Earlier this month, I shared a recipe for Butterbeer Cupcakes inspired by the wizarding world of Harry Potter. After indulging in the magic of their butterscotchy goodness, I found myself craving something a bit more savory, but no less literary. This time around, I looked to the mind-bending novels of Haruki Murakami to guide me in the next chapter of my culinary literary quest.

The characters that populate the surreal worlds of Murakami tend to share a few things in common: most notably, when things get sticky, it isn’t unusual to find them putting on a pot of coffee and cooking up a meal. One of my favorite Murakami confections comes from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, when the narrator, Toru, makes dinner while waiting for his missing cat to come home. The “simple meal” Toru whips up becomes almost a recurring character throughout the novel, and every time it’s mentioned, I crave it more and more.

Just like the novel, this delicious and original “simple stir-fry” is easy to fall in love with. Just sauté cubed beef with a handful of chopped onions, green peppers and bean sprouts along with a generous portion of soy sauce, garlic, salt, pepper and ginger. For the full Murakami effect, enjoy with a fresh pot of coffee, and if the phone rings—don’t answer it!