Chinese Stir-Fried Beef

Stir-Fried Beef (Photo by sunday_driver/flickr)

This is a recipe using budget-priced cuts of beef, but allow sufficient time for tenderizing. Use lean round, blade or skirt steak and freeze just long enough to firm the meat, since this makes it possible to cut very thin slices. Put the sliced beef into a bowl and for each 500 g (1 lb) of beef, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in 3 tablespoons warm water. Pour over the beef and knead well until evenly distributed and absorbed. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, overnight if possible. Proceed with the recipe. If time is short, you have to buy the more expensive tender cuts.

Serves 3-4.


375 g/12 oz tender, lean grilling steak
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
4 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 spring onions (scallions), chopped


Freeze beef to firm it, then cut in thin, bite-sized slices across the grain. Combine garlic, salt and ginger and rub into beef, mixing well. Set aside for 10 minutes. Mix cornflour with water, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Heat a wok, add peanut oil and swirl to coat. Add beef and stir-fry over high heat until colour changes. Add spring onions and fry for 1 minute longer. Add cornflour mixture and stir until it boils and thickens. Serve immediately with rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)