Beef Stir-fried with Leek
Beef Stir-fried with Leek

Beef Stir-fried with Leek

This tasty little dish is very easy to prepare and uses a two-step cooking process, commonly used in Chinese restaurants, in which the main ingredient is marinated and then deep-fried before being cooked a second time with the other ingredients.

Here, Beef takes center stage, and the initial deep-fry not only shortens the cooking time, it produces a tender, succulent result when the meat is then stir-fried with julienned strips of fresh Leek.

The Basic Method

Marinating the Beef
Marinating the Beef

The Beef is cut across the grain into thin squares and then marinated with soy sauce, sugar, salt, baking soda, cornstarch, and sesame oil. The baking soda tenderizes, the cornstarch creates a coating during deep-frying to keep the meat succulent, and the Sesame oil, in addition to adding flavor, helps keep the pieces from sticking together in the hot oil.

The Leek and the Sauce Mix
The Leek and the Sauce Mix

The Leek for this recipe is sliced julienne style. Only the white and light green part of the stalk are used as the upper, dark green fronds are too tough for this dish.

The sauce is just Oyster Sauce and a little Rice Wine mixed together. No cornstarch or other thickeners are added as we will thicken by reducing the mix to a tasty glaze for the main ingredients.

Deep-frying the Beef
Deep-frying the Beef

The beef is deep-fried at a relatively low temperature just long enough to lightly brown the surface so that no pink is visible. With a large wok, and lots of oil, the entire quantity of beef can be cooked at once but, if you just have a small pot or pan for doing this, it is best to work in small batches.

Flash-frying the Leek
Flash-frying the Leek

After the beef has been pre-cooked, the Leek gets ‘flash-fried’ in just a little oil over high heat. You want to soften the Leek a little, and, if you get a few toasty-brown spots appearing here and there, that is fine too.

The Final Cooking
The Final Cooking

When the Leek is cooked, the beef and the sauce mix are added to the pan and briskly stir-fried. By the time the sauce has reduce to a glossy coating for the main ingredients, the beef will be cooked through, but still retain a tender bite.

Your Recipe Card:

Beef Stir-fried with Leek

Beef Stir-fried with Leek is simple dish that uses a two-step cooking process to produce tender, Chinese restaurant-style morsels of beef in a thin glaze.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Beef, Leek, Stir-fried
Author: John Thompson


  • 2/3 lb. Beef;
  • ½ a small Leek mostly the light green section;
  • 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce;
  • 1 tsp. Sugar;
  • ½ tsp. Garlic Salt;
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda;
  • 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch;
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil;
  • 2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce;
  • 3 Tbsp. Rice Wine.


  • Slice the beef across the grain into thin two-inch squares. Mix the pieces in a bowl with the soy sauce, sugar, salt, baking soda, cornstarch, and sesame oil, then leave the mix to marinate for at least an hour.
  • Slice the leek Julienne style into three-inch strips.
  • Mix together the Oyster Sauce and the Rice Wine and set aside.
  • Heat a cup or two of oil in a wok over a medium flame and gently deep fry the beef until no pink is visible. Remove to a bowl, then drain the oil from the wok leaving a tablespoon or so remaining.
  • Turn up the heat to high and flash-fry the leek until softened.
  • Add back the beef, along with the oyster sauce and rice wine mixture, and briskly stir-fry until everything is hot and the sauce has reduced to a nice glaze.
  • Serve immediately.


  1. Looks good. I would have to add baby corn though. My husband thinks all stir-fry needs baby corn.

    1. Author

      That would work with very small baby corn fresh from the husk… hard to get unless you live near where they grow though 🙁

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!