Monday, 29 June 2009

Stir-Fried Beef & Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a very fun vegetable. Not only does it look like it flew in from outer space, once it's in the kitchen it is effectively two different vegetables, with the leaves that cook like kale or chard, and the crisp-tender white swollen stem. (I'm going to refer to it as a bulb, although it isn't one, at least not in a botanical sense.)

It is very effective in a simple stir-fry, with the two parts of the plant providing contrasting textures and complementary flavours. I did mine with beef, but chicken pieces would work very well also. If you use chicken, add the chicken and kohlrabi bulb pieces to the pan at the same time - the chicken won't need to cook quite so long as the beef.

It is much better to get smaller kohlrabis and use more of them, than to get large ones, as they get woody once they are a certain size. Practically speaking, most that come to market are not so big as to be terribly woody, but woody enough to need a bit of trimming. But definitely pick the smallest, most tender ones you can get. The stems can be used if they are tender, but discard them once they get tough.

2 to 3 servings
20 minutes prep time

Stir Fried Beef and Kohlrabi
300 grams (2/3 pound) round steak cut in thin slices
- (can use chicken instead)
black pepper
1 large onion
1 tablespoon peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
2 to 4 medium-small kohlrabis
1 tablespoon sunflower seed oil
3 to 4 tablespoons oyster sauce

Slice the steak into bite-sized pieces of about 1/4" thick. Season with black pepper to taste.

Peel the onion and cut it into slivers. Peel and mince the ginger and add it to the onion.

Rinse the kohlrabis well and cut of the leaves. If the stems are tough, cut them off and discard them - you should be able to pierce them with a thumbnail. Chop the leaves coarsely. Peel off the tough base of the kohlrabi bulbs, and peel up the sides as far as they are tough and woody. Once you have reached tender skin it can be left on. Cut the prepared kohlrabi bulbs in quarters, and slice each quarter thinly.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok. When hot and showing signs of smoking, add the beef and stir well. Once it is browned, add the sliced kohlrabi bulbs, and stir them in well. Once they look a bit softened, add the onions and ginger. Continue mixing and turning the meat and vegetables. Add the oyster sauce.

Once the dish looks to be essentially cooked, add the kohlrabi greens. Cook for about 2 minutes more, stirring in the leaves until they are well wilted.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Last year at this time I made Spinach Sautéed with Mushrooms & Green Onions, and Strawberry Agua Fresca.


Joanne said...

I have heard of, but never seen or had kohlrabi. It's on my list of things to try when given the opportunity!

Melynda said...

My dad use to grow kohlrabi. I have never seen it cooked before. This looks great, I want to try this. thanks.