There is a reason why this mix of beef and bell peppers is a Chinese restaurant classic.

Pepper Steak

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon dry sherry

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 pound thinly sliced beef (rib eye or tri-trip is best)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon chicken broth or water

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce or molasses (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

2 cups thinly sliced bell pepper (red, yellow, or mixed)

1. Combine the sherry, water and cornstarch in a medium bowl and stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Add the beef and stir to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, chicken broth, dark soy sauce, salt, sugar, and pepper, and mix well.

3. Heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and toss well. Spread the bell peppers out into a single layer and cook undisturbed for 15 seconds. Then cook, tossing often until they begin to wilt, about 30 seconds more. Scoop them out into a bowl and set aside.

4. Let the pan heat up again briefly and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, swirling to coat the pan again. Add the beef and its marinade, spreading it out into a single layer. Cook undisturbed for 30 seconds, and then toss well. Cook, tossing often, until most meat is no longer pink, about 1 minute.

5. Add the bell pepper and any juices in the bowl back to the pan and toss well.

6. Add the soy sauce mixture, pouring it around the edges of the pan. Cook, tossing often until the peppers are tender but not limp and the beef is cooked through, about 1 minute more.

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From Quick and Easy Chinese (Chronicle 2008)

Per serving: 263 calories, 18 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams sugar, 18 grams fat, 38 milligrams cholesterol, 1,220 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber