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Chinese Crispy Beef Stir-fry

The good thing about Chinese cooking is that it always manages to make a little meat go a long way. Rump steak is perfect for stir-frying, and for this recipe just 4 oz (110 g) per person is plenty.

 Chinese Crispy Beef Stir-fry

  Serves 2

 8 oz (225 g) rump steak
 4 oz (110 g) rice noodles
 1 stem lemon grass
 1 fat garlic clove
 1½ inch (4 cm) piece fresh ginger
 6 spring onions
 1 medium leek
 1 medium carrot
 2 rounded teaspoons cornflour
 1 level teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
 2 tablespoons groundnut oil or other flavourless oil
 2 tablespoons soy sauce
 3 tablespoons dry sherry
 pinch salt
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You will also need a wok or a very large frying pan.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection.


The secret of a successful stir-fry is speed. So what you need to do is have everything prepared before you start. The first item to prepare is the rice noodles. Place these in a large bowl with a little salt, then pour warm water over them and leave them to soak for exactly 15 minutes and no longer.

Now for the vegetables. First the lemon grass – remove the outer tougher leaves, trim off the woody tops, then slice the rest very finely. The garlic should be peeled and also chopped finely. The piece of ginger needs to be peeled, cut into thin slices and then the slices cut into tiny matchstick pieces. Finely slice the white part of the spring onions, then cut the tender green part into 2 inch (5 cm) lengths and then the lengths into little strips.

Now the leek: first halve the white part lengthways and cut into similar matchstick-sized strips, then cut the green, tender part of the leek into diagonals to make diamond-shaped pieces. Cut the carrot lengthways and then make this, too, into matchsticks. Now for the meat. This is cut into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces and these are then cut lengthways so that the meat, too, is now in thin strips. Next you need to take a small bowl and in it mix the cornflour and the five-spice powder together. Mix the meat in this mixture until it is all well coated.

Drain the noodles, shaking off any excess water, and then all is ready to cook. Now place the wok over a high heat, without adding any oil at first. As soon as it's very hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, let it sizzle, then add the meat and toss it and stir-fry it in the hot oil for about 2 minutes. Then remove the meat to a plate. Add the remaining oil, let it sizzle and then add the lemon grass, garlic and ginger. Toss these around for about 30 seconds, then add the carrots, spring onions and leek and toss these around also for 30 seconds.

Next add the liquid – soy sauce, sherry and 2 tablespoons of water. Then, as soon as the liquid is very hot, stir in the noodles, combining them with the vegetables. Finally, return the meat to join all the vegetables, toss everything together a couple of times and serve immediately in hot bowls.


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