Now that I went through the great pains of going over everything that’s in my pantry, I thought I could introduce a use for some of those sauces. I felt slightly guilty about not divulging my family dumpling secrets, so I’ll divulge this one secret family recipe to appease everyone. There’s a fair bit of prep work that goes into this dish (unfortunately true for many Chinese dishes), but I think the end result will be worth it.

The carrots add a little bit of a texture juxtaposition with the tender beef slices. I like to dry them out over night first, so they can really soak up the juices and the oil in the pan. It’ll still taste good if you don’t have the time to leave them out though. The key to this dish, and any stir-fry beef slices dish, is to cut the beef as thinly as you can. The thinner you make your slices, the quicker you cook your beef. The quicker you cook the beef, the more tender it will be. I hate tough, chewy beef slices! It takes patience and skill and preferably a sharp knife. But trust me, you want to put the effort into this part.

Recipe after jump.

Beef and carrot stir fry

2 carrots, sliced thinly to look like toothpicks (okay, can be a little wider than toothpicks…)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1lb of flank steak, sliced as thinly as possible
1tbsp finely chopped ginger
2tsp fermented black beans
1tsp fermented bean sauce
1tsp pixian fermented bean sauce
3 or 4 tbsp soy sauce
3ish tbsp Chinese cooking wine
pinch of MSG
pinch of starch

**discretion: I don’t measure my ingredients. I really just splash on some soy sauce and wine and scoop some teaspoons of sauce. Use your instincts, not my numbers**

  1. Mix all of the ingredients except the carrots and garlic into a bowl. I like to mix it all together by mushing it with my hands. I also add one ingredient at a time, taking care to note the color and smell of the meat mixture as I add more ingredients. If you have time, leave this marinated meat sit in the fridge overnight.
  2. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan and add garlic when the oil is hot. Stir until fragrant.
  3. Add carrot slices until they’re glistening with oil.
  4. Add marinated beef slices. Make sure not to over cook these! Once you no longer see any raw meat, remove pan from heat and serve. A little raw beef never killed anybody. (Actually, that may be an untrue statement…)