Our Chinese neighbors are constantly cooking something with their door open. Most nights, our hallway smells like sesame oil and some sort of outrageously flavorful steamy seafood soup. Honestly, I have to keep myself from knocking on their door and inviting myself in with a Jell-O mold.
In high school, I worked Friday and Saturday nights at a Japanese sushi restaurant that was owned by a Chinese man and woman. Every Chinese New Year, they would invite the employees to a private after-hours party. I looked forward to this day every year, not because of the giant platters of sushi, but because of the authentic Chinese food they prepared. Think whole heads of fish baked in a soup, juicy dumplings, and dipping sauces you wanted to dunk your face in.
Whether I realize it or not, I’m always craving Chinese food. The best thing about this stir fry is that the flavors are basic and go with any type of vegetable, so add in whatever you have in your fridge (broccoli, mushrooms, kale, celery, carrots.) No vegetable left behind!
Unfortunately, I’m more savvy with Italian/American classics and ingredients, so Asian cooking is always a challenge. After first making this dish for my boyfriend, he thought it was too creamy and ginger-y (or, in his words “soapy“), so I lowered the amount of ginger and adjusted the noodle-to-sauce ratio. Now, it’s just right, like Goldilocks’s porridge.
Maybe I should knock on their door next time and ask for a cooking lesson…… is the Jell-O mold a bad idea?
Instructions with Pictures
Place the beef strips and ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and place in the refrigerator.
Combine all the ingredients for the stir fry sauce and set aside.
Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray and place in your onions and peppers. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften.
While the veggies are cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat and pour in beef, with marinade. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. When done, set aside without juices.
Add the canola oil, diced serrano chiles, garlic and ginger to the skillet with the vegetables. Cook for about 1 minute and then add in sauce mixture, spinach and cook for about 1 minute.
Pour in zucchini pasta and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until zucchini pasta is heated through and softens.
Plate the zucchini pasta and top with beef, scallions and sesame seeds.