1 1/2 pounds beef steak( flank steak rib eye steak or stripling steak are all good choices)
cup About 1/3 corn starch maybe a little more.
cup About 1 vegetable oil for frying
1 cup sliced water chestnuts about 1 can rinsed
1 cup chopped bell peppers
For the sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp crushed chili paste or chili flakes to taste optional
Try not to use beef straight from the fridge or you will cool down the oil too much when frying. I like to take it out to sit at room temperature for at least a half hour.
Cut the beef steak, across the grain, into 1/4 inch thick strips.
dredge both sides of the beef strips with corn starch and let them sit for 10 minutes, so that the corn starch adheres to the meat. (You can start putting the sauce together while the beef sits.)
Heat the oil in a hot wok to 375 degrees. Fry the steak in about 3 batches, so that it cooks very quickly. It only takes about a minute or so to flash fry the beef.
Pour off the oil from the wok completely.
Add the beef back to the wok along immediately with the vegetables and sauce and simmer for only a few minutes before serving over steamed rice or your favourite noodles.
To prepare the sauce
I like to make the sauce quickly in a large sauté pan so that it reduces and thickens more quickly.
In a small bowl, or large measuring cup, stir together all of the ingredients for the sauce, except the garlic and vegetable oil.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat and lightly sauté the garlic for only a minute, so that it softens but does not brown.
Add the combined ingredients to the pan all at one and simmer for 5 minutes or so until the sauce begins to thicken. Turn off the heat and set aside until the beef is cooked.
The corn starch flash frying does help to evenly coat the beef in the glistening sauce but if you want to avoid the fried version of this recipe try making it as a stir fry instead.
Prepare the sauce first, so that it is properly reduced and thickened.
Add 3 tbsp vegetable oil to a hot wok and quickly stir fry the beef before immediately adding the vegetables and sauce and simmering for an additional few minutes to heat the vegetables through.
The critical thing is not to overcook the beef. The wok should be as hot as possible and the beef need only be quickly stir fried for a minute or so until it looses the pink colour to be fully cooked. the extra few minutes of simmering will guarantee that it is anyway.