Learn how to make Stir-Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce and 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry.
What you’ll learn:
- 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry
- Ingredients for the Perfect Stir Fry
Stir Fry Beef with Oyster Sauce is a classic Chinese dish that I’ve made so many times that I don’t even think about it as a recipe. Usually, I add red or green peppers, and sometimes sliced onions, but this past week, I used asparagus. It’s almost Spring and even though there’s still snow on the ground here in CT, I cannot wait for it to warm up.
When I was growing up, stir-frying was still a relatively new cooking technique that many home cooks weren’t familiar with. These days, I would guess that many more people know how to stir-fry. Although a wok is certainly handy, you don’t even need one. A nice large skillet works just fine.
Not only is stir-frying a quick way to get dinner on the table, but it’s also a great way to make a one-pot or one-wok meal since most stir-fry dishes have both a protein and at least one vegetable in it. Plus, it’s an economical way to stretch a piece of steak or chicken to feed four people instead of one.
The key to this dish is the oyster sauce (choose one without any MSG). I think of oyster sauce as kind of a cheat – it just makes everything taste good. I’ve even drizzled it on top of a hard boiled egg for a quick breakfast or snack.
4 Tips for the Perfect Stir-Fry
Stir-frying takes just minutes, so follow these tips for the perfect stir-fry:
- Marinade the protein for at least 10-15 minutes if possible (you can also marinade overnight in the refrigerator)
- TRICK: if you’re using a tougher cut of beef, add a little baking soda to the beef a few minutes before stir-frying to tenderize it (~ 1/8 teaspoon per pound)
- Have all stir-fry ingredients prepped and ready to go on a cutting board or plate before turning on the stove
- Mix together the stir-fry sauce before turning on the stove
Ingredients for the Perfect Stir-Fry
Stir-frying is extremely flexible. The combinations are endless so try different variations using the following:
- Proteins can include firm tofu, boneless chicken or shelled shrimp
- Vegetables can include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red or green bell peppers, mushrooms, snow peas, sugar snap peas or any combination of these
- White wine can be used in place of rice wine or sherry (it helps tenderize and flavor the protein)
- Garlic can be used in addition to or in place of ginger
- Onions can be used in place of scallions
- Soy sauce or fish sauce can be used in place of oyster sauce
Stir Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound flank steak or strip steak cut into thin slices, about 1/8" thick
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice wine or sherry
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons scallions chopped, green parts reserved for garnish
- 1 bunch asparagus tough bottoms broken off, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- green parts of scallion from above
- toasted sesame seeds optional
- Mix together Marinade ingredients in a bowl and add steak slices. Mix Stir-Fry Sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and have Stir-Fry Ingredients ready on a plate or cutting board.
- Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Remove a spoonful of oil and add to marinated beef; toss to loosen up meat. Add beef to wok and spread in a single layer; let brown then flip to brown other side (do not overcook - you want it to be rare inside at this point). Remove beef from wok using a slotted spoon.
- Stir-fry ginger, white parts of scallion and asparagus in remaining oil until asparagus is crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add Stir-Fry Sauce and beef; toss everything together and stir-fry another minute or two. Remove to serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.