Beef, red onion and black bean stir-fry

Beef, red onion and black bean stir-fry

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

Stir-frying is a real art and requires a very grunty gas supply, plus knowing how to harness and moderate it — if you’ve ever seen wok cooks at work in Asia or in a local restaurant, you’ll know what we mean. Achieving good results at home is possible; the trick is to have everything prepped and ready to go. Here’s one of our favourite stir-fries, made with beef and red onion, but feel free to add or swap other vegetables — broccoli florets, chopped and seeded tomatoes or capsicum — for the onion.


Quantity Ingredient
500g beef scotch fillet or skirt steak, trimmed
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
3 teaspoons cornflour
3 cm piece ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed
80ml peanut oil
2 large red onions, cut into 2 cm pieces


  1. Cut the steak across the grain into strips about 3 mm thick. Combine the light soy sauce, half the rice wine, the cornflour, ginger and garlic in a large bowl and whisk well. Add the beef to the bowl and use your hands to toss the meat in the marinade. Set aside.
  2. Combine the sesame oil, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, black beans and 60 ml water in a bowl and stir to combine well. Set aside. Heat half of the peanut oil in a wok over a medium–high heat, then add the onions and stir-fry for 4–5 minutes, or until the onions are softened and a little charred. Remove to a bowl. Heat the remaining oil in the wok over a high heat until just beginning to smoke, then add the beef mixture and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until the beef is browned all over. Return the onion to the wok and add the oyster sauce mixture. Cook, tossing the wok, for 1 minute, or until heated through, then serve.
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