Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lunch Week 7: Asian Sloppy Joes with Fried Egg

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Asian Sloppy Joes with Fried Egg

I was totally inspired by one of the meals I had in Hong Kong. The minced beef in brown gravy and eggs. Oh man, it brought back so many good memories. I had to make it again. Though, a healthier version. I know, I know. It's not the same. But my metabolism isn't the same either.

I started with a green pepper. I diced it into fine pieces.
The same with 2 medium onions.
And also with 5 carrots.
Lots of garlic. This is totally optional but I love garlic. I think there's 3/4 of a bulb here. Peeled and chopped.
I drop all the chopped vegetables into an oiled pan. I add salt and sautee until they just soften. Then, I add 1 chopped head of escarole. I add more salt. Cook until the escarole is completely wilted. Remove from heat and place in bowl.
In the same pan, I added more oil. Then 2 lbs of ground beef goes in with salt and pepper. I used 95/5 lean to fat ratio. Feel free to use any kind of blend of meat. However, I do find that beef tastes best in this dish. For more flavor, up the fat ratio. I cooked it until browned.
Then I added a variety of sauces. First, one capful of xiaosing wine (optional), dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha sauce (optional). Sorry, I don't have any measurements with these. I just added, cooked, then tasted. I suggest you do the same. I tend to like things on the saltier side so please adjust accordingly.
Once the sauce is to your liking, add the veggies back into the pan. Fill it up with water until it reaches the rim. Bring to a low boil. Then add a small mixture of cornstarch and cold water to thicken the sauce. If you prefer it to be soupy, leave this step out. If you like gravy, add enough cornstarch mixture until you reach the desired consistency. Remember to allow the dish to come to a boil after each addition. The cornstarch will have its full effect after it boils.
While the beef, veggies, and gravy cools down. I put some brown rice into the cooker. Use any kind of rice you like. I also cooked up 5 eggs. I like to cook them halfway (below) then leave them in the pan. The residual heat usually finishes the job and leave them perfectly cook.
And that's my lunch. The beef mixture and rice were so good. Salty, savory, good. The vegetables added a lot of texture to this dish. My mom used to cook this with just beef and green peas. I tweaked it with my own additions. The egg, unfortunately, suffered severely from the microwave. The yolk completely cooked through while I reheated this for lunch at work. It became rubbery and pretty much inedible. Note to self: skip the egg next time. Otherwise, total success! I would absolutely make this again.

3 comments:

  1. omg I love this post! i also (try) to brown bag my lunch to save money and eat healthier. this recipe is so simple and it look soo good! you just gave me my lunch idea for next week :D thannkss~

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  2. There is only one thing better than shopping in Hong Kong, and that's eating. From small noodle joints to upscale French restaurant, you will locate all sorts of restaurant, eating hall and snack stall on earth in Hong Kong. Here I found small amount of Hong-Kong-styled snacks online (yummiexpress.freetzi.com). This is definitely a good choice before I have $ for another trip.

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  3. My mom used to make this with peas & ground beef only too. :) I've posted about this dish before, it's such a comforting dish... I stopped making it (I used to only use frozen veggies bc I like that texture) but I like the idea of using just lots of chopped fresh veggies for texture and health. Yum.

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