Friday, October 1, 2010

Beef Steak, Chinese Style

Tester's father once told me that texture is more important in Chinese food than in Western food.  In my limited experience I tend to agree.  At the time we were having steak, which when done well in a Chinese restaurant is always tender in a very different way from a fillet at The Palm.  Thus I was looking forward to trying this dish to see what it was all about.

They certainly don't mess around when it comes to tenderness.  Start with 450g of tenderloin, cut into steaks.  Pound flat (tenderizing).  Finally, marinate "for a while" in a baking soda meat tenderizer mix with soy, cornstarch and water.

Yellow?  Why is the marinade yellow?
The sauce is wine, ketchup, Worcestershire, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Always a bit odd when finding out that something that is essentially 'of another culture' is in fact made up of stuff from your own. 

The cooking method is deep frying.  By now I've adapted a system that is non-wok based.  For these things I prefer a sauce pan so the oil is deeper and I can easily attach a thermometer and get the oil to 375.  I find that gives me a lot more precision.

Golden, brown and delicious
It still feels a little weird, but I'm slowly getting used to cooking things for only 30 seconds.

The sauce is boiled and the meat is mixed in.

This shot is better than the one in the cook book, so at least I have that, which is nice.
In the end, the meat was exactly that Chinese restaurant texture that I know, but I really thought the sauce was too sweet.  Too much of the ketchup came through.  The  ketchup I used is the Heinz Organic, which i think is a little sweeter than the normal Heinz, so that might be part of it, but I still think I'll reduce the ketchup next time.


  1. Making my mouth water. What kind of oil did you use?

  2. Just peanut oil. We buy it in 5 gallon jugs.