You can be Masterchef!

Image result for pak choi

Masterchef (the amateur one) is on our television just now – and it’s finals week so doubly glued!  I much prefer this to the professional one and love watching how they all develop their own styles and learn new tricks and recipes.  I always get (even more) enthused with my own cooking and trying out new recipes on John.  The following dish is (apparently) the best thing I have ever made!  Obviously, I made enough for the both of us but I have tweaked it just for one – although today might be the day you invite a friend over and show off your new skills – in which case, just double up?



  • 200g beef topside or rump steak, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil


  • 3cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 2.5cm lengths
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced at an angle
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3500g pak choi, leaves and stems separated, both roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (you can use sherry if you haven’t any)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 75g beansprouts

In a bowl, toss the beef strips with the Sichuan pepper and soy sauce, then leave to marinate for 10 minutes. Put the cornflour into a bowl, add the beef and toss to mix. Heat 1/2 tbsp of the vegetable/rapeseed oil in a large wok over a high heat until the oil is smoking. Place a third of the beef in the wok and stir-fry for 2 minutes, until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the beef, using the remaining oil, transferring each batch to the plate once it is cooked. Add the ginger and garlic to the oil in the wok (from cooking the beef) and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the spring onion, chillies, pepper and pak choi stems, then stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and 2 tbsp water. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the pak choi leaves and beansprouts. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes until everything is cooked. Serve in warmed bowls, topped with the crispy beef  and sesame seeds, if liked.  Depending on how hungry you are, you can eat it as is or with rice or noodles.




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