Fresh from Taipei, this Easy Five-Spice Beefy Rice Bowl with Bok Choy. Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Beefy rice bowl is super easy to make and features the delightful crunch of bok choy. This dish is your ticket to a quick, tasty meal - and it's gluten-free, plus low on fat and calorie counts. Perfect for a simple, satisfying lunch or dinner! Feel free to use either fork or chopsticks.
Why you want to make this recipe
- Quick and Easy: This recipe is a piece of cake to make, even for those who aren't kitchen wizards. You'll have a delicious meal ready in no time, perfect for busy days.
- Bok Choy Bonanza: With the addition of bok choy, you'll savor the delightful crunch and a burst of fresh flavor. It's a healthy twist that keeps your taste buds singing.
- Healthy and Hearty: Not only is this dish gluten-free, but it's also low in fat and calories. You can indulge without guilt, making it a guilt-free treat for lunch or dinner.
- Why you want to make this recipe
- Easy Five-Spice Beefy Rice Bowl with Bok Choy - The Inspiration
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- Top Tip:
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- How to store and reheat Beefy Rice Bowl with Bok Choy
- What to serve with?
- Wine Recommendations
- Want more easy, delicious, Asian-inspired meals?
- Five-Spice Beefy Rice Bowl with Bok Choy Recipe
Easy Five-Spice Beefy Rice Bowl with Bok Choy - The Inspiration
Years ago, when my husband worked for Dollar-Rent-A-Car, he and I had the opportunity to go to Taipei as a part of the ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) convention. While most of the people at the convention were satisfied with the activities that were planned by the Taiwan government, and eat a variety of American-centric local cuisines at the various functions, Brian and I wanted to head out to see the city, as only a foodie tourist could do.
Jumping into a taxi in Taipei is akin to taking your life into your own hands, or better, putting your life into a crazy person's hands. The driving hierarchy in Taipei is "the bigger you are, the more right of way you have". Trucks trump buses, buses trump vans, vans trump cars, cars trump motorbikes (and there are a lot of those) and motorbikes trump other bikes and people. When the streets get too crowded, the sidewalk becomes a part of the street for motorbikes and people.
And all eyes forward; if you make eye contact, you must yield right of way.
Traffic lights, stop signs, marked lanes ... all just a suggestion.
Not to be taken too seriously.
I'm a foodie, but maybe not a "FOODIE"
We had our "driver" drop us in the middle of the city and we started our tour ... looking into various shops and eateries. When lunchtime came, I was adamant, I was not going to eat monkey brains! Nor was I interested in the cauldrons of smelly soup with what appeared to be slimy tentacles in them.
Snake blood in Snake Alley, no thank you.
Maybe I'm not that much of a "Foodie". Or maybe I was just not prepared to die. Either way, I was all in when we came upon a small local open-air cafe featuring rice bowls.
This was a simple dish. Seasoned meat, stir-fried with caramelized onions, and some beef broth, served over steamed rice.
Simple and delicious.
After we returned home, I made my version of the Five-Spice Beefy Rice Bowl, and now, sharing it with you.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Yellow onions - I find that yellow onions are the best for this dish, however, you could use white onions which a a tad more acidic, or sweet onions, which, as the name suggests,, are a bit sweeter.
- Flank Steak - Or another lean steak such as a New York strip or Top Sirloin.
- Fresh Garlic and Ginger Root - There really is no substitute.
- Rice Vinegar - Seasoned or not. I've not found there to be much difference.
- Sesame Seed Oil - along with a neutral oil such as grapeseed or vegetable oil.
- Chinese Five-Spice Mix - If you don't have this, you could use Garam Masala along with the addition of some cinnamon, black pepper (although Sichuan Pepper would be better), and some ground star anise.
- Beef Broth
- Bok Choy - I prefer baby bok choy, but the bigger bok choy works in this recipe too.
Bok choy is a Chinese Water Cabbage, It has a crisp bottom with leafy tops. It is best cooked with the tops and bottoms cooked separately when used in a stir-fry. Bok choy is widely enjoyed in Chinese and other Asian cuisines.
In equivalent raw weight, bok choy contains more vitamin C, vitamin A, and some other nutrients than spinach and around the same amount of calcium. Spinach, however, contains higher amounts of some other nutrients, including vitamin K, than bok choy. In this recipe, however, spinach would not give the same crunch as the bok choy stems.
To keep the meat at its most tender, slice it very thinly across the grain.
To make thinly slicing the meat easier, put the steak in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up. Use a sharp Chef's Knife to slice.
Slice the meat thinly across the grain. Mince the garlic and ginger. Add to the meat along with the Five-Spice, sesame seed oil, and rice vinegar.
Mix together until well blended. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Peel then slice the onions thinly. I like to cut them on the verticle for presentation, but anyway will do it.
Add a small amount of oil to a wok or wide bottom skillet and saute the onions over medium heat until lightly browned.
Once the onion is nicely browned, remove from the pan and set aside. Add a small amount of oil to the pan, then add the beef slices with all of the spices.
While the beef strips are quickly searing, slice the bok choy about 1 inch wide separating the leafy top from the bottom.
Once the meat is quickly browned, (it should take 2 to 3 minutes total), add bok choy bottoms along with the onions. Stir and cook for about 1 minute then add the cornstarch-infused beef broth.
Once thickened, add the leafy bok choy tops. Stir until just wilted. Serve over steamed rice and top with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
How to store and reheat Beefy Rice Bowl with Bok Choy
While this recipe is very easily adapted to include more, or fewer, servings, sometimes it's nice to just make a little extra for lunch in the future. If planning on eating that lunch within a few days, simply put some rice in a container that has a lid, then put the Five-Spice Beef on top. Close and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave, on high, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until hot.
If keeping longer, Five-Spice Beefy Rice Bowls can be frozen. The only issue will be that the bok choy, once frozen, will not look the same. It is fine to eat, but the freezer will make the bok choy limp. For best results, remove the bok choy prior to freezing and either omit it when reheating or add fresh at the time. To reheat from frozen: Vent the container by pulling up on one side of the lid, heat on full power for 2 minutes, then for 3 - 4 minutes on 50% power, or until hot.
What to serve with?
While I generally serve this with Jasmine Rice, you could serve it over Twice-Cooked Brown Rice, if desired. Twice-cooked brown rice gives you all the benefits of brown rice but is soft and tender.
If you are looking for a white wine, I'd recommend a crisp and refreshing white wine, like a Riesling or a Gewürztraminer. These wines have a slight sweetness that complements the five-spice seasoning and balances the flavors in the dish. Plus, their acidity cuts through the richness of the beef, making for a delightful pairing.
If you prefer red wine, go for a light to medium-bodied red, such as Pinot Noir. Its fruity and earthy notes will harmonize with the five-spice beef while not overpowering the dish. It's all about striking that perfect balance for a delightful meal
Want more easy, delicious, Asian-inspired meals?
Five-Spice Beefy Rice Bowl with Bok Choy Recipe
- 2 cups sliced onions about 1 large or 2 medium (I like to cut mine in half and then vertically, you can just slice if you want)
- 3 Baby Bok Choy (or 2 large) Cut into 1 inch slices, bottoms and leafy tops seperated
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil I like grapeseed oil
- 1 pound flank steak or other lean steak, cut thinly across the grain
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic about 2 cloves
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame seed oil
- ½ to 1 teaspoon Five-Spice mix
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups steamed cooked rice
- Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat; when hot, add the onion. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions, then cook, stirring occasionally, until they are browned, about 7 - 10 minutes.
- While the onions brown, slice the meat and toss in a bowl with the garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, and Five-Spice mix. Let sit until the onions are done. Remove the onions from the pan and wipe clean with paper towels .
- Increase the heat; then add the meat, along with the marinade and stir-fry until the meat is lightly browned; about 2 - 3 minutes. Return the onions to the work along with the bok choy bottoms. Stir fry 1 minute. Mix the cornstarch into the beef broth. Add the beef broth; cook, stirring, 1 - 2 minutes, until thickened. Add the bok choy tops. Stir until just wilted.
- Place the rice into warmed bowls, split the meat mixture over and serve. Top with some sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired.