P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

My version of P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

Yesterday was day two in my weekly menu planning and Bryan’s last day of classes for his first semester as a 1L, so I decided to celebrate I would try to tackled one of our favorite P.F. Chang’s recipes – Beef a La Sichuan.  Ever since this was put on the gluten-free menu at P.F. Chang’s it is all Bryan will order.  I usually order the Chang’s Spicy Chicken (it’s amazing if you haven’t had it yet, you should).  Sadly though we don’t have a P.F. Chang’s close to us so I’ve been searching online for “copycat” recipes for this dish.  I really only found one, but found plenty of pictures of the dish which didn’t help me at all.  The recipe I found was pretty good, however it didn’t have any measurements for the ingredients! Seeing as we hadn’t had this in a while I had to think back to what it tasted like and try to build a sauce based on memory-honestly I got it on the first shot…not sure if I should be proud of that or kind of embarrassed.  If you don’t know Chinese food is my biggest weakness and seeing as I can’t go to any restaurant and get something I do my best to create recipes inspired by my favorite Chinese/Asian dishes.

I found the recipe on RecipeLink.com and like I said it had no measurements so below is my measurements along with RecipeLink.com’s directions.  Now this recipe is a little in-depth with the preparation so be prepared to spend a bit of time in the kitchen the first time-but I promise it is worth it.  I’m sure you can always find some shortcuts, like finding celery and carrots that are already julienned for you but I wanted to do it start to finished myself.   The original recipe called for green onion stems but seeing as we don’t cook/consume onions in our house we just omitted them but you can add them in if you wish.

P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

Stir Fry Ingredients:

1 Pound Flank or Sirloin Steak Sliced thin
3-4 Medium Celery Stalks -Julienned
2 Medium Carrots – Julienned
Green Onion Stems (Optional)
1/2 Cup Peanut Oil or Canola Oil (you may use less if using a non-stick pan, I only use about 1/4 cup)
1/4 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes(or whole Tien Tsin Chinese Chili Peppers work great)

1 1/2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil

Sauce Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce (I use San-J)
2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce (I use Dynasty)
1 Tablespoon Garlic Chili Paste
1/2 Teaspoon Chinese Hot Mustard
1 Teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Chili oil/or Mongolian Fire Oil (made by House of Tsang) -(Optional)
1 – 2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Minced garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Minced Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Directions

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Julienne your carrots and celery and set aside. It is important to get these done first because when it comes time to stir-fry them, it is a very quick process.

An important step is “velveting your beef” – Thinly slice your beef and place in a bowl. Add the cornstarch and  toss to make sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Rinse beef free from all cornstarch and pat dry – you do not want any moisture or the oil will splatter when you add the beef to the pan.

In a skillet (or wok), fry the sliced meat in hot peanut (or canola) oil until crispy to your liking. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels.

In the same pan (or wok) add the following ingredients in this order with sesame oil: stir-fry celery, crushed red pepper flakes (or Tein Tsin Chinese Chili Peppers) followed by carrots. Do not over cook these ingredients – you want them to be nice and crispy. Add fried meat and green onions. Add sauce and bring to a fast boil, cook for 1 minute and serve immediately over white or brown rice.

This last step should take only 3-4 minutes – it is a very quick process so be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t over cook.

Notes:

I sliced my beef a little bigger than P.F. Chang’s does but not by much and didn’t fry it as much as they do.  Some times the beef can become a bit tough when it is fried too long so I left mine a little tender but still had a slight crunch to it.

The veggies were perfect – like the directions above say DO NOT OVER COOK them – they are supposed to be nice and crunchy.  This process goes very quickly.

I drained off most of the remaining oil from frying the beef before adding the Sesame oil and veggies.  I didn’t wan it to be too oily.

The recipe called for Chili Oil but I couldn’t find it anywhere around me (my grocery stores aren’t so good with stocking “international” cuisine products) so I left it out and didn’t miss it at all.

The sauce was created from memory so if you have had it more recently and attempt to make it at home please adjust the measurements to your liking.

I cooked this in a wok but you can use a large sauté pan.

We had not leftovers!! Like I said this is Bryan’s favorite dish.

Who says you have to go our to have great Chinese food when  you can easily make it at home!  It may take a little longer to make it but it is so worth it and helps save you a little money too.

P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers

We love P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers and on September 13th – National Celiac Awareness Day they celebrated by the release of a new gluten free dessert. They also shared two of their gluten free recipes- Mongolian Beef and the Shanghai Cucumbers.

I have made these twice in the last two days. The are a great light and refreshing side dish. Great recipe that is extremely easy and quick to make.

Gluten Free Shanghai Cucumbers
12 oz peeled and seeded cucumbers, cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 oz gluten free soy sauce
W1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Mix together the sauce ingredients. Mix sauce together with cucumbers and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.

Enjoy!

(sent from wordpress for blackberry)

P.F. Chang’s: A Gluten-Free Experience (Review)

When P.F. Chang’s first released their Gluten-Free menu it was a bit limited, but who was about to complain – those suffering from Celiac Disease actually had options!  I got all excited the first time I went, I could actually look at an entrée instead of a salad with oil and vinegar dressing. If you know me at all I love food but my all time weakness is Chinese food!  I love it so much that when I moved back to the U.S. from living in China one of my first meals was, that’s right…Chinese food!! Now their menu has about 28 items!!! These items range from appetizers, main dishes, sides and even dessert.  And the verity of options is outstanding, chicken, vegetarian, beef, seafood…a little bit of everything.

I think of all the foods that I have had to “give up” Chinese food is the hardest.  Don’t get me wrong being Italian I love my bread products, I’m a carb girl but in my mind Chinese food-to get those deep, authentic flavors are much harder than Italian food. I try making a few dishes but nothing seems to compare to living in China or even going out to a local Chinese restaurant.  When living in Monterey I found the best family run Chinese restaurant named Full Moon.  These ladies became part of my extended family, I literally at there at least once a week and when they found out I had Celiac they said if I bring in my own soy sauce they cook all my food with that and even go to the extent of making sure the pans they use for my food are cleaned first.  Oh how I miss those wonderful ladies.

Now that I don’t live there and can’t eat at Full Moon whenever I want the next best thing is P.F. Chang’s but sadly they are about 25 minutes away from us.  I know it’s not really that far and maybe its a good thing that they are in Providence and not in Portsmouth that way we don’t eat there too much.  Bryan and I love P.F. Chang’s gluten-free menu…he even orders off of it so we can share the dishes…now that is true love.  Plus he says you can’t even taste the difference from the regular options. When we go we normally get the same three things (our favorites):

Gluten Free Shanghai Cucumbers (for our appetizer) – “Sliced, cold cucumbers sprinkled in gluten-free soy sauce and sesame seeds.”

We loved these and get a large order every time.  These are cool, crisp and very refreshing.  The sauce tastes like a mixture of gluten-free soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and of course has some black and white sesame seeds on them…so good, give them a try next time!

Gluten Free Beef A La Sichuan (Bryan’s favorite) – “Crispy beef strips with julienne celery and carrots. Our spiciest beef dish.”

Yummmy! Since they added this to their gluten-free menu Bryan orders it every time.  It has such a great flavor and the perfect amount of spice which goes great with the cool crisp julienne celery and carrots.

Gluten Free Chang’s Spicy Chicken (My favorite) – “Lightly dusted and stir-fried in a sweet Sichuan sauce.  Our version of General Tso’s and always a favorite.”

Normally we order this but like I said above I mixed it up a bit.  It is really hard for me to order something else know that this dish is so good.  I love the spice in the Chang’s Spicy Chicken.  The chicken is very tender and very lightly coated.  I have never been disappointed with this choice.

(Sorry there is no picture for my favorite dish…but next time for sure!)

But this time around I decided to mix it up a bit and order a different chicken dish (Bryan was not about to give up that Sichuan Beef).  So I ordered the following dish.

Gluten Free Ginger Chicken With Broccoli – “Served Cantonese style on a bed of fresh steamed broccoli.”

Wow…I was impressed with the flavors of this one.  The chicken is beyond tender and good-sized pieces, surrounded by steamed and still lightly crunchy broccoli florets.  The ginger definitely stands out in this dish and we both said it would make a great sauce over other steamed veggies for a vegetarian dish.  And I have to say my favorite part of the dish was the sauce and broccoli.

They also offer you two different options for rice, either steamed white rice or brown rice.  I know brown rice is great and supposed to be better for you, however I personally feel that Asian food in general should be enjoyed with some white rice, so I always order that with my meal.

If you have a P. F. Chang’s near you go and try it out and check out their gluten-free menu!!