Apparently my P.S. (Partaker of Steak/hubby) hit the grocery store the other day and huge steaks jumped out at him. They put him into a chest-thumping, manly mood to create fire and roast part of a beast. I was dragged by my long hair back to the cave to eat beef. Fine dining would have to wait. But fried rice would definitely happen with the leftover steak. I’d been wanting to play with another fried rice recipe!
The other night when it was my P.S.’s turn to cook, we’d decided that morning he would make tomato risotto and top it with sliced, grilled sausage for dinner. I came home from the office that evening to two very large steaks all seasoned and ready for the grill, a pot of rice simmering on the stove, and sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Well, that was a different dream. Beef was the reality.
It was a great dinner; I’m just not a huge steak fan and consequently ate about half of it. The Beefeater ate half of his as well; these were very large steaks. Dinosaur-sized. As he looked down at our leftovers he suggested that I “might” want to make fried rice out of the leftover rice and beef. I shrugged and said I could try, even though pork or chicken is usually our meat of choice in fried rice.
The next day I got a JUMBO cabbage from a coworker. I’m not sure where she got them but she wanted to share the cabbage wealth with me. I volunteered to take a head and give a second one to my inlaws. I usually have no trouble using up cabbage. We love it prepared in many, many ways!
My brain said: fried rice would taste good with fried cabbage in it. I agreed. I looked for recipes online and saw many had used the idea and seemed successful. I’d do the same, modifying my usual recipe to include finely shredded cabbage. I was hoping throwing in two wild cards, steak and cabbage, wasn’t going to be too weird.
I started by cutting the head of cabbage into 4 quarters, then using nearly one quarter I cut it into thin strips. Afterwards we agreed I could have used more cabbage, but it always looks like a lot more when it’s still raw and piled up on the cutting board. That’s my excuse.
Next I diced the onions finely (using a red onion that is really purple, for color) and shredded a carrot using my box shredded.
I heated my large skillet over medium high heat and drizzled some oil into it before tossing in the onions and carrots. I cooked them until the onions were slightly translucent, about 3 minutes, then pushed them aside.
I beat three eggs with a fork, then scrambled them in the skillet until they were cooked and firm. Breaking them up into smaller pieces, I mixed them with the onion and carrot mixture.
I added the cabbage and the steak I’d cut into pieces to the skillet, stirring and sautéing for 5 more minutes, until the cabbage was starting to brown slightly.
I added the butter, soy sauce and sesame oil, stirred it in well, then added the rice. I sautéed it for about 5 more minutes, stirring constantly so it was evenly colored, until the beef and rice were heated through.
Next I stirred in the frozen peas and tasted for seasoning. I added another tablespoon of soy sauce and that was salty enough; I didn’t need to add any salt to the dish.
I plated the fried rice and sprinkled green onions over the top. It was ready to eat!
It was delicious. I jokingly said it was like an egg roll without the wrapper. The mixture of cabbage and soy sauce with meat reminded me of egg rolls. I kind of wished I had some sweet and sour sauce to dunk something in! But we did like the flavors; having the cabbage in it made what can sometimes be a rather boring fried rice dish into more of a complete meal.
The steak? I still think that’s kind of weird in fried rice, but that might be my lack of interest in steak in general. It did seem odd to be eating fried rice and suddenly have a chewy piece of grilled steak in my mouth. But I’d definitely make this dish again, probably using chicken or pork next time. Unless I get dragged by the hair back into the cave to eat steak and.. well you know the story. Thump thump.
Cabbage Fried Rice (with beef)
4 cups cabbage; finely sliced
1 carrot; peeled and grated
1/2 cup onion; finely diced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 eggs; beaten
4 cups cooked rice
½ cup peas; thawed
1 cup beef; leftover roast or steak, thinly sliced (can also use chicken or no meat)
3 tablepoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup green onions; thinly sliced
Additional soy sauce, if necessary
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook rice according to package directions. Let cook a refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Finely slice the cabbage with a knife or a mandolin.
Dice the onion and shred the carrot (I used a box grater).
Heat a large skillet or a wok over medium high heat. Add oil, then add the carrot and onion. Sauté over very high heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes until the onion is slightly translucent.
Push onion and carrot aside and scramble 3 eggs in the same skillet. When firm, break up into smaller pieces and mix with onion and carrot.
Add the cabbage and beef to the skillet and saute for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage is wilted and begins to turn golden. (The veggies will reduce to about 1/2 their original size).
Add butter, soy sauce and sesame oil; stir to combine. Add rice a stir until it is separated and no clumps of rice remain. Cook several minutes, stirring constantly, until rice and beef are heated through.
Taste for seasoning, adding more soy sauce or salt and pepper as desired.
Serve warm topped with green onions.
Adapted from Natasha’s Cabbage Fried Rice