P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc.'s 40-plus restaurant chain, operating in 19 states, owes much of its success to founder Paul Fleming's unique idea of pairing oriental cuisine with American-style service. At the outset, when he opened the first of the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fleming broke with the traditional Chinese restaurant format. With his collaborator, chef Philip Chiang, he devised a comparatively limited menu that featured far fewer dishes than the menus of typical, full-service, Chinese restaurants. Incorporating an American steak house dining style and a formidable selection of wines and cheeses, P.F. Chang's offers such additional oriental restaurant anomalies as espresso and cappuccino. Although P.F. Chang's China Bistros are stylish in decor, displaying motifs from the Ming and T'ang Dynasties and hand-painted murals, the dishes are moderately priced, partly because one of Fleming's aims was to provide high quality but affordable Chinese food for "the masses."

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Beef and Broccoli




BEEF and BROCCOLI
P.F. Chang's China Bistro Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

3/4 pound flank steak, sliced very thin and against the grain
4 cups broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil like vegetable or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
cooked white rice

For the beef marinade:
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For the sauce:
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 teaspoons mirin
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place the sliced beef in a large ziplock bag. Stir together the marinade ingredients and pour into the bag. Smoosh to coat the beef in the mixture, then let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. Do not overcook as the broccoli will cook a bit more later in the recipe. Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat an electric wok, or very large skillet, to high heat. Add the oil then gently place the beef in the wok and spread into a single layer. Let the beef cook for 1 minute without touching it. Add the garlic and stir continuously for 1 minute, then add in the sauce and broccoli. Bring the sauce to a boil, then add in the cornstarch dissolved in water. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.

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