2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ pound ground beef
½ small head cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ cup cold water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 pinch salt, to taste
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. Saute garlic for about 5 seconds, then add ground beef. Stir-fry until beef is evenly brown, 5 to 7 minutes; drain excess fat.
Stir in cabbage and pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender and beef is fully cooked. Stir in soy sauce. Mix together cornstarch and water, and stir in. Season with pepper; add salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened.
21 Black Pepper Facts You Didn’t Know
- Black Pepper comes from the dried fruit peppercorn (piper nigrum). It grows on a perennial flowering vine.
- The plant is particular about soil conditions and thrives in soil that is not too dry and not too wet.
- Pepper is typically cultivated in tropical regions and is native to south India.
- Accounting for about 20% of the monetary value of the world’s spice trade, Black Pepper is mainly produced in India, Vietnam, Brazil and Indonesia.
- The United States is currently the biggest consumer of Pepper, importing 671 million dollars of Pepper in 2009. That’s 18% of the world’s Pepper.
- For the first time, India is now a net Pepper importer because of rising consumption among the growing middle class. Read more about Pepper’s rising cost here.
- When the plants reach maturity, Peppercorns are stripped from the stem and then boiled for a couple minutes before drying in the sun for several days. They are then flash dried.
- Black Peppercorns are green when harvested, and change color while drying.
- The distinctive Pepper taste is a result of the chemical pepperine found in the white center of the Peppercorn.
- White Peppercorns are Black Pepper without skin.
- The most expensive Red Peppercorn variety occurs when the berries are left on the vine for longer than normal.
- Ground table Pepper is typically 70% black and 30% white. However, the good stuff is 50/50.
- Black Pepper represents about 50% of a typical restaurant’s spice usage.
- Mesh size describes how fine a ground spice is. For example, a typical table ground Black Pepper is 18 to 28 mesh. Learn more about mesh size here.
- Tellicherry Garbled Extra Bold (TGEB) is how we buy the finest Black Pepper in the world. Garbled means unsized.
- Pepper is rich in both vitamin A and C. Black Pepper also has a very high caffeine content.
- Pepper loses its flavor and aroma through evaporation. Keep it in an airtight container and out of the sun.
- For the best flavor, buy Whole Peppercorns and grind right before eating.
- Pepper has been used in cooking for over 4,000 years. Pepper was placed in Egyptian tombs to accompany the pharaohs over 2,500 years before Christ.
- When the Visigoths sacked Rome, they demanded 3,000 lbs of Black Pepper (in addition to gold and silver) as ransom.
- During the Middle Ages, Peppercorns were worth more than silver in weight.