(2017) Stir-Fried Beef and Celery

This recipe showed up in my inbox today, sent by the folks at the Splendid Table. It’s from “Malaysian: Recipes From a Family Kitchen” by Ping Coombes. When I saw the first sentence of their description, I thought it was apropos for that beautiful bunch of celery in today’s box: “The star of the dish here is the celery. It’s an undervalued vegetable and often an afterthought thrown into salads or soup stock, or served as crudités, or enjoyed with a Bloody Mary. But I love this vegetable. If I can have it stir-fried with loads of garlic, salt and white rice, I am a happy girl. I find the combination of medium-rare beef and celery divine, so here is my version of Cantonese black bean and beef, given a celery oomph. Serve it with plenty of rice.”

Rice Bowl with Beef, Onions, Collards and Fried Egg

Adapted from a recipe in “Smoke & Pickles” by Edward Lee.

Serve with “Imperfect Rice.”
The rice recipe makes enough for 4 large rice bowls or 6 appetizer-sized ones
The goal when cooking rice this way is to achieve a thin layer of toasted crust in the bottom of the pot. The crispy layer in contrast with the fluffy layer of rice on top is a sumptuous combination. I use a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. You could seek out a stone rice crock like the ones they use in Korean restaurants, but the cast-iron pan works just fine. Make your favorite toppings while the rice is cooking. When the toppings are ready, divide the warm rice, crunchy bits and all, among rice bowls and serve.