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Master chef Yan's latest is deserving of the hype

Associated Press

"Martin Yan Quick and Easy" by master chef Martin Yan is a cookbook that comes with a mouthwatering aura, deservedly. This recipe for crunchy apple beef is only one of its attractions.

A prolific writer and teacher of Chinese cooking, Yan himself inspires confidence -- and the book is a companion volume to his popular public-television "Quick and Easy" food series, full of information and cooking tips as well as some 150 recipes.

These recipes, all of which you can make in under 30 minutes, range from potstickers to tea-smoked salmon, from turmeric rice to lemon grass iced tea, and Yan gives each recipe some context.

He explains that a dish he tasted in Taiwan inspired him to create this stir-fry using crisp, tart Granny Smith apples. "Leave the peel on the apple for texture and visual appeal," he says.

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Crunchy apple beef

(Preparation and cooking time about 30 minutes)

For marinade:

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon cornstarch

For beef:

3⁄4; pound flank steak, cut into 1⁄2-inch; cubes

Grated zest of 1⁄2; lemon

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1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1⁄4; teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1⁄2-inch; cubes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1⁄2; red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1⁄2-inch; dice

1⁄2; green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1⁄2-inch; dice

3 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths

To make marinade: Combine the soy sauce and cornstarch in a bowl and mix well.

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Add the beef and stir to coat evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice and five-spice powder and mix well. Add the apple and stir to coat evenly.

Place a stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until rare, about 2 minutes. Add the apple mixture, bell peppers and green onions and cook, stirring, until the apples are tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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