This easy Beef, Tomato and Peppers Stir-fry dish took a shorter time to cook than to type up the recipe on this blog post. Yes, that’s how fast this beef and vegetables entrée was to whip up.
I made a last minute decision to stir fry this the other night for dinner. We were having leftovers of hefty, warm arroz caldo ( a Filipino rice porridge with boiled chicken), but there was a large slab of beef flank steak staring at me from the refrigerator, a holdover from another day’s meal. Quickly, my thoughts went back to a good stir fry dish I made a while ago from Pat’s “The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook”. Off I went to the bookshelves to retrieve this favorite cookbook. I swiftly scanned the ingredient list and I knew I had everything here and now in my kitchen to whip this up. Once the stir fry started in the skillet, I couldn’t hold back how scrumptious the aroma of the sizzling beef strips were with the blend of rice wine and soy sauce incorporated in it. Then when I added the onions, celery and bell pepper strips, the flavors got so interesting, it elicited demanding questions of “when do we eat?” I was right. This was a good dish to do at the last minute.
Beef, Tomato and Peppers Stir-fry
- 1 pound beef flank steak
- 1 Tablespoon haoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, divided in half for stir fry
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 whole medium yellow or white onion sliced
- 1 whole medium red bell pepper seeded, sliced in strips
- 2 stalks celery trimmed, sliced
- 2 whole medium ripe tomatoes each cut into wedges
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch for slurry
- 3 Tablespoons water for dissolving the cornstarch
- 2 stalks scallion greens, chopped, for garnish
- for serving: steamed rice
- Slice the beef along the grain, in long 2-inch strips. (The author suggested to handle the beef partially frozen for easier cutting. If beef is fresh, place in the freezer for about 30 minutes).
- In a medium bowl, marinate the beef with the rice wine, oyster sauce, sugar and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Cover the bowl and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes, or up to 12 hours.
- Preheat a large wok or skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Add the 1 tablespoon of the oil. In 1 to 2 minutes, the oil will heat up. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant, for about 30 seconds. After flavoring the oil, remove the garlic. Add the onions and stir for 1 minute. Then add the bell pepper strips and celery. Stir fry these till crisp for about 2 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
- Using the same wok, swirl in the remaining oil and continue to heat over high heat. Divide the marinated meat into 4 batches. Stir-fry one batch for about 2 minutes, then set aside on a plate. Repeat the same process of stir frying in batches with the rest of the beef.
- Return the cooked vegetables to the wok, continuing with the high heat. Add the cooked meat. Mix everything quickly for about 1 minute. You will notice little bubbles form in the liquid part of the mixture. Separately mix the slurry of cornstarch and water in a small bowl to blend. Add the cornstarch slurry to the wok, making sure to coat the meat and vegetables well. Add the tomatoes and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Continue tossing together for 1 minute till all ingredients are incorporated with the slurry and are shiny. Adjust the seasonings according to taste preferred. Garnish with scallions. Serve hot with boiled jasmine white rice.
- RECIPE NOTES: The original recipe suggested the use of 2 teaspoons Chinese salted black beans. You can find these canned, from the Asian markets. The beans add a special salty flavor to the dish. Feel free to use if desired.
- Cook's Comments: The oyster sauce used in this recipe is a common ingredient for Chinese and Asian dishes. This bottled sauce is available from Asian markets and contains soy sauce, oyster extracts, cornstarch, sugar and salt. It gives a thick, rich salty and sweet flavor base to stir fry dishes.
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