Borsch Soup

 

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Borsch is classic Ukranian soup which my family enjoys. It is perfect for a cold weather day, especially great for surviving this year’s deadly polar vortex in the U.S.  It uses a lot of vegetables and it’s wonderfully satisfying.   Every time I make Borsch I think of my father who used to take the family to Troika, a Russian restaurant in Singapore, when I was a child.  In Hong Kong, it is a staple winter soup and it is called 羅宋湯  (“lor sung tong”) in Cantonese. In the Chinese version, there are no beets and sour cream is omitted.  For a vegatarian option, this soup can be made without any meat.  This is a really easy recipe – no skills required!

1/2 can sliced beets
2 carrots
1 onion
1 potato
1/2 head of cabbage
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tomatoes
180 g beef stew meat or oxtail
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
pepper
chopped dill
sour cream

Method:

  1. Peel carrots and potato. wash then cut into chunks.
  2. Wash the cabbage, tomatoes and onion, then cut into chunks.
  3.  Cut the beef stew meat into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Put all the ingredients into a huge soup pot. Add 10-12 cups of water and boil on high for 20 mins, then simmer for another 40 mins.
  5. Add sugar (if it’s too sour), salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot with dill and a dollop of sour cream

Beef with Oyster Sauce

We have been trying to eat more healthy for the past year, so we have been cutting down on red meat.  However, once in a while, I get this irresistible craving for a good steak or anything beef.  I would feel hungry all the time and that hunger would not be satisfied unless I ate meat. Sound familiar?  This is a very common Chinese dish and it doesn’t require a lot of beef but it hits the spot for me.  It is also quick and easy to cook and goes so well with rice.

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1 lb beef (flank steak or sirloin steak)
2 slices ginger

Marinade for beef:
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp water

Seasoning sauce:
2 Tbsp oyster sauce (I use Lee Kum Kee brand Premium Oyster Sauce)
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 lb green vegetable eg lettuce or baby bok choy

Method:
1. Slice the beef thinly into 1 inch squares. (I use pre-sliced sukiyaki beef from the Japanese supermarket because I am lazy!)
2. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Marinate the beef for at least 1 hour. Add in 1 tsp cooking oil and mix well.
3. Wash and boil the green vegetables in boiling water for 2 mins. Drain and arrange the vegetables on a serving dish.
4. Combine all the ingredients for the seasoning sauce in a small bowl and put aside.
5. Heat up 1-2 Tbsp cooking oil and ginger in a frying pan and quickly saute the beef on high heat until it turns light brown, about 10 to 20 seconds. Turn off the heat and stir in the seasoning sauce immediately. It is ok to turn off the heat even when the beef slices are still slightly pink in the center part (95% cooked) because the residual heat from the frying pan will continue to cook it.
6. Pour the beef over the green vegetables and serve with rice.