The luffa in Chinatown are still beautiful but they’re beginning to get big, a sure sign that summer is slipping away. It’s one of my favorite vegetables in stir-fries, braises, and soups. As the summer draws to a close the luffa becomes very fibrous. Soon they will be laid out in the sun to dry where they miraculously transform into the loofah bath sponge.
Today’s Wok Wednesdays recipe is Spicy Dry-Fried Beef. It’s a very unique recipe because the meat is unmarinated and stir-fried longer than usual, until the beef flavor is concentrated and the texture of the meat is a little chewy. Most beef stir-fries take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook but the “extra” 4 minutes of stir-frying is well worth it for the unsurpassed flavor. It’s a yin yang Sichuan dish that has a hint of everything: heat, spice, saltiness, and sweetness and crunchiness from the vegetables. On the Wok Wednesdays facebook page the posts have started coming in. One new member had great results substituting the beef with venison. This gorgeous photo comes from Karen Kerr who writes the charming food blog Karen’s Kitchen Stories. And my friend Cristina Potters in Mexico upon seeing Karen’s photo immediately posted she had the ingredients and would be stir-frying this today. Thanks to Wok Wednesdays, a recipe from Sichuan, inspires many great meals around the world. You can find the recipe on the NPR site. Wok on!