Southern Living (August 2012)
Cooking with watermelon is a new idea for us. We're obsessed with it raw, or in a salad, or in a cocktail. But in a stir-fry? When we spied the beautiful photo of this dish in the most recent Southern Living, we were instantly a bit dubious. Would the watermelon hold up against the beef, snow peas and other more traditional stir-fry components? Would the flavors work?
We had to try it for ourselves.
Turns out we never should have doubted the beauty and simplicity of adding watermelon to a stir-fry.
The fruit itself holds up just fine. By tossing it in right at the end, it takes on some of the delicious flavors and spices of the sauce, without breaking down or becoming overcooked.
It's an amazing combination -- savory beef and snow peas, absolutely brimming with umami from a combo of soy/sesame/hoison, are a perfect pair for the sweet, delicate watermelon.
Our only knock on this dish, and it's minor, is that it has a lot of ingredients. If you don't already have a well-stocked pantry, you'll need to grab quite a few things. We happened to have everything but the fresh vegetables and meat on hand, so that wasn't as much of an issue for us.
Treat yourself to a watermelon while they're still in season and easy to find. You need this dish in your life.
Other Watermelon Recipes You'll Enjoy:
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Time: 55 Minutes
Hands On: 25 Minutes
NOTES FROM ZACH AND CLAY:
- Buy a seedless watermelon -- it doesn't specifically say this in the recipe, but we think it's necessary here.
- If you like spicy, consider adding more pepper flakes.
- We omitted the rice and just served the stir-fry by its lonesome and were quite satisfied.
- The recipe doesn't call for a garnish, but they use one, as you can see in the photo. We did the same and garnished with some cilantro.
INGREDIENTS1 pound sirloin strip steak, cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
2 teaspoons lite soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 medium-size sweet onion, halved and sliced
12 ounces fresh sugar snap peas
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
16 ounces watermelon, rind removed and cut into sticks (about 2 cups)
2 cups hot cooked rice
1. Toss together first 6 ingredients and 1 Tbsp. wine. Let stand 30 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together hot water, hoisin, and remaining 1 Tbsp. wine.
2. Remove beef from marinade, discarding marinade. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper; cook half of beef in 1 1/2 tsp. hot canola oil in a large skillet over high heat, without stirring, 45 seconds or until browned; turn beef, and cook 30 seconds or until browned. Transfer to a warm plate. Repeat with remaining 1 1/2 tsp. oil and beef.
3. Stir-fry onion in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot canola oil in skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until tender. Add sugar snap peas, ginger, and crushed red pepper; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add beef and hoisin mixture; stir-fry 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in watermelon. Add salt, black pepper, and red pepper to taste. Serve immediately with hot cooked rice.