Beef, asparagus and capsicum

Simple Stir-fries

Stir-frying is all about technique, but that's not to say that it's difficult. I've changed the way I stir-fry over the years to make things more efficient for home cooking.

While restaurant cooking usually fries or oil-blanches the meat first, for home cooking I think it's better to cook the vegetables first and then remove them from the wok to fry the meat second, returning the vegetables to the meat later. This avoids the need to wash the wok if any meat sticks to the metal (which it usually shouldn't).

This recipe fries the asparagus, capsicum and onion first, then the beef second, tossing everything together with simple seasonings of oyster sauce, soy sauce, wine and sugar.

  • Cooking time



  • 400 g topside or rump steak, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cm ginger, peeled and sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 5 cm lengths
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup cold water
  • Meat marinade
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • a dash of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Seasoning Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Combine the meat with the meat marinade ingredients. Set aside for 10 minutes if you can.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat and add 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil. Add the ginger, onions and capsicum and toss for a minute until slightly softened. Remove from the wok, leaving the oil in base. Return the wok to heat and add the remaining oil, then the beef and spread it out in a single layer over the base of the wok. Fry for about 3 minutes without stirring until the beef is well-browned on one side. Toss the beef, add the garlic, fry for a minute until the garlic is lightly browned then return the vegetables to the wok. Add the seasoning ingredients and toss to combine, then add as much of the corn starch mixture as you need to produce a silky sauce.

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