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Stir-Fried Red Rice with Sliced Sirloin Steak and Peas

"Red rice is slightly sweet and packed with nutrients that both nurture the body and calm the mind," Su-Mei Yu says. Rice is also considered perfectly balanced among all the elements. Here, Yu stir-fries it with thin slices of lean steak, dark leafy greens and zingy cilantro. The dish is also good with salmon or shrimp in place of the steak.


slideshow  More Excellent Rice Dishes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 1/2 cup red rice (see Note)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced sirloin steak
  • Salt
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cups thinly sliced mixed dark leafy greens such as Swiss chard, beet greens and kale (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a small saucepan, cover the rice with the water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and cook over low heat for about 25 minutes, until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Spread the rice out on a baking sheet and let cool.
  2. In a skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sirloin, season with salt and cook, turning once, until browned, 1 minute; transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Add the onion and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the greens and stir-fry over high heat until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the rice and peas, then the soy sauce and steak and stir well. Season with salt and white pepper and transfer to a bowl. Garnish with the cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Make Ahead

The red rice can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days. Bring the cooked rice to room temperature before proceeding.


There are many varieties of red rice; Yu prefers Thai red cargo, which can be found at Asian markets and at Whole Foods.

Suggested Pairing

The bitter greens in this stir-fry will make tannic red wines taste astringent, so choose a light-bodied red, like a good cru Beaujolais or a Gamay.

Contributed By Photo © Stephanie Foley Published March 2010

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