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Take-Out, Fake-Out: Crispy Beef

If part of your New Year’s resolutions is to eat better by going out to eat less, then you should try this Take-Out, Fake-Out: Crispy Beef! It’s easy to prepare and has loads of delicious flavor. You won’t miss take-out!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

Hello there! Seems like I have been gone for ages. Or at least, I feel like I’ve been gone for ages! I’ve been around, but just haven’t quite gotten the motivation to start up with the blog again until now :) it was a nice break. I think I need to do it often – and I know I say that a lot but it’s really nice to just refresh yourself and not churn out content all the time. I was feeling a bit burned out by the end of December and was barely able to think of anything to write. Now that I took an extended break, I feel like I have loads to say, now! Haha, lucky you? ;)

There are some exciting new changes coming to Table for Two late this month and I seriously am having a REALLY hard time keeping my lips shut over this. The word facelift is a good allusion to what’s happening. It’s a really good thing and I get giddy thinking about all of it.

So, tell me..what’s been going on with you? How were your holidays? Did you stay in town or did you travel? What did you do for New Year’s? We kept it low-key and ate to our heart’s content at Jaleo (a José Andrés tapas restaurant) with a few friends. I think the hardest part of being off my full-time job for 10 days was going back to work and getting used to waking up at 5:45am again. The first day back at work last Monday, my alarm went off and I was in a serious daze & confusion. I was like, “WHAT. is that obnoxious noise?!”

Oh, so the coldest day of the year for the DC area so far was this past Thursday night and into Friday and our furnace decided it didn’t want to work anymore :) the motor had to be replaced the next day. Thank goodness for lots and lots of warm blankets that night!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

One of my all-time favorites when ordering take-out or going to Panda Express is getting crispy beef. I know it’s probably horrible for you but it’s like one of those “it’s so good it hurts” kind of treats to have every now and then. I really wanted to try to make it at home so when I saw a recipe for it on Joanne’s blog where she used an American Test Kitchen’s recipe, I knew I had to make it! The flavor of this homemade version have a nice orange-citrus note and has a little bit of heat from the jalapeños.

I hate frying things at home because of the oil splatter and just the amount of oil you have to use, but I’m starting to do more and more frying (is this a good or bad thing? lol) at home. It’s actually not horrible and I don’t hate it as much as I did before. Frying the crispy beef didn’t have a lot of oil splatter. I think a large part of what prevents the splattering is the way this is prepared (by freezing it for 30 minutes) and also my deep dutch-oven. Seriously, the high walls on that pot and even-heating makes frying a breeze. Haha, sounds like an advertisement but I swear it’s just cause I love my dutch-oven a tremendous amount. I want a second one since I use it every single day of my life and sometimes washing it after everything gets annoying ;)

Take-Out, Fake-Out: Crispy Beef
Recipe type: Main Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1½ pounds stir fry steak slices (pre-sliced) or sirloin steak cut into thin slices, about ¼-inch thick
  • 3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 6 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 medium-sized navel orange
  • 3 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1½ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger (or substitute ½ tsp. ground ginger)
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 scallions, chopped (for garnish)
  • 4 cups or 1 quart of canola oil, for frying
  1. In a large bowl, toss beef strips in 1 tbsp. soy sauce then sprinkle cornstarch on top and toss to coat evenly. Place coated beef on a wire rack atop a baking sheet and place into freezer for 45 minutes. You'll need to do this because the freezer will dry out the surface moisture of the beef thus helping with the crispiness of the beef.
  2. In the meantime, using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer zest of the orange into long strips then slicing them into thinner strips. Cut the orange in half and juice it until you get ¼ cup of fresh orange juice.
  3. Place the orange zest strips, orange juice, the remaining 2 tbsp. of soy sauce, molasses, rice vinegar, sesame oil, jalapeño slices, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. When ready, heat up a canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a dutch-oven, to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Set up a large plate lined with two layers of paper towels.
  5. Once the fryer has reached the correct temperature, gently place ⅓ of the beef into the pot. You don't want to place all of it at once or else it'll drop the temperature too low and you don't want the beef strips to clump :)
  6. Fry the beef strips for about 3 minutes. They will be a nice golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or spider strainer and place onto lined plate. Repeat until all the beef strips have been fried.
  7. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the soy sauce mixture with the orange zest strips to the pan. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat then add the fried beef strips to the pan and toss to coat evenly.
  8. Serve warm over white rice and enjoy!
I use this candy/frying thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil. It's really handy because it just clips onto the side of my pot!

I use this spider strainer for all my frying.

Source: Source: Cooks Illustrated via Fifteen Spatulas

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  1. Joan Teitelman
    05/14/2016 at 8:21 pm

    Julie – Thanks so much for responding. I will be trying these recipes in the next few weeks. I see that not only you…but your fans…are loving these! And I’m always looking for something new to do with chicken so I can’t wait.

    Really appreciate your help…and so will my husband …especially after your incredible beef and broccoli. :)

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