Thursday, November 10, 2011

Atay ng Baka sa Oyster Sauce (Beef Liver Stir-fried in Oyster Sauce)

This is about beef liver as a culinary item …… and I need to tackle this matter convincingly …… my better half is not a fan of the food and as we all know, it’s hard to argue with the wife …… most often it is a no contest situation …… lol. No matter how good my preparation is …… if it has liver, chances are my wife will not touch it …… much more eat it. :-))

But that should not discourage me from sharing you good people what I believe is a wonderful food item …… both in taste and in its nutritional contents. Am I that obvious I love this food? I think so… :) Simply grilled, lightly fried or cook in “calamansi”, soy sauce and onions like in “bistek” (Filipino beef or pork steak), liver or “atay” (as called in the Philippine language), be it from beef, “carabeef”, chicken or pork, never ceases to delight me.

Yes, beef liver has delicate texture and is delicious. Okay, okay that’s only me speaking and not my better half. And it’s also full of high quality protein, has lots of vitamins such as A, C and many types of B as well as riboflavin and niacin, essential minerals such as copper, selenium, iron & zinc and other nutrients such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

I guess she will have to agree with me on the last statement. After all, it is factual that beef liver or calf liver has an incredible nutritional value even when served in small quantity. To mention just a few, it helps the immune system in functioning well, improves cardiovascular health and decreases the risk of having a heart attack. Who would not like that benefits? Except my wife that is. :)

Truly, there are more reasons to eat liver than not! Here is one take that you could try if you have not been transformed yet. Who knows, it could open a whole new insight on the rather exotic food.

If you have been visiting this website, you will know that we have shared many unusual recipes involving not only the muscular part (meat) of beef and pork but also the edible internal organs like tripe, lights or lungs and heart, intestines and mesentery and yes liver. Eating such exotic parts of animal is however not new. Since men successfully domesticated cow or calves some 4,000 years ago, it also started consuming the bovines’ meat along with their internal organs. :-)

Today, beef or calf liver is part of many different cuisines all around the world. It is considered a distinct delicacy in most Asian nations including China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines and even here in Sri Lanka. The same is true in some European countries, like Italy, Germany, France and Austria. Probably, it’s time to have a second look at this distinct food commodity.

One important requisite of cooking beef liver is not to overdo it. Beef liver tends to become very tough and fibrous when overcook. Preparing it in small sizes or thin slices is preferred. That’s why for this quick-fry dish, the 500 grams beef liver should be cut to small bite sizes like this.

The other ingredients needed are as follows: 3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided, 1 large bell pepper or capsicum, sliced lengthwise, 2 medium shallots, chopped, a handful of onion leaves or leeks, chopped, 3 gloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced, several pieces of hot chili peppers (adjust according to your heat tolerance), minced, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar and about ¼ cup broth or water.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and broth or water to attain this sauce mixture:

In a wide non-stick pan, heat about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and stir-fry the beef liver for about 2 minutes, until just cooked through and uniformly seared. As I said, don’t overcook. Take the meat from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the remaining oil and continue frying garlic, followed by onions. Add in onion leaves, chili pepper and bell pepper. After the bell pepper has partially cooked through, return the seared liver to the pan and continue sautéing.

While sizzling, add in the oyster sauce mixture and continue cooking for about 2 minutes more. The sauce will slightly thicken and coat the liver pieces. It’s done.

In a wide platter, transfer the dish and serve immediately. Yum yum! :-)

The dish goes well with steamed rice or fried rice, but you can also eat it with bread. Beer? What do you mean beer? This is a child-friendly blog, sorry! Well, maybe later. Secretly! Enjoy! c”,)



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