Chinese Stir Fried Beef with Ginger and Scallions

This dish looks and sounds very simple, but it requires a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps. They are worth it though. For this stir fried beef with ginger and scallions I used the recipe from Chinese Cooking Demystified. This is a great YouTube channel with detailed recipes for many Chinese dishes. If you follow this recipe, you can use beef that is quite tough and it will still turn out tender. The techniques used for this include marinating in water (!), slicing thinly against the grain, and ‘velveting’, i.e. passing the beef briefly through hot oil as a first cooking step. As the cooking has to be done very quickly, it was hard to photograph the steps without overcooking the dish.


For 2 servings

275 grams beef

1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp + 1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp + 1 Tbsp shaoshing rice wine for cooking

1 tsp dark soy sauce

1 Tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp + 1/2 tsp cornstarch

cooking oil

8 scallions

4 cm (1 1/2 inch) ginger

2 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sesame oil


Slice the beef in bite size pieces, very thinly against the grain.

Add 3 tablespoons of cold water to the beef and mix until the water has been absorbed.

Add 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp shaoshing, and 1 tsp dark soy sauce.

Stir to mix.

Add 1 tsp of cornstarch and 1 tsp of cooking oil, stir to mix. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, cut the scallions into pieces of 5 cm (2 inches) and separate the white and green part. Slice the ginger thinly.

Mix 2 1/2 Tbsp of oyster sauce with 1 Tbsp of water, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp cornstarch, and set aside.

When the beef has finished marinating, heat an ample amount of cooking oil in a wok (at least 2.5 centimeters or 1 inch deep) to 160C/320F. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cooking oil to the beef and stir; this is to prevent the beef from sticking together when it is added to the oil. When the oil is hot, add the beef and stir for 10 seconds only.

Take out the beef after those 10 seconds, and drain. Drain the beef in a single layer, so the residual heat won’t overcook the beef.

Pour most of the oil out of the wok, leaving only 2 tablespoons or so. Heat the wok, and when it is hot, add the white part of the scallions and the ginger.

Stir fry for 30 seconds, then add a tablespoon of shaoshing, and stir.

Add the beef, and stir. Add 1 Tbsp of light soy sauce, and stir. Add the oyster sauce mixture, and stir.

Add the green part of the scallions, turn off the heat, and stir.

Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and stir.

Serve at once on a preheated dish.

Wine pairing

This is nice with a red wine that can handle the flavor of the oyster sauce, like a Zinfandel / Primitivo. This is actually the same grape variety, which is called Primitivo in Puglia in Southern Italy and Zinfandel in California. The wine should be fruity yet not too acidic. Another option could be a good cru du Beaujolais or Valpolicella Ripasso.


Lamb with artichokes and mint is a dish that I created because mint goes well with both lamb and artichokes.

9 thoughts on “Chinese Stir Fried Beef with Ginger and Scallions

  1. Living where I do I have prepared this since I was a young bride decades ago 🙂 ! Have never heard of water being used but do velvet at times – depends on the quality of the beef. But do that before i add any sauces or other ingredients. And, *smile*, I probably use 1 Tb of oil for four people . . . .to each their own favourite way . . . I learned mostly from my many Chinese friends . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always admired your conviction to take photos of each step, I did it once, many years ago, and determined it was too much work. I do some velveting but I’ve never heard of marinating in water! Very clever trick. I will also check out that website, thank you for the link.. We are in Spain right now so I don’t have access to many of the ingredients but I will try to find an Asian grocery store where we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Editing the photos is more work than taking them and for everything except stir fry there is enough time. Actually the plated dish can be the most stressful with a hungry Kees waiting for his food to arrive 😂 In Spain I wouldn’t do much cooking but go out foraging tapas 😋 Although not all towns have a good offering.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.