This is probably the easiest Chinese stir-fry dish to make and it might be my favorite, if I had to pick a favorite. There’s something about the simple marriage of tender sliced beef and green onions that excites me. Soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic is the only extra flavor you need to make this a spectacular dish.
I like to top the dish with chili garlic paste (Sambal Oelek) and cilantro. Just a little dab of chili garlic paste brightens the flavor and, if you are anything like me, you might even add a big dollop of Sambal Oelek.
This is the sort of dish that I can taste, just by imagining it. Rich, beefy lusciousness that is so satisfying!
3 Tbs cooking oil
1 1/2 Tbs ginger, minced
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 lb flank steak, or any other lean cut of beef
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 green onions , sliced
Chili garlic paste, as much as you like 🙂
¼ cup cilantro
Slice the beef into thin pieces, no more than a quarter inch thick, and toss with cornstarch. Set aside.
I’ve made hundreds of stir-fry beef dishes and I’ve made them many different ways. If I just tossed the beef strips in the wok without powdering them in starch first, the beef juices would cook out and sit at the bottom of the wok. The meat would steam in the juices, instead of frying, which would cause the beef to become tough and I would eventually have to add cornstarch or flour to the meat juices to thicken the sauce. Dusting the beef prior to stir-frying helps tenderize the beef as it cooks and the juice that runs out is absorbed by the cornstarch, which means that the meat, itself acts as a thickener for the sauce that is added later. Trust me on this.
Slice and chop the ginger and chop the garlic. Set aside.
Cut the roots off of the green onions and cut the onions into 2” pieces. Separate the white parts from the green stems. The white pieces will be used at the beginning of the stir-fry and the green parts will be added near the end of the stir-fry.
Heat oil in a wok at low-medium heat. Add the chopped ginger and garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the white parts of the green onion and stir for two minutes.
Remove the onion, ginger and garlic and reserve.
One at a time, add soy sauce, water and brown sugar to the wok and boil for about 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove the sauce to a bowl and set aside.
Place a tablespoon of oil in the wok and heat over medium-high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Cook to medium rare. Over-cooking the beef will make the meat tough and dry.
Return the sauce to the wok and turn the heat to high. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, just to coat the meat. Add both parts of the green onions, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for another minute.
Add some steamed jasmine rice to individual serving bowls.
Add the beef and onions to the bowls.
Top with cilantro and Sambal Oelek.
This is as good as it gets!