A stir-fry is a celebration of so much that I like about cooking. I like to prepare things in advance, and so the requisite chopping and measuring of all ingredients before you stir-fry isn’t a chore, but a source of satisfaction as I see those little dishes and stacks of prepared ingredients take their place next to the wok. And then when I’m actually stir-frying, what a sense of instant gratification—the fast cooking, changing aromas, the fresh look of the final dish—great.
This recipe has become a family favorite. Terrific over rice, we also like it with couscous—simply cooked and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and sometimes a chopped tomato.
Spicy Beef and Asparagus Stir Fry
6 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry
4 teaspoons corn starch
1-½ pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 ½ pounds asparagus spears, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2 inch pieces
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons honey
4 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Be sure to have all of the ingredients ready to go before you cook, this comes together quickly and there won’t be time to chop or measure as you go.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the rice wine or sherry and the cornstarch. Add the beef and toss the mixture until the liquid is absorbed through the meat. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the asparagus, jalapeno and ginger and stir-fry for 2 to 4 minutes until the asparagus is cooked to crisp-tender. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, add the meat and stir-fry until the meat is browned and cooked. Return the asparagus mixture to the pan and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, the oyster sauce and honey and stir-fry for another 2 minutes or so to blend and warm. Add the green onions, salt and pepper to taste and serve.