Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Beef Shreds with Pickled Mustard Greens (酸菜炒牛肉絲)

When I wrote my post introducing you to Pickled Mustard Greens a couple of days ago, I decided to use some the package I bought in a very simple, home-style (家常) Chinese dish with beef. The combination is not original with me though, and while it is a fairly common one, it is not something you will likely encounter in restaurants. Rather, it is much more the sort of thing that you would find cooked as part of a simple, family meal. This is my take…

The Ingredients

  • 1lb beefsteak, cut into ‘matchstick’ shreds;
  • ½ package Pickled Mustard Greens;
  • ½ tsp. ground White Pepper;
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Cornstarch;
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar;
  • 3 tbsp. Rice Wine;
  • 2 thin slices of Ginger, finely shredded;

The Method

Briefly rinse the mustard greens under running water and squeeze out the excess, the slice the greens cross-wise into thin sections.

Season the beef shreds with the pepper and then toss with the cornstarch.

Heat your wok over high heat and then add 4 tablespoons of cooking oil. When the oil is shimmering and just starting to smoke, stir-fry the beef shreds in two batches, using chopsticks or some other suitable implement to separate the shreds so that they don’t stick together. As each batch gets nicely browned and just a little crispy in places, remove it to a bowl.

Make sure there is still at least two tablespoons of oil in the wok (adding some if necessary), and when it comes back up to high temperature, add the sugar and the ginger, stirring until the aroma arises and the sugar starts to brown. Now add the mustard greens and the wine and stir until the greens are hot and the liquid has reduce to a glaze. Quickly add the beef, stir until heated through again and serve immediately.

(By the way, please excuse the picture. I meant to have one of  *all*  the ingredients in the wok and got so carried away with the actual cookery I forgot).

The Verdict

In keeping with the home-style nature of this dish, I just served it over some ramen noodles. I enjoyed the result very much but I was surprised to find it less salty than I expected given the taste of the raw pickle. Actually, the saltiness would probably be just right for most people, but I rather like a sharp briny taste and ended up adding a bit of soy at the table. Beyond that, the tanginess of the pickle worked very nicely with the beef and I will definitely be making this again…




I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

23 thoughts on “Beef Shreds with Pickled Mustard Greens (酸菜炒牛肉絲)

    1. Absolutely use pork…it is probably more common, in fact. Asian grocery stores will carry it, especially if you are lucky enough to live near a Chinatown. I am expecting to do a post on making it from scratch sometime soon though

  1. Right… I have the mustard greens! They are in a packet which I think is about the same as yours – if you’re using half a pack. What should i do with the other half? Do they freeze? My husband isn’t very fond of greens of any sort so although he’ll have a go at this beef (or maybe pork) dish I’m not sure he would want any more too soon! Have you any other recipes using them? Or could I eat them in a sort of salad? What do you think?

    1. I will be posting other recipes. They keep well in the fridge once opened. I’ve never tried them in cold dishes myself… I like them stir-fried with pork belly the best and that is one of the recipes to come.

  2. I’ve just made and eaten this dish! Wonderful! I made it with pork and it was lovely, loved the mustard greens! I served it with stir-fried mixed vegetables and Japanese buckwheat noodles…. mmmm! I really recommend it!

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