over high heat. When it starts to boil, add in the meat and lower the temperature. Let simmer for about an hour, or until meat is tender. Let cool.
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sherry, sugar, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring, until peppers are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Whisk the soy sauce mixture and add to the skillet, along with the steak. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in the sesame seeds. Serve over rice.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Garnish with green onion if desired.
2. You can skip boiling the meat. Just cook it in canola oil before adding red bell pepper.
3. Use other cuts of steak, such as New York strip steak or skirt steak.
4. For a saucier dish, add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of beef broth.