Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Chinese Beef and Sticky Rice (12pp - Weight Watchers Friendly Recipe)

I am *so* in love with this recipe. I literally want to eat it again and again and it will be on my meal plan next week. Inspiration came from a BBC food recipe (the original recipe can be found here) and I adapted it to make sure it was weight watchers friendly (reduced the oil and beef and increased the 0pp vegeables!!) as well as making it a recipe to serve 2 and to change the method to suit my cooking style (I'm not one for part cooking something, removing it from the pan and then adding it again later - it only creates more washing up). At 12pp this is an easy to fit in evening meal - I even had points left over for chocolate!!

I left the seeds in my chilli and it was very hot - I'd recommend deseeding your chilli if this isn't to your taste, or even just using half a deseeded chilli.

I think this is really what weight watchers is all about - finding a recipe or taking a meal that you used to make and making it healthier - whether by reducing the fat involved, changing the quantities or adding things that will keep you full (like increasing your veg). 

Ingredients (Serves 2) 

260g lean stewing steak cut into chunks (make sure any visible fat is removed)
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (or less to taste - with or without seeds to taste)
half a bunch of spring onions, sliced
3 tablespoons dry sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 beef stock cube
splash Worcestershire sauce (you will notice I use this in everything!)
1 teaspoon chinese five spice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
120g rice (I used short grain rice to get that 'sticky rice' feel)
1 pack mange tout and baby corn
2 pak choi
6 inches cucumber
boiling water

Preheat oven to 170ÂșC

Weight Watchers notes:- points per serving are as follows: Beef - 4pp, rice - 6pp, flour - 1pp, oil, sugar, soy sauce and sherry combined - 1pp. The recipe builder points the whole recipe at 25, but each portion at 12, if I was pointing individually though, I'd have counted it at 13/14pp - 1 for sherry and 1/2 for sugar, oil and soy combined. But I'm not going to argue with the recipe builder!!


1. Heat the teaspoon of oil (measure it out) in a heavy bottomed pan (preferably one you can transfer to the oven later) and add the ginger and garlic to soften. 

2. Coat the beef in the flour (I only used about half a tablespoon for this and kept the rest back for step 4) and add to the pan to brown. 

3. Add the chopped chilli (deseeded if you're not into heat, with seeds if you are) and spring onion to the pan and stir. Keep a small handful of spring onion aside to garnish. 

4. Add the sherry and soy sauce. I added the rest of my flour here into the liquid - this will thicken the sauce later, but if you added it all at step 2, it should be fine. 

5. Add the five spice, sugar and crumbled stock cube and then add water so that it almost covers the beef. The amount will probably depend on your pan size - you don't want a thin watery sauce though, so don't go overboard. 

6. Add the baby corn and mange tout and transfer to a preheated oven for about 1 hour and 40 minutes
(or until your beef is tender). I stirred mine a few times throughout the cooking process. I would also say, don't be put off by the smell at this stage - mine smelled sweet and strongly of cinnamon which is not what I want from a main meal - it didn't taste like this at all!

7. Meanwhile cook your rice (for sticky rice 170ml water over 120g rice works - bring to the boil the reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes before turning off the heat and leaving it covered for 20 minutes or so) and chop the cucumber into small chunks. The cucumber was a last minute addition to my dinner - i used a whole chilli complete with seeds and the cucumber helped to cool it! It added a nice freshness and crunch though, so I'd recommend it as an accompaniment. 

8. Lightly steam the pak choi (or dry fry to wilt) just before serving. Sprinkle the dish with fresh spring onion and serve!

My husband commented that it tasted like real chinese food. I said that if I was having a NYE party, this would be my main - there's no need to be away from your guests as you just prepare it and leave it in the oven and it was just sooooo tasty!! YUM!

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