Asian on The Menu--Indonesian Beef Cooked at Home

     I found out this week that my family does not like Vietnamese food.  I picked some up--at their request--from a local downtown restaurant near the University.  I had tried the famous restaurant's Spring Rolls prior to inviting the family to join me in this new adventure.  They were eager to try a new Asian food entree, being lovers of most Oriental dishes.  However, after I brought the white Styrofoam boxes home and we sat down to eat, there were these peculiar scrunched-up faces across the table from me, staring down at their orders.
     We all plunged into our selected dinners, with little relish, and began tasting the different delicacies and textures.  My oldest offered me a taste of something out of his soup that looked like a noodle. Foolishly, I assumed that's what it was until I bit into the fuzzy, stringy food.  As I was barely beginning to chew, he announced that I was eating tripe--the lining of the cow's stomach.  That did it! And the negative comments ensued.  I could not even finish my tasty Spring Rolls! 
     After an evening of a disappointing adventure, I felt I owed my family one of their favorite meals--Indonesian-Style Beef and Bananas.  This recipe came from a magazine article that I clipped out years ago.  It was the winner of a Better Homes and Garden recipe contest.  The recipe is by Lois E. Overton of Annandale, VA.  Hope your family enjoys it as much as ours.

1/4 Cup of soy sauce
2 TBLS of lemon juice
1 TBLS of molasses
1 clove of garlic, minced ( I used my press)
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
1/4 tsp of red pepper (which I do not use)
1 lb. of top-round steak, sliced cross-grain into bite-size strips (slice them almost paper thin for the tenderest meat)
2 TBLS cooking oil (I use peanut oil because it adds flavor and can cook well at high heats; if I run out, I use corn oil
1/3 Cup water or less (start with less when added to the sauce, because you want to keep the sauce somewhat thick)
1/3 Heaping Cup full of creamy peanut butter
3 large bananas, cut into 1-inch chunks

      Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, molasses, garlic, ginger, and red pepper.  Place cut beef strips in a plastic bag and set in a bowl.  Pour soy mixture over meat; seal bag.  Marinate in refrigerator several hours or overnight, turning occasionally. 
     Drain meat, reserving marinade (I really squeeze the juice out of the meat so it does not splatter or coat the bottom of the Wok and not brown properly)

     Heat oil in Wok or 12-inch skillet.  Stir-fry meat, half at a time, 3 minutes or less, depending on the thickness of your strips.  Return all meat to skillet; push to sides of pan, lower heat to a boil setting and add reserved marinade, water, and peanut butter to center of skillet.  Stir until peanut butter is melted, mixture is smooth, and meat coated. Add bananas; heat through for 1 to 2 minutes.
     Serve with steamed rice.  Sprinkle with peanuts.  Vegetable can be fresh broccoli (I was too late to get this cleaned so I opted for a frozen veggie) or red sliced, sauteed peppers.
Picture this with a little more color:  A sprig of parsley on the rice and peanuts scattered across the top.  Peanut butter sauce from the Wok is in the gravy boat.

     We all enjoyed this much better than the "other" Asian dish from earlier in the week.  I hope your family does, too.

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