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
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.
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.