Ginger Beef

First appeared in Grainews on 12 July 2022

In this version, I dip strips of flank steak in batter, then shallow panfry them in hot oil. If that sounds too messy or caloric, roast or grill the flank, slice it against the grain, then dress it with the sauce, and garnish. Alternatives include shrimp, dense-textured fish like halibut, chicken, squid, and cauliflower. Reheat leftovers in the oven.


Serves 4


2 T.

vegetable oil

¼ c.

minced or grated fresh ginger


garlic cloves, minced


onion, sliced


carrot, julienned


bell pepper, julienned


stalks of celery, julienned

½ c.

shredded cabbage


2/3 c.

light soy sauce

2/3 c.

packed dark brown sugar

¾ c.


¼ c.

dark soy or kejap manis

¼ c.

rice vinegar or lemon juice

1 t.

hot chili flakes

1 T.

roasted sesame oil

beef and batter

1 lb.

flank steak, sliced thinly against the grain

1 c.


¼ c.

all purpose or gluten-free flour


large egg

¾ c.

cold water

vegetable oil for the pan

salt and pepper to taste



minced green onions

¼ c.

minced cilantro

2 T.

toasted sesame seeds


Heat the oil in a wok or sauté pan, add the ginger and garlic, then sauté the vegetables to tender-crisp, adding 1 -2 T. water to the pan at several intervals.

Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients. Pour over the vegetables (or use a separate pot) and bring to a quick boil. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of ¾” into a heavy-bottomed wide shallow pot. Heat oil to 350 F over high heat. Season the meat very generously with salt and pepper, then combine remaining ingredients into a batter. Mix well.

Dip one slice of meat at a time into the batter, coating thoroughly. Gently place the meat in the hot oil. Repeat with enough strips to form a single layer in the pan. Cook until very brown, covering the pan with a mesh splash guard, turning the meat at least once with tongs. Use a slotted spoon to frequently remove any debris from the pan.

Transfer the meat to the tray, drizzle sparingly with sauce and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the meat in batches.

Reheat the vegetables and sauce. Pour over the meat, and garnish before serving.

ginger beef

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