I mentioned that there is a lot of ground beef that comes with the quarter cow, did I not? Something like 17 lbs. Which is probably fine for most people, but it's certainly a challenge for me, I'm just not that much of a ground meat person.... So what to do today? Cabbage rolls? Urgh, I used to hate them when I grew up. Boring tastes, cabbagy and with a slimy sauce. Not mine.
What to do? Adapting the filling for the egg dumplings sounded like a good idea. And then steaming instead of sauteing. Let's go for it!
Start with a head of cabbage, put it in a big pot of boiling water, take it out after 10 minutes, peel off the outermost layers, carefully so they don't break, put back in the boiling water, repeat. I had a very small cabbage, and it yielded about 20 leaves.
Next: The filling. About a half pound of ground beef, finely chopped mint, a shallot, a teaspoon of oyster sauce and some salt. Wrap it into your softened cabbage leaves, and put them in the steamer for 20 minutes.
I had another half pound of meat, which I tried to use as a stuffing for tofu, which miserably failed, so I ended up stir frying everything: Tofu, beef, ginger, a half jalapeno, ginger, garlic, a handful peanuts, some Sichuan pepper, some asparagus. There are two tricks to stir frying:
- Heat up your wok to the point that it smokes. Then lower the heat and add oil. Not the other way around....
- Once you have stir fried everything, add your flavoring - in my case black bean sauce - and a bit of water, then put the lid on and wait 30 seconds to a minute for the flavors to mingle. Now you have a wonderful sauce, and no need for cornstarch.