Saturday night’s visitors, Simon and Gemma, got to sample my cullinary skills. Inspired by the comical name for the new wine bar on Ludgate Hill in Birmingham – ‘Mongolian and Motown’ – I decided to try the Mongolian Beef recipe submitted to everything2:


  • 1 lb fillet or sirloin steak
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil/vegetable oil
  • 2 dried red chillies, halved lengthways
  • 4 sping onions, shredded finely
  • 2 large fresh red chillies, de-seeded and shredded finely
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1.5 tablespoons of Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil salt
  • chopped spring onions (two bunches should be enough)

For the marinade

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 0.5 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour

Marinade the beef, brown it in a wok and then put to one side. Fry the chillis and shredded onions, add the meat and remaining ingredients. Keep the chopped spring onions to add when complete. Don’t make my mistake and forget the ginger root.

Added this to rice and made some Chinese style dumplings for starters. These are a doddle (minced pork, cabbage, soy sauce – wrapped in dough and deep fried) but my dough could do with some practice.

Later, after I’d saved my laptop from a cloud of steam pouring from the microwave, I sent a message to the author of the recipe over at everything2. Got a reply suggesting we try ohagi, but by then we had already polished off a tub of ice cream.