Everything about this stir-fry screams epic: the charred, melt-in-your-mouth beef. The sticky, sweet and rich homemade char siu sauce. The crunchy yet tender broccoli. Better yet, it all comes together quickly, so you don’t even have to save this divine dish for special occasions – whip it out on weeknights, then sit back and watch the satisfied smiles descend.
4 tbsp vegetable oil
500g (1 lb) diced (about 3cm/1.5” cubes) scotch fillet or any other tender cut of steak, fat trimmed
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 small head broccoli, cut into large florets
5 spring onions (scallions), cut into 5cm (2”) batons
sesame seeds, to serve
steamed rice, to serve
Homemade char siu sauce:
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp maltose*
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp red fermented tofu*
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp Chinese five spice
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp ground white pepper
¼ tsp red food colouring
1 tbsp hot water
To make the char siu sauce, place all the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and mix everything together until well incorporated and smooth. Transfer just under half of the sauce into a separate large mixing bowl and set the remaining sauce aside.
Add beef into marinade along with bicarb soda. Mix and coat all of the beef pieces well and set aside.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, and prepare a large bowl of iced water. Once the water is boiling, quickly blanch the broccoli pieces for 1 minute until ultra green, then strain and transfer into the iced water. Once chilled, drain immediately and place onto a dry cloth or paper towel.
Preheat a wok over high hot. Once it’s scary hot, add in 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil, then add in broccoli, spring onion and a good pinch of salt. Stir-fry the vegetables on high heat for a couple of minutes until they’re starting to get some charry bits on them. Transfer to a serving plate.
Heat the wok again over medium-high heat. Add the remaining vegetable oil, then place the marinated beef pieces into the wok and spread out into an even layer. Allow them to sear and brown a little for 1 minute. Flip the beef pieces around, turning them constantly around the pan, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add in the remaining char siu sauce reserved from earlier. Keep tossing the beef in the char siu sauce to coat all over for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the beef is cooked to your liking – you want it lovely and tender, so take care not to overcook it. Spoon the beef over the stir-fried vegetables. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with steamed rice.
– Maltose is commonly used in Chinese cuisine for giving a gorgeous gloss and hint of sweetness on roasted meats, especially BBQ or char siu pork. It also helps criss up the skin on poultry. Find it at an Asian grocer or online. It helps to warm it in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it before you make the sauce.
– Red fermented tofu is a little funky umami bomb that also helps to boost the reddish, brown colour of the sauce. Use both the tofu and a little of the liquid in the jar. You can find it at an Asian grocer or online.