I had been doing a search for ground beef recipes on bigoven.com, and came across one for chop suey that reminded of a version my mom made when I was a kid. Of course, my mom made hers with canned bean sprouts and Minute Rice, but it was still a favorite.
Looking over the recipe, I figured I could bring both the recipe, and my recollection, into balance with present-day tastes, the contents of my spice rack, and the fresh veggie bins at my market.
•1 lb ground beef
•1 tsp Shichimi Togarashi (optional)*
•1 yellow onion, sliced – about 1 cup
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 cup celery, sliced
•3 scallions, sliced
•1/2 lb ‘shrooms, sliced
•3 tbsp soy sauce
•1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
•1 tsp sugar
•1/2 lb bean sprouts
•3/4 cup water
•Chili flavor seasoning packet from ramen noodles (leftover from when I make toasted ramen noodles for Asian salad)
•1 tbsp corn starch
•Fresh lime juice
•Hot chili sesame oil
*If you don’t have, or can’t find at your local spice merchant, you can make an approximation of Japanese Seven Spice by mixing Cayenne, crushed Sichuan peppercorns, dried orange peel, sesame seeds, and ground ginger. Try combining a teaspoon of each in a jar and see how you like it. Or, just contact The Spice House and order a bag or jar; trust me, it is a nice little spice mixture to have around.
Back to the Chop Suey…
Sprinkle with the Shichimi Togarashi and cook until the beef is browned.
Add the ‘shrooms, soy sauce, ginger, and sugar and cook for two or three minutes.
Stir in the bean sprouts.
Combine the water with the ramen seasoning packet and the corn starch and pour over the mixture.
Serve over the rice of your choice with a squirt of fresh lime juice, a drizzle of hot chili sesame oil, and the dark green bits from the scallion on top.
Ermmm, if you happen to have any leftover from that Asian salad, you could also add some of the toasted ramen noodles as well.
Interesting; it tastes a lot like my mom’s mid-1960’s version, but with the freshness and bit of spice I would expect of any vaguely Asian dish I would order out today.