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Pepper Steak/Tempeh with Mushrooms

Posted Nov 15 2010 3:00am

Last week I attended a doctor's appointment in the depths of central downtown Atlanta, and on my way home I was fortunate enough to drive right by my favorite International market, which also happens to be Atlanta's largest international market and most certainly the biggest international market I've ever visited! Darkness was drawing close and I was racing traffic, so I just had time to venture through the produce section (with a couple of additional detours, of course), but this was certainly sufficient to leave me tingling with the thrill of discovery and fairly bouncing with joy over my selections.

After all, how could one not be overjoyed when presented with two pounds of mushrooms for only two dollars?!!

And just look at the size of this gorgeous squash! I can only imagine how large the entire squash must have measured, and I'm quite grateful that someone had the forethought to partition it into portions already beautifully poised for households (rather than, say, entire dormitories).

And then, oh my, oh my, five pounds of black rice!! A new study from researchers at LSU found that the bran in whole grain black rice contains similar levels of antioxidants as blueberries! Fascinating! We've been trying to purchase more black rice lately, but it's alarmingly expensive and usually sold in only small packages. At the international market, however, I found this wonderfully mammoth bag for only $2 a pound! Hooray! Whole grain rice is an almost daily staple in our house, so this was a celebrated find indeed!

Finally, to continue with the rice theme, red rice ale from Japan! It is somewhat amusing how surprised and delighted we were to discover that red rice ale tastes very much like, surprise, rice!

Fast-forwarding to the present, I worked this weekend and Zach had to drive an 8 hour round trip to Alabama and back in one day, so when Saturday night arrived we found ourselves slightly less energized than usual. We toyed with the idea of going out to dinner, but we had two pounds of mushrooms in the fridge...

Hence, a very simple, very peaceful supper.

When you have two pounds of mushrooms, in all their perfection, calling out you to create something, to make art from art, how could one possibly go out to dinner?

Pepper Steak/Tempeh with Mushrooms

1 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1/4X2" thin slices OR 1 lb tempeh, cut into 1/2x2" strips
1 large green pepper, thinly sliced
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 lb button mushrooms, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 T dried cilantro
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
5 T Hoisin sauce
Low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup dry black rice, cooked according to package directions

~ Season the steak or tempeh to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.
~ In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir-fry the peppers in the sesame oil for 3 minutes.
~ Add the mushrooms and garlic, and stir-fry for 3 more minutes - until they are tender and begin to release moisture.
~ Add the steak or tempeh and continue to stir-fry until browned (and, in the case of the steak, until it's browned but still pink in the center)
~ Add the green onion and cilantro, and stir-fry for 1 more minute.
~ Reduce the heat to medium, and stir in the Sriracha sauce and Hoisin sauce just until everything has blended and heated through. Season to taste with a small splash or two of soy sauce, and fresh ground pepper.
~ Served warm, over the black rice!

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