This recipe will walk you through how to prepare your beef for stir frying, including, slicing, tenderizing, and marinating. We then discuss how to fry the beef and add it to the rest of your entrée.
In a sure to be controversial call, I’m going to declare this recipe is Keto friendly. Cashew are a yes on keto, protein is and while the soy and oyster sauce, along with the red wine may not be optimally keto, you’re not using all that much. However, if you are doing keto, you’ll need a healthy dose of fat to accompany this dish, maybe like a heavy cream soup.
- 1 lb steak – your choice just not ground
- 1 tsp baking soda – for tenderizing meat
- 3 TBL water – for tenderizing meat
- 2 tsp Oyster sauce
- 2 tsp Soy sauce
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 2 tsp vegetable of peanut oil
- 2 tsp red wine (optional)
- 1/3 cup peanut or vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1 cup Cashews or peanuts (optional)
- Mise en Place: Organize your ingredients in advance of starting.
- Prepare steak: While you can cut the steak lengthwise with the grain and then dice if that’s how you roll, it will not leave you with either a well-plated entrée or one with optimal taste. The best way to prepare the steak is to slice it across the grain at an angle. It’s the same technique you would use when slicing gravlaks or Baron of Beef. You should get thin wafers that are open to absorbing both the tenderizer and marinate.
- Tenderize steak: Mix 1 tsp baking soda with 3 TBL of water and soak steak in the slurry for 1 – 2 hours. If the solution does not cover the meat, increase the slurry mix with the same ratio of baking soda to water until it does.
- Rinse steak thoroughly to remove all baking soda.
- Marinade steak: Stir frying dries meat so the more moisture you can imbed into the meat the juicier your stir fry will be. Marinade at least 30 mins before you plan to plate.
- Mix oyster sauce, and/or soy sauce, corn starch, oil, and wine (optional) in a bowl to make a slurry.
- Pour slurry over steak and work marinade into the meat with your hands. This process is known as velveting the meat.
- Refrigerate until it’s time to cook. You can occasionally shake the container to recoat the meat with the slurry. I recommend doing that just before frying.
- Stir Fry: Heat your wok with the oil. I recommend peanut oil because it has a higher smoke temperature than vegetable oil. If you don’t have peanut oil, it’s not a big deal you just have to watch to not burn the oil. You do however want the wok hot, that’s the point of using a wok.
- If cooking nuts, start them first once the oil is hot. Let the nuts cook for a minute or two. I like to add a hot pepper to the oil to spice up the nuts. The pepper juice also spices up the meat. You can also add other spices like garlic but keep it simple.
- Add the steak. Let the meat sear for about a minute before stirring, that will help keep it from sticking to the sides of the wok. It only takes a few minutes to fry the meat. You want it cooked but not over cooked so stir often making sure each piece of meat spends time in the oil. The hotter the wok, the faster the meat finishes. The side of the wok are cooler than the base so use that to your advantage as you cook.
Note 1: If you are also serving stir fried vegetables with your entrée, either use two woks or cook the vegetables first because they take longer. When the vegetables are done cooking put them aside, re-oil the wok and start step six. When steak is just about ready, add the vegetables back into the wok. If you spiced the oil, this will add the spice taste to the vegetables while they reheat. You can of course keep the vegetable separate from the meat if that improves your plating.
Note 2: If you are not using a wok, try to use a large sauté pan (frying pan with high sides). You won’t use as high a heat (MH), because the meat would burn and over cook. Woks are thinner than sauté pans and don’t retain heat as well as a sauté pan.
Note 3: If you want to further enhance the taste of your stir fry, add a couple drops of Sesame oil to your frying oil. It provides both an aroma and taste addition that gives your dish that little something extra to make your guests marvel at your culinary skills.