Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, uses oyster sauce and two types of ginger—fresh and pickled—in this light yet satisfying dish of juicy beef and crisp vegetables. She demonstrates the proper stir-frying technique in this video.
Special equipment: If you don’t have a wok, Young suggests a large frying pan as a substitute. Don’t use a nonstick pan, because the high heat may damage it.
What to buy: Oyster sauce is a thick brown sauce that is made from oysters. Quality varies between brands. Young likes the Lee Kum Kee brand. Vegetarian oyster sauce, made from mushrooms, can be substituted. Oyster sauce is available in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.
Pickled ginger develops a pink hue as it ages, but some brands add artificial coloring, beet juice, sweeteners, or preservatives. We like the Ginger People brand for its natural ingredients and fresh taste. You can find pickled ginger in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores, or, for a wider selection, at Asian markets.
- Yield: 2 to 3 servings as a main dish with rice, or 4 servings as part of a multicourse meal
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 25 mins
For the beef:
- 12 ounces flank steak, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
- 1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the stir-fry:
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas (about 7 ounces), strings removed
- 1 cup very thinly sliced carrots (about 2 small)
- 4 medium scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup pickled ginger slices (about 1 ounce), coarsely chopped if large
- Basic Steamed White Rice, for serving
For the beef:
- Cut the flank steak with the grain into 2-inch-wide strips, then cut each strip against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the beef and the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to evenly coat the meat; set aside.
For the stir-fry:
- Place the oyster sauce and Shaoxing wine or sherry in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
- Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes when dropped in the pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the perimeter of the wok and add the reserved beef in an even layer. Cook undisturbed until the beef begins to sear, about 1 minute. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry for 30 seconds until the beef is lightly browned but not cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
- Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil around the perimeter of the wok and add the sugar snaps and carrots. Stir-fry until just warmed through, about 1 minute. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the wok along with the reserved oyster sauce mixture, green onions, and pickled ginger. Stir-fry until the beef is just cooked through and the pickled ginger is well distributed, about 30 to 60 seconds. Serve with steamed rice.