Beef with Leek
This is a very simple dish and my reason for cooking it was to a test drive of my freshly-seasoned new wok. The reason I chose this dish is it uses both deep-frying (in the wok), followed by stir-frying. Accordingly, it will result in a meal I always enjoy along with some experience of the idiosyncrasies of my new cooking utensil…
- 2/3lb. Beef;
- ½ a small Leek (mostly the light green section);
- 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce;
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- ½ tsp. Garlic Salt;
- 1/3 tsp. Baking Soda;
- 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch;
- ! Tbsp. Sesame Oil;
- 2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce;
- 3 Tbsp. Rice Wine.
First, slice the beef across the grain into thin two-inch squares. Mix them in a bowl with the soy sauce, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch, and then finally stir in the sesame oil to coat everything. Aside from adding flavor, the oil will help the pieces of beef separate during frying so, if necessary, you can add a little drizzle of vegetable oil as well. Leave the mix to marinate for at least an hour.
Now, slice the leek into thin three inch strips and mix together the oyster sauce and rice wine.
Heat a cup or two of oil in your wok over medium flame and gently deep fry the beef until just cooked and turning toasty brown along some of the edges. If you have a very large wok and use lots of oil, you can do this in one step. Otherwise, it is best to do it in a couple of batches. Remove the beef as it is cooked and then drain off the oil leaving a tablespoon or two remaining.
Turn up the heat under your wok to high and when the oil is really shimmering, toss in the leeks and quickly saute until they have softened. A few brown speckles appearing here and there on the leeks is just fine.
Finally, add back the beef along with the oyster sauce and rice wine mixture and toss-fry until everything is hot and the sauce is just bubbling. Serve immediately.