April 30, 2016 – To connoisseurs of Chinese food, Triple Winter means the bamboo shoots, mushrooms and Chinese cabbage that are ready for harvesting in the winter. They find these winter products of the garden and forest particularly tender and flavorful. Less coarse, in the connoisseurs view, than the ones that come of age in the other seasons.
I am far from a connoisseur of Chinese food. I do like to experiment with the foods of various cultures. When I read about Triple Winter recently, I decided to try a stir fry. Then reality set in. Winter bamboo shoots, mushrooms and Chinese cabbage are impossible to find in this country. At least, I couldn’t find them. Even if they were available in this country they wouldn’t be in the stores now because April is not winter.
I had the butcher thinly slice a couple of beef filets. I like to use filets for stir fry because the meat is so tender. They take no more than a minute in the wok.
The tenderness and flavor of the beef, the crunchiness of the bamboo shoots and cabbage, the earthiness of the mushrooms all came together to produce a meal that wouldn’t impress our theoretical connoisseur but was great at our table.
Again at my wife’s request, I substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce I would have used otherwise. The coconut aminos has a similar taste though it’s slightly sweeter than soy sauce.
So with apologies to the great chefs of China and their followers, here’s my take on a Triple Winter Stir Fry.
Triple Winter Beef Stir Fry
1 lb beef filet, sliced thin
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, chopped
1/2 cup dried mushrooms
1 head Savoy cabbage, sliced & chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons red wine
6 cloves garlic,
2 green onions, cut into 1″ pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chicken stock
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
Crushed red pepper to taste
Marinate the beef for half an hour in coconut aminos (or soy sauce), one tablespoon of red wine, the ginger, the sesame oil, salt, pepper & crushed red pepper to taste.
Soak the mushrooms in lukewarm water for the same time.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir fry the cabbage, bamboo shoots, garlic and drained mushrooms for a minute and a half.
Add the chicken stock and stir fry for another minute and a half.
Add the beef, the green onions (saving a few of the dark green tops for garnish) and the remaining red wine. Stir fry for a minute.
Turn out onto plates. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately garnished with green onion pieces.
You can sprinkle a few sesame seeds over the plate for additional garnish if you wish.