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if you have a beef with winter

Recipe: chinese stir-fried flank steak

I don’t have a beef with winter. Nor do I have a beef with spring when it turns the trees in my front yard into this:

these are my kind of april showers

I got my turns in today. There were ten fresh inches of powder at the local hill. Spring has been good to me.

jeremy discusses which run to ski next

chicks kick ass

Meme time again. Isa tagged me for a meme which is cute, but apparently doesn’t have a name. I’m going to dub it the “six words to describe me” meme. Here are the rules:

– Write your own six-word memoir;
– Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like;
– Link to the person who tagged you in your post;
– Tag five more blogs with links;
– Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

six words

I found some pictures of me with long hair… or any hair for that matter.

Instead of tagging five more blogs, I’m just going to tag anyone who wants to do this meme because I’m too lazy to look up the links and comment on their blogs. So much for motivated! *snort*

Yes, there is actually a recipe in here. One of the first things I learned to cook was Chinese stir-fried flank steak. I was a teenager and one evening, my mother looked at me and realized I was going to leave home for college some day. She ordered me to come watch her make this dish. While she deftly whipped it together, she told me she didn’t want me to starve when I left home. Obviously she had never heard of the freshman 15.

slice the flank steak against the grain

add cornstarch, soy sauce, and sesame oil

Despite being the first and one of the easiest Chinese dishes I learned to cook, this one reliably pleases the crowds. I always use flank steak. The cut of meat they use to sell pre-cut stir-fry beef in grocery stores is awful. It’s too tough and you should avoid it like the plague unless you intend to slow cook it (which isn’t stir-fry). On occasion, my parents will use filet mignon for their stir-fry. That is because they are made of money and I am not.

garlic, green onions, and the flank steak mixed with sauce ingredients

The trick is to have a hot sauté pan. I don’t own a wok. I never have. I make plenty of great Chinese dishes and you’d never know I used some crappy non-stick pan to cook it all. I’ll get a wok one day, but it’s not a huge priority right now.

toss the green onions and garlic into the hot oil

sauté the beef

I like to remove the beef from the pan when it is still pink in the center. Because it’s so thin and still hot, it will continue to cook after you’ve taken it off the burner. This helps keep it pretty tender. Then again, I like my beef mooing. The point is that you don’t need to cook it to death, but be sure to serve it immediately because it doesn’t retain heat for long.

serve on a bed of greens like sautéed spinach

best eaten hot

Chinese Stir-Fried Flank Steak
[print recipe]

1 lb. flank steak (can be frozen for an hour for easier slicing)
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 stalks green onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tbsps soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsps cornstarch
2 tbsps vegetable oil

Slice flank steak on the diagonal against the grain into thin pieces. In a bowl, mix the flank steak, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch together until beef is well coated. Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan on high heat. Toss in the garlic and green onion and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the beef and stir-fry constantly to ensure even cooking of the beef. When the beef is cooked with hints of pink, remove from heat. Serve on a bed of cooked greens (bok choy, broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.).

37 nibbles at “if you have a beef with winter”

  1. manggy says:

    I love Chinese stir-fried beef! Of course we spike it with oyster sauce here, though :) Thanks for reminding me– there’s a particular Chinese dish I’ve always wanted to do (I wonder when I’ll have the time to do it…)

    Look at you being so serious in the kitchen! When I’m in the kitchen you just see me with a tiny notebook where I’ve rewritten the recipe I’m making. It’s not that I’m afraid to bring my laptop to the kitchen (it has lizard poop from when I was assigned to a clinic in a rural area– now you know one of my words is “slob”), I just need to rewrite recipes to get a sense of how to go about it :)

  2. peabody says:

    10 inches! Wow, lucky you.
    Such simple ingredients but such delicous outcomes!

  3. Woolly says:

    Snows almost gone where I live… now it is grey sky’s and rain… and flooding, did I mention flooding?
    The last 5 months have been crazy for weather. I need sun, I need it now!
    the beef looks great, and I’m going for sushi tonight. Just thought I’d share.

  4. mimi says:

    well if i had snow and mountains, maybe, just maybe i would like winter. but alas, i just have city winter, so yeah, i kind of hate it! great looking recipe, flank steak is my favorite cut!

  5. Gretchen Noelle says:

    This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Christine says:

    Flank steak is a cut that I really like – so much good flavor and quite tender if you cut against the grain. You make simple stir fries look so dang good.

    Jen – your face is so serious in that first shot of you! What are contemplating? :)

    All your skiing photos are so cool. And, the snow looks incredible.

  7. gaga says:

    Wow. It’s supposed to get up to 80 degrees over here today. I can’t even imagine 10 inches!

  8. Christina says:

    I like that you use the entire stalk of green onion. Most recipes say to discard the majority, which I usually ignore. Also, I’m going to slice green onions larger like that the next time I stir-fry. Oh, and the garlic!

    The first picture of you in the kitchen is a great shot. Something about you surrounded by all the food, plus your Mac!

  9. Isa says:

    Hi! Thank you for taking the time to answer the meme! You’re really nice. And the steak looks really, really nice also! Thanks for sharing, and, again, for answering and the pictures :)

  10. Susan at StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    This is my kind of recipe! Healthy, delicious and fast! I just don’t have time to make anything complex on a week night. Mr. SGCC thanks you for the beef too. He is a caveman, you know! ;)

    Hope all is going better for you these days.

  11. cindy says:

    Ten inches???? Damn. We’re down to the scratch and the slush here. I guess I have to be glad that someone’s got the stuff, and if it can’t be me, it might as well be you!

  12. Ellie @ Kitchen Wench says:

    The beef is gorgeous but I have to comment on how divine the spinach looks – what a beautiful green!

  13. HoneyB says:

    AWESOME photos!

  14. Francesco says:

    I want the snow!!!!

    btw that beef looks delicious, especially raw!

  15. Diana Banana says:

    i guess i already sort of knew that you did this, but seeing your reflection in jeremy’s goggles really made my abdominals clench up….i can’t BELIEVE you would go skiing with such a beautiful camera strapped to you!!!!!! i mean, i know you’re a good skier, but what happens if you fall on it and it shatters into a million pieces? what if snow melts into it and causes it to short out? oh my lord, it’s the same reaction i get when i see people strapping their babies on their bikes while riding on city roads.

    i used to have a wok, but really you need an outdoor humungo burner to get the thing hot enough to do what it’s really made to do. i don’t think it’s the equipment that makes chinese (or any) food look and taste good, it’s the skill that goes into it. :)

  16. Tartelette says:

    That’s it! I am coming over! It’s been forever and a day since I saw snow!! I love the beef recipe…that’s dinner tomorrow!

  17. White On Rice Couple says:

    I love the way you always open up your posts with the beauty of Colorado snow! I’ve come to accept this now (smile!) and it’s quite enjoyable to see beautiful winter while I sit in yesterdays 90 degree heat!! :)
    Todd is salivating right now , looking at the juicy steak and spinach! He loves flank steak, or any steak for that matter! He grew up on a cattle ranch, so “steak” is his middle name.
    BTW- you can see my moves on our latest video! Watch it and weep guys!!! Just don’t hate me because I’m so good! :)

  18. Maja says:

    So cornstarch is the secret ingredient (and the right cutting angle)!! We’re going shopping thursday (busy days coming up, had to schedule shopping), i’ll buy some beef to recreate this dish! :) And i _loved_ the picture of you in the kitchen, i totally do that! I don’t have a big counter (yet, i’m getting 60 cm additional counter thanks to a new washing machine coming up next saturday), so i usually stack the laptop in the cupboard.
    Enjoy! :) Maja

  19. DJStates says:

    Nice pics. The stir fry beer is a classic in our household. Local Chinese grocer carries a green scallion/garlic like vegetable that goes great with beef. Sorry, but this poor Yankee knows how to cook it, not how to name it.

    All the best,


  20. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    That beef stir fry looks so fresh and delicious :) and those gorgeous photos of the snow makes the constant rain and cold we are getting at the moment even crappier in comparison!

  21. Mollie says:

    Longtime fan, first time caller…
    I just LOVE flank steak and have become obsessed with various preparations lately. This looks fantastic, and a perfect meal for those days when you just don’t know if it’s winter or spring. I have several flank steaks in the freezer and one of them will be turned into this by weeks end. And I am SO way jealous of your CO spring! That’s my kind of season…

  22. Rachel says:

    Wow – this looks so simple and delcious. I’ll definitely be trying it soon. Thanks for posting :)

  23. Claudia (cook eat FRET) says:

    man – i go away for 4 days and it takes me forever to catch up on your posts! beautifully prolific!

    i like this steak dish very much…

  24. Amy says:

    I just made this tonight, and it was delicious! Thanks for all the great recipes. :)

  25. jenyu says:

    Mark – oh, I was just checking a recipe that was on my laptop :) Not serious, just blind… Lizard poop? That’ a first :)

    Peabody – some of my favorite recipes are the simplest ones, no?

    Woolly – why on earth do you live there if you hate winter?

    Mimi – i have to agree that city winter blows :)

    Gretchen – thanks!

    Christine – I completely agree that flank steak is a superb cut! Ah yeah, I wasn’t all that serious there, just unable to read what was on the laptop! ha ha – blind… me.

    Gaga – oh, I imagine 10 inches and I dream of 4 feet :)

    Christina – yeah, when I stir fry I will use most of the green onion, but I do prefer the green to the white of the stalk. Thanks!

    Isa – you’re very welcome. Thanks for tagging me :)

    Susan – I love that you call Mr. SGCC a caveman!! You are just too cute, honey!

    Cindy – I’m telling ya… whenever you guys are ready for some of that Rocky Mountain powder. It’s never too early to plan a family vacay to Colorado for next year :)

    Ellie – yes, I am a huge fan of spinach and most greens for that matter. They pair beautifully together.

    HoneyB – thanks!

    Francesco – they snow is fast melting out here :( I have to agree – I love my beef VERY rare or raw (if it’s good quality)!

    Diana – ha ha ha! That’s my baby camera, the D70. My big camera never hits the slopes (although it does come into the backcountry). I carry the D70 in a backpack on my back. Most of the time when we fall, it is face forward (face plant) because of the nature of telemark skiing (free heel). I have rolled on the pack before, but in powder it’s rarely an issue and it will likely break my ribs before the camera itself breaks. As for snow melting… it’s too cold for the snow to melt when we typically ski. It’s dry in Colorado :)

    Tartelette – Come on over then! You are always welcome at my house, dear.

    WoRC – 90 degrees? Girlfriend, the thought is enough to make me pass out right here and now. Ugh. That’s one thing I *don’t* miss about So Cal :) Since Todd is a beef expert, I want to request that you guys do a video on beef (or steaks) some day!!! :) I loved that video with your slick tele moves, hon. You are so awesome!

    Maja – wow, I’m jealous of that extra counter you’re getting! Sounds great. I hope you like the dish. It’s super easy!!

    DJS – yup, I know the vegetable.

    Laura – oh! you poor dear, I’m sorry about the rain and cold :( I hope you guys hop into spring soon.

    Mollie – hey, thanks for commenting! I always welcome the emergence of lurkers :) I wish I had a stash of flank steaks in my freezer!!

    Rachel – you’re very welcome!

    Claudia – ahh, my posting is sporadic at best. Just trying to get some posts in before I go under the chemo brain fog :)

    Amy – yay!! I am thrilled that you liked it.

  26. Woolly says:

    I live and work in Canada. I don’t wanna move, every one I love is here. But lately seeing snow in Nov and not having it melt till mid april is starting to irk me. As a kid I loved snow.. now… not so much

  27. Mollie says:

    The stash was raded and this was dinner tonight. Couldn’t have been more prefect!

  28. jenyu says:

    Woolly – then perhaps you need to plan some timely tropical vacays?

    Mollie – w00t!

  29. wonderment » Blog Archive » Recipe Linkfest says:

    […] Chinese Stir-Fried Flank Steak […]

  30. Cate says:

    So I’m endeavoring to get my Cuban boyfriend to enter the exciting world of vegetables (you know, the squishy green things that your steak eats) but I know it needs to be a gradual transition. We’re in the middle of moving in together and the pans haven’t migrated, but the wok has! This was a great dish to entice him into eating a huge serving of bok choy, and he absolutely raved about the beef AND the greens (which I just cooked up in butter and garlic and simmered down in beef broth). We hit a contentious point though and I wanted your take — I thought the meat should be allowed to sit out during prep so it was closer to room temp and wouldn’t get shocked at a rapid temp change…something I’ve been told will make the meat tough. He thought it should remain in the fridge until the last minute so that the center would stay less cooked while the outside seared. What’s your preferred prep temp?

  31. jenyu says:

    Cate – I think for stir fry, I would rather keep the meat cold until just before mixing and stir-frying, but that’s because we like our meat rare… er mooing. I think either way is fine. I have cooked it both ways. My guess is that the quality of the beef is going to have a bigger impact on the final dish than the temperature. Glad you like it and yay for veggies!

  32. » Blog Archive » Broccoli and Beef says:

    […] If you want a yummy home-cooked meal, like ASAP, then make this recipe (adapted from Use Real Butter’s Recipe). […]

  33. swtiris says:

    I tried this recipe yesterday and it was really good. The cornstarch really makes a difference. I marinated beef before with soy sauce and sesame oil, but it doesn’t taste like this. I wanted to pair this up with some garlicky kale – I’ve mean meaning to use my kale all week – but when I took it out of my refrigerator, it was already spoiled :( Maybe next time. I just ended up steaming some broccoli and eating it with rice. It was tasty, but I really wanted to use the kale. (I’ve been trying to eat more green vegetables and this is the first time I ever tried kale.)

  34. Liz says:

    This dish was simply amazing. I accidently added veggie oil with the rest of the sauce on accident but it still tasted amazing!!! I will keep on trying your dishes!! :)

  35. Mrs Ergül says:

    This has become one of my favourite weeknight recipes. So quick to put together! Will be posting it on my blog soon too :)

  36. Chinese Stir-Fried Beef says:

    […] adapted from use real butter […]

  37. Stacey says:

    This recipe is great! Super easy, quick, and I had all the ingredients on hand! It was really delicious! Thanks!!!

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