Monday, May 21, 2012

Stir-fry: Beef and Garlic Chives

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I think I can honestly say that garlic chive bulb is my favorite vegetable. I know... how can I be so resolute when there are 23097583 types of veggies? Well, you're going to have to try this recipe before you judge me! I made this dish with noodles. But it's brilliant without the noodles too. Just omit that and use only 1/2 of the sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy sauce. 

I'll keep my life update short since my factoid is freaking long. But a group of friends and I just finished warrior dash in MD. Pictures of that race to come! Lots of fun with great friends :)

Factoid: Love of Pork is Genetic
We've been learning about our sense of taste in our neurology class and did you know that it is the only sense out of the five that is linked to emotion? All the info from smelling stuff passes through the amygdala (area of the brain associated with emotion) before any other higher processing. There we can sort out whether we perceive that smell as good or bad. Now, research conducted at Duke University Medical Center, Monell Chemical Senses Center and three Norwegian institutions show that your love of pork, bacon strips and Wendy's baconator may just as well be in your blood.

Each person as a variation of genes of odorant receptors. That's the stuff that detects certains smells. So, while some people like the smell of swimming pool (I know it's weird, but I do), others prefer the smell of gasoline. We have a receptor for androstenone, which is a steroid related to testosterone, present in the saliva of boars. The research group conducted an experiment where groups of people with different levels of this particular odor receptor gene to take a whiff and chomp on certain pork products and rate them. 

Based on testers' reports, those with a gene insensitive to androstenone preferred the taste and smell of pork more than testers with a more sensitive type of the gene. They found pork products disgusting. So if you hate bacon, blame it on your parents!

I don't blame you if you didn't read this essay. It's a lot of words and it's only Monday :D

Beef and Garlic Chives with Rice Noodles
Garlicky spicy fragrance ~

2 cloves garlic minced
1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tsp soy sauce + 2 tsp honey (or just 3 tsp Youndoo)
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp sesame oil
0.5 lb Beef sliced thinly (Eye of round, flank, ribeye whatever you like)

Stir Fry
1 clove garlic minced
1 small knob of ginger minced
Bunch of Garlic chive bulbs 2 inch long
5 large white mushrooms
250g Rice noodles (I used pho noodles, but you can use Shanghai wheat noodles etc...)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1-1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce

Slice your beef thinly into long strips like you'd see in stir-fry.
Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add beef, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

While that's marinating, prepare your stir fry ingredients. Refer to the picture on the left on how much chive bulbs I used. I would say when all chopped up into 5cm sticks, it could be about 2-3 cups.

Mince your garlic and ginger. Slice your mushrooms thinly. Of course you can use other vegetables like red peppers. That would be tasty and add some color to the dish.

Prepare your noodles like it says on the packet but with less time because you'll be cooking it when you stir fry it. So if it tells you to boil it for 3 mins, maybe reduce that to 2 mins. I used pho noodles (banh pho) that you can get in any asian supermarket. Or white wheat noodles. After you drain the noodles. Add 2 tsp of sesame oil so they don't stick together.

Heat up your frying pan with some oil. Fry the ginger and garlic for a minute until fragrant. Stir fry the marinated beef for about 2 minutes (slightly pink but not all the way cooked). Add the chives and mushrooms. Stir that for another 1 min.

Add the noodles, stir and then add the 2 tbsp oyster sauce and 1.5 soy sauce. Of course you can adjust how much soy sauce you want to add. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes until your noodles are glossy brown and hot.

Serves 2!


  1. Mabel this looks amazing. I love all the different asian noodles- my american friends think transparent noodles are magic.

    1. Hmm you mean like those potato noodles in japchae? Hmm so delicious

  2. This sounds and looks amazing. I've never seen garlic chive bulbs before - do they taste like garlic&chive?

    Yet another interesting factoid! So does that mean the parents of someone who loves pork probably does too, and the parents of someone who finds it disgusting probably find it disgusting too?

    1. garlic chives are very different from the thin spindly ones. They're flat and thicker. Garlic chives and chives are both related to onions but are different species. Garlic chives tastes like garlic! More subtly, spicy and fragrant.

      And yes, pork genes are heritable family traits!