Quick Hoisin Beef


Hoisin beef makes for a quick and cost effective midweek meal. photo Nancy Duran

When it comes to ground beef, Italian or Mexican-inspired dishes usually win the day. You’ve got your meatballs, you’ve got your ziti with meat sauce, and, of course, you’ve got tacos. I’m not knocking these comforting go-to dishes, but sometimes it’s nice to break out of a rut and try something a little new. In that spirit, here’s a quick and easy Asian twist on this economical midweek mainstay. This dish is packed with flavor, can be served in a variety of different ways, and can be thrown together in minutes.

My kids love lettuce wraps so that’s usually how I end up serving this quick beef stir-fry, but as you can see from the photo above, I didn’t have any big lettuce leaves on hand today. Luckily, it’s also delicious served over rice or noodles. I usually serve an Asian flavored veggie on the side, something along the lines of my Sesame and Soy Baby Bok Choy. That’s a great option if you don’t go the lettuce wrap route, because you can still get some green into the mix.

Oh, and this recipe calls for an optional addition of sambal oelek (my favorite source of heat in Asian style cooking) but I usually leave it out until the end. That way my kids can enjoy a non-spicy version and I can add in as much as I like (a lot) in the end.

Serves 4

1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sambal oelek, optional
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
3 scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped, dark green parts thinly sliced and separated out
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Rice, noodles, or lettuce leaves to serve
Fresh cilantro to garnish

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the hoisin, soy, and vinegar. Add in the sambal now if you like.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the oils over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and the white and light green parts of the scallion. Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the beef. Cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Drain off any excess fat and then add in the hoisin mixture. Stir to coat and combine and cook for a further minute. Sprinkle over the dark green parts of the scallion and serve over rice, noodles, or in lettuce wraps. Garnish with cilantro.

Recipe Analysis based on 4 servings (does not include samba oelek or cilantro)
Calories 397, Fat 22g, Sodium 961, Carbohydrate 12g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 6g, Protein 36g

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