It is not in any way easier to make your typical take-out food than it would be to call someone to bring that food to you. There is no shopping and no food prepping. There’s no pressure to have everything you’re making arrive at the table at the same time. Plus you don’t have to clean up the kitchen afterwards, which is not a problem when you order in.
But I think it is tastier and cheaper and you’ll know what ingredients you used. So for me, the pros outweigh the cons.
This recipe is a bit more fiddly than the usual stir fry I whip up to get some Asian flavours into me, but worth the effort.
Start with the beef.
Mix together cornstarch, salt, sugar, baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water.
Pour that mixture over the sliced beef.
Combine oyster sauce, dark and light soy sauces, peanut oil, cornstarch, sugar, white pepper and water to make a sauce.
Now get to work on the broccoli.
Chop enough to get 2 cups.
Cook the broccoli for 4 – 5 minutes.
While the broccoli is cooking, get the garlic and ginger ready.
Also make sure the onion is chopped and ready to go.
Drain the cooked broccoli.
Get the marinated beef out of the bowl and pat the pieces dry. Stir fry the beef in a very hot wok.
When the beef is done, get it out of the wok and drain it.
Fry the smashed garlic and ginger in a newly cleaned, re-oiled wok.
Remove the garlic and ginger and replace with the chopped onions.
After cooking the onions for 5 minutes, de-glaze the pan.
Add the sauce and bring to a boil.
Get the beef and broccoli back into the wok.
Continue to stir fry until the sauce gets thick and the beef and broccoli are reheated. Serve over rice.
The original recipe:
Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
A concentrated dark brown sauce with a slightly sweet, smoky flavor, oyster sauce is made from dried oysters, salt and water, with cornstarch and caramel added for consistency and colour. The sauce originated in southern China, where cooks use it as a seasoning, drizzling it over simply cooked vegetables or mixing it into a meat and vegetable stir-fry. Oyster sauce also can be served as a dipping sauce for roasted meats. Avoid the least expensive products, as they lack a rich oyster flavor. Once opened, oyster sauce should be stored in the refrigerator.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 lb. flank steak
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. baking soda
For the sauce
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tsp. peanut oil
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
2 cups small broccoli florets
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
2 garlic cloves
2 slices fresh ginger, smashed with the side of a knife
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch dice
1 Tbsp. Chinese rice wine
Cut the steak across the grain into strips 3 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. In a bowl, stir together the cornstarch, salt, sugar, baking soda and 2 Tbsp. water. Add the beef and stir until well mixed. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a bowl, combine the oyster sauce, dark and light soy sauces, peanut oil, cornstarch, sugar, white pepper and 2 Tbsp. water. Set aside.
Bring a saucepan three-quarters full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli florets and blanch until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under running cold water until cool and drain again. Set aside.
Remove the beef from the bowl and pat dry with paper towels. In a wok or large, deep sauté pan over high heat, warm 2 Tbsp. of the peanut oil until very hot. Add the beef and stir-fry until it just turns opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, quickly transfer the beef to a sieve placed over a bowl to drain.
Wipe out the pan with paper towels and reheat over high heat. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and heat until very hot. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry just until golden brown, 15 to 20 seconds. Using the slotted spoon, remove the garlic and ginger and discard. Add the onion to the pan and stir-fry until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the rice wine and de-glaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. When the wine has evaporated, add the sauce, stir and bring to a boil. Immediately add the beef and broccoli and stir-fry until the sauce thickens and the beef is heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef and broccoli to a warmed bowl and serve. Serves 4 to 6.