Ginger Beef Stir Fry

I must admit, I don’t make a great Asian. I’m terrible at mathematics and much to my demise, I can’t kungfu the shit out of anyone. Ha.

I also suck at stir frying. In fact, what’s a good stir fry? I actually find it difficult to define what a good stir fry is as I am completely lost in all the different varieties and tastes they come in.

Home-cooked stir fries are remarkably different from take-aways and restaurant ones. Most families maintain a healthy approach at home so home-cooked stir fries are generally lighter in taste and nothing quite as greasy. It then begs the question, which stir fry is more authentic? I won’t even dwell on the stark contrast between western Asian stir fry and a true Asian stir fry.

Despite my dilemma, I can’t dispute the simplicity and tastiness of a good stir fry. The recipe I am sharing today is one of my favourite recipes. It requires minimal input yet delivers maximum hit-the-spot-goodness.

This particular dish is one my family would always have as a treat at one of our favourite restaurants in Malaysia. The key to this dish is a generous portion of ginger and sweet, tender beef.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves 2-4

250g beef, sirloin or tenderloin
3″ chunk of ginger, thinly slivered
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
One bunch chives, very coarsely chopped
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1/2 tbsp cornstarch/corn flour
1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

1. To prepare the meat, thinly slice beef against the meat grain. This ensures you don’t get chewy, stringy bits of beef. Beef is also easiest to slice when it is semi-frozen.
2. Coat beef with one teaspoon of baking soda. Leave for 10 minutes before rinsing the meat in cold water. Baking soda will tenderise the meat but if left for too long, the meat will turn rather mushy.
3. Pour marinade over meat and allow to marinade for a few minutes.
4. Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil over high heat. Once oil is hot, add ginger and garlic and fry until lightly golden and very aromatic.
5. Add beef, preferably in small additions so meat will brown instead of sweat or boil.
6. Add cooking wine and some cornstarch mixed in 2-3 tbsp of water. If you prefer more sauce, add more water and a little bit more cornstarch.
7. When meat is about cooked, add chives. Do not overcook meat.
8. Serve with warm jasmine rice.


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