9-44: Wok-Fried Beef Patties

There’s not a lot of NEW options when it comes to ground meat. Tacos, stroganoff, lasagna, burgers, meatloaf, etc. This one isn’t exactly new either, but hey–we can always use another ground meat recipe.

Even Simply Delicious knows they aren’t treading on new ground here. However, here’s the one warning about working with a wok: have a HOT stove. If you don’t–woks don’t work so well.

My mom had a pretty legit wok when I was growing up, but this would have been out of the question–beef and bell peppers are two things she does not appreciate.

Ingredients. I subbed shishito peppers for chili peppers (not as hot, and I had a bunch I needed to use), flour for cornstarch (had none), and liquid aminos for soy sauce (it’s what we had). These are also slightly different peppers than traditional bell peppers, but they’re close enough.

Made 16 meat patties out of about 1.3 lbs. of ground beef & the other ingredients. These are much smaller than traditional patties–think closer to slider size.

Easy trick to peel garlic: press the clove down with the side of your knife. It’ll pop the peel off so that you can slide the clove right out.

Fancy stacked peppers. I like to slice the top & membranes, pull out the peppers/core with my hand, and then slice the now clean peppers in half. From there, I’ll make my strips for crudités or dicing, or whatever I’m doing with it.

Such colorful peppers. I love the colors of all the produce, even if I can be reluctant to actually eat all of it.

Here’s where it started to go downhill. As I lamented in 13-10: Zucchini Piccata, my new place has a bare-bones, old electric stove. I don’t particularly like electric stoves because I don’t like not being able to see the flame I’m cooking with, but being old also lends to it tending to be unpredictable and uneven. Woks need HOT HOT HEAT  to work the proper way: this article from J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats will give you a pretty good rundown on this.

I don’t like blaming my tools, but this was just not going to work. The patties were falling apart, and it was literally becoming a hot mess. Time to try to think of something to save this dish.

I chose to switch everything to a sauté pan. I started over with some new patties and ended up with better, more consistent results. They say that’s cool to do in the “Tips” part of the recipe, so I think it can still be considered within the parameters of the recipe.

I took my patties out when they were done, and kept the same pan for the garlic and peppers, just like if it were the wok.

Dat garlic.

Add peppers, get color.

Added the patties back in with some sliced shishito peppers on top. I love that punch of green that they add. And you have a 1 in 10 chance of one being spicy!

All together now! Looks mighty yummy.

The final product. I served this on top of some lo mein noodles, but steamed rice would also have been good.

My advice: unless you have a super-hot stove, cook this in a sauté pan.

Grade: B+