Korean Venison Pepper Stir-Fry

I like making stir-fries. I like finding combinations of color, texture, and flavor that really pop and impress even picky eaters. I like pairing them with rice, noodles, and even the occasional lettuce leaf. I think they are a great way to be creative and healthy at the same time. And, this time around, I'm talking about one that combines the complex flavors of a Korean marinade with lean steak and a bevy of vegetables.

Let's take a moment to talk about steak. When choosing one for your cooking needs, it's very important to think about how you'll be using it. For the grill, you'll want to look for a nice, thick steak with plenty of marbling. However, when you're talking about a stir-fry, choose something wonderfully lean and slice it thin so you can quickly sear it and be done. While not everyone has access to it, venison breakfast steaks are a perfect choice here. They are lean and flavorful and do well with a quick visit to a hot skillet. If you are using beef, consider a lean sirloin steak or skirt steak sliced thinly against the grain. Whatever your choice, make sure you give it a chance to hang out with that marinade!

As with most stir-fries, your choice of vegetables to use is quite flexible. My choices have a lot to do with what's in the kitchen, how pretty it will be on the plate — let's face it, bright colors are fun - and how well the flavors will play off one another. If you think tomatoes have no place in a stir-fry, suspend your judgement for just a bit. Those little sweet tomatoes become part of the sauce and pockets of tangy honey in the final dish. When they are available, I regularly pop them into my stir-fries and I bet you will too!

Korean Venison Pepper Stir-Fry

  • ½ c. soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 T. mirin
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. venison steak or lean beef steak, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 T. peanut oil
  • 1 generous handful small tomatoes — I used pear and grape tomatoes

Combine the soy sauce (or tamari, for a gluten free option), mirin, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, and black pepper in a shallow dish. Add the sliced steak and stir to combine. Allow to rest while you prepare the vegetables for cooking. You can also allow the meat to marinate for up to 24 hours in advance - simply store it covered in the refrigerator while you do so.

Heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat in a large, nonstick skillet. When the skillet is hot, add the steak and stir-fry quickly until the strips are just browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the steak to a plate and keep warm. Add the mushrooms and pepper slices to the skillet and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Return the steak strips to the skillet, as well as the shredded carrot and small tomatoes. Stir until everything is warmed through.

Serve over hot rice or wrapped in large lettuce leaves.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes