Stir Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce Recipe + 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry (2024)

by Jeanette 19 Comments

Learn how to make Stir-Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauceand 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry.

Stir Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce Recipe + 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry (1)

What you’ll learn:

  • 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry
  • Ingredients for the Perfect Stir Fry

Stir Fry Beef with Oyster Sauce is a classic Chinese dish that I’ve made so many times that I don’t even think about it as a recipe. Usually, I addred or green peppers, and sometimes sliced onions, but this past week, I used asparagus. It’s almost Spring and even though there’s still snow on the ground here in CT, I cannot wait for it to warm up.

Stir Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce Recipe + 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry (2)

When I was growing up, stir-frying was still a relatively new cooking technique that many home cooks weren’t familiar with. These days, I would guess that many more people know how to stir-fry. Although a wok is certainly handy, you don’t even need one. A nice large skillet works just fine.

Stir Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce Recipe + 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry (3)

Not only is stir-frying a quick way to get dinner on the table, but it’s also a great way to make a one-pot or one-wok meal since most stir-fry dishes have both a protein and at least one vegetable in it. Plus, it’s an economical way to stretch a piece of steak or chicken to feed four people instead of one.

The key to this dish is the oyster sauce (choose one without any MSG). I think of oyster sauce as kind of a cheat – it just makes everything taste good. I’ve even drizzled it on top of ahard boiled egg for a quick breakfast or snack.

Stir Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce Recipe + 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry (4)

4 Tips for the PerfectStir-Fry

Stir-frying takes just minutes, so follow these tips for the perfect stir-fry:

  • Marinade the protein for at least 10-15 minutes if possible (you can also marinade overnight in the refrigerator)
  • TRICK: if you’re using a tougher cut of beef, add a little baking soda to the beef a few minutes before stir-frying to tenderize it (~ 1/8 teaspoon per pound)
  • Have all stir-fry ingredientsprepped and ready to go on a cutting board or plate before turning on the stove
  • Mix together the stir-fry sauce before turning on the stove

Ingredients for the PerfectStir-Fry

Stir-frying is extremely flexible.The combinations are endless so try different variations using the following:

  • Proteins can include firm tofu, boneless chicken or shelled shrimp
  • Vegetables can include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red or green bell peppers, mushrooms, snow peas,sugar snap peas or any combination of these
  • White wine can be used in place of rice wine or sherry (it helps tenderize and flavor the protein)
  • Garlic can be used in addition to or in place of ginger
  • Onions can be used in place of scallions
  • Soy sauce or fish sauce can be used in place of oyster sauce

Stir Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce Recipe + 4 Tips for the Perfect Stir Fry (5)

5 from 1 vote

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Stir Fry Beef and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 25 minutes

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2tablespoonsolive oil
  • 1poundflank steak or strip steakcut into thin slices, about 1/8" thick

Marinade

  • 2teaspoonsgluten-free soy sauce
  • 2teaspoonsrice wine or sherry
  • 1/8teaspoonfresh ground black pepper
  • 1teaspoonsesame oil
  • 2teaspoonscornstarch

Stir-Fry Ingredients

  • 2teaspoonsgingerminced
  • 2tablespoonsscallionschopped, green parts reserved for garnish
  • 1bunch asparagustough bottoms broken off, cut into 1 1/2" pieces

Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 2tablespoonsoyster sauce
  • 1teaspoongluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/2teaspoonorganic sugar
  • 2teaspoonscornstarch
  • 2tablespoonswater

Garnish

  • green parts of scallionfrom above
  • toasted sesame seedsoptional

Instructions

  1. Mix together Marinade ingredients in a bowl and add steak slices. Mix Stir-Fry Sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and have Stir-Fry Ingredients ready on a plate or cutting board.

  2. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Remove a spoonful of oil and add to marinated beef; toss to loosen up meat. Add beef to wok and spread in a single layer; let brown then flip to brown other side (do not overcook - you want it to be rare inside at this point). Remove beef from wok using a slotted spoon.

  3. Stir-fry ginger, white parts of scallion and asparagus in remaining oil until asparagus is crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add Stir-Fry Sauce and beef; toss everything together and stir-fry another minute or two. Remove to serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

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FAQs

What are the four main components of a stir-fry? ›

A great stir-fry typically consists of four important components: protein, vegetables, aromatics, and sauce. Standard stir-fry starts with one pound of protein and two pounds of vegetables, and a basic stir-fry sauce (recipe below).

What are the three rules of stir-frying? ›

The first is to cook your protein and your vegetable separately, and combine them only after both are fully cooked. A second rule of thumb for stir-frying: Choose one vegetable per stir-fry. Finally, always remember to add liquid only after everything is more or less finished cooking.

Why is oyster sauce used in stir-fry? ›

Along with a jolt of flavor, oyster sauce adds a dark caramel color to any dish, which, according to assistant food editor Jessie YuChen, is referred to as “the sauce color” in Mandarin. It's a shade you'll notice in many Chinese dishes like stir-fried broccoli, Cantonese beef chow fun, and lo mein.

What not to put in stir-fry? ›

Because stir-frying uses a very high heat, you want a cooking oil that has a high smoke point. Vegetable, canola or peanut oil are my trustee go-tos, and all have a neutral taste, so won't affect flavour. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – use butter!

What makes stir-fry taste better? ›

Sauce is essential to a good stir-fry because it adds sweet, tangy and salty flavors to the dish. You can use a store-bought sauce or make your own from oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch and broth. Aim for about 2 to 3 tablespoons per person. (Start with these Asian sauces you need to know.)

What is the best oil for stir-frying? ›

So many different oils, the good news is you can stick with what you know – canola is great! The best oils for stir frys are the oils with the higher smoke points. These tend to be the “thinner” oils such as peanut, grapeseed or canola.

What order to add veggies to stir-fry? ›

Stir-fry onions first, then add hard vegetables such as carrot and broccoli. Quick-cooking vegetables, such as snow peas, leafy greens and bean sprouts, should be added towards the end of cooking. If using vegies that have a combination of both textures, such as gai laan, add the stems first and the leaves later.

What order do I add ingredients in a stir-fry? ›

Generally, after getting the wok super-hot and splashing some oil in, you'll throw in your aromatics like ginger, chilies, and garlic just for a few moments, then add meat if you're including any, then vegetables.

What to add to oyster sauce? ›

You can experiment by mixing the oyster sauce with other Asian ingredients to create your own dipping sauce recipe. For example, you could mix it with sesame oil, Sriracha, soy sauce, mirin, or rice vinegar to create different flavor combinations.

Does oyster sauce tenderize meat? ›

With a hint of natural sweetness, oyster flavored sauce gives marinades an umami punch while tenderizing the meat, making meat juicier than ever.

What can I use instead of oyster sauce in stir-fry? ›

  1. Fish sauce. Although it's not a perfect substitute, you can use fish sauce in place of oyster sauce in some recipes. ...
  2. Soy sauce. Soy sauce is an easy substitute for oyster sauce since it's a common pantry staple. ...
  3. Hoisin sauce. ...
  4. Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce. ...
  5. Teriyaki sauce. ...
  6. Vegan mushroom sauce.
Jul 12, 2021

What is most important when preparing a stir-fry? ›

The key to a great stir-fry is to have everything prepped in advance because the cooking process goes fast. A wok is best for stir-fries because its shape keeps the food moving. Put it over super-high heat, add the oil and then add aromatics like garlic and ginger.

What is the secret to Chinese stir-fry? ›

Buy the Right Pan and Keep It Sizzling Hot

“Because you should always stir fry at a very, very high heat, you actually need a carbon or stainless steel pan with a flat, wide bottom that can stay in contact with your heat source.” “I much prefer carbon steel because that's the same material that a wok is made out of.

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