This easy stir-fry is very adaptable. Feel free to substitute pork or tofu (un-marinated) for the beef, and to use another green vegetable such as snow peas, zucchini, or bok choy instead of the celery.
- 3/4 pound sirloin steak (Guide note: or flank steak)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine or dry white sherry (you can also use Chinese rice wine)
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 ribs celery, cut on the diagonal into thin slices
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Cut the beef across the grain into thin slices approximately 1 1/2-inches long. To cut beef across the grain, pick up a cut of flank steak or (beef) shoulder steak, and you will notice that it has lines or "grains" running across it. These are the muscle fibers. To cut steak across the grain, cut perpendicular to these fibers. If you cut the meat along the fibers, it will turn out very tough.
Place the beef in a bowl and add the soy sauce, cooking wine or sherry, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Marinate the beef for 15 minutes.
Combine the dark soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, water, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat until it is nearly smoking. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the beef. Let sear briefly, then stir-fry the beef until it is no longer pink. Remove and drain in a colander or on paper towels.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or skillet. When the oil is hot, add the celery and the salt. Stir-fry the celery until it begins to turn a brighter green (about 1 minute).
Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the beef back into the pan. Stir-fry for 1 – 2 more minutes to blend the flavors. Serve hot.