Beef Fried Rice
- SERVINGS: 4
Stir-fry the sirloin, watercress, and egg while the rice cooks, so that you'll be ready to assemble the dish at the last moment. Soy sauce and a drizzling of sesame oil flavor the combination perfectly. If you prefer, use strips of pork tenderloin instead of beef.
- 3/4 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, plus a few drops
- Dried red-pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
- 1 bunch watercress (about 5 ounces), tough stems removed
- 1 egg, beaten to mix
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 scallions including green tops, chopped
- In a medium bowl, combine the sirloin with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, and a pinch of red-pepper flakes. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the rice and boil until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain the rice and return it to the pot.
- Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick frying pan over moderately high heat. Put the beef mixture in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove. Put the watercress and the teaspoon of soy sauce in the pan and cook until the watercress is just wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove.
- Reduce the heat to moderate. Put a few drops of sesame oil in the frying pan. Add the egg to the pan and cook until just done, about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and cut into thin strips.
- Heat the cooking oil in the pan over moderately high heat. Add the scallions and 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cooked rice to the pan and heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, the beef, watercress, and egg. Heat, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil over the top.
A California Merlot, with its plum flavor and undercurrents of chocolate and herbs, makes a rich accompaniment to the beefy rice. As always with California wines, try to find one that is lightly oaked; a heavy oak taste tends to overwhelm food.