Stir-Fried Beef and Asparagus

, from Issue #32. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuch.
Stir-Fried Beef and Asparagus

Serves: 4


600 grams sirloin steak
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons kecap manis
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

¼ cup raw peanuts
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

To cook
1 tablespoon each vegetable and sesame oils
4 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
200 grams asparagus, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped coriander

To serve
hot cooked egg noodles
extra chopped roasted peanuts to serve, optional


Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl, add the meat and turn to coat each piece in the marinade.

Paste: Put the peanuts, onion and chilli sauce in a food processor and process to a paste. It will be pink.

To cook: Heat the oils in a wok until hot. Add the beef in batches, cooking for 1 minute. Add a little more oil to the wok if needed between batches. Transfer the meat to a plate as it is cooked. Do notlet the wok catch and burn at any point. Add a splash of Shaoxing or water if necessary.

Add the paste to the wok and stir fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the Shaoxing then the asparagus, spring onions and the beef with any resting juices and cook until the asparagus is crisp tender. Stir in the coriander.

To serve: Place noodles in serving bowls and spoon over the beef. Top with roasted peanuts. 

Cook's tip: Use thinly sliced round green beans when asparagus is not in season.

Pantry note: Kecap Manis (pronounced KETCH-up MAN-iss) A sweetish, thick soy sauce made with palm sugar and seasoned with star anise and garlic. A popular ingredient for Indonesian cooks; it is used as a condiment or as a substitute for dark soy sauce. Shaoxing Cooking Wine (pronounced SHAU-sing) This wine for cooking is derived from glutinous rice. The flavour enriches braised dishes and marinades. Available from Asian food stores.