The two important ingredients for this stir-fry are baking soda and cornstarch. A trick most used in Chinese cooking is adding baking soda that tenderizes the meat while cornstarch gives it a velvety texture.
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
For the stir-fry:
1 pound beef, cut into strips (see note)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
3 scallions, cut into 2” lengths
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
Ground pepper, to taste
Sirloin, flank, or skirt steak are good choices that are tender and flavorful. I also like using inexpensive and less tender cuts like top round with a good marbling. Slicing the meat thinly and across the grain are very important.
- In a bowl, combine soy sauce, cooking wine, oyster sauce, sugar, and sesame oil.
- In another bowl, lightly season the meat with salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of the sauce, baking soda, and cornstarch. Mix well. Set aside.
- Heat your wok or skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add a little oil and place the beef. Sear on both sides. Spread them evenly in a single layer. Avoid over stirring so they brown nicely. This will take about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onions and peppers and cook for a minute until slightly charred. Add the scallions and cook for another minute. Add oil as needed. Transfer to a plate.
- Turn down the heat to medium-high. Add a little bit more oil and sauté ginger and garlic very quickly. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
- Add the sauce in. When it starts to boil, bring the meat and vegetables back to the pan. Toss them together to get the sauce evenly distributed.
- Add some ground pepper and serve right away.