Yang-Yang Crispy Beef

"A great dish for Chinese New Year or any weeknight!"
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:


  • Steak

  • peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 lb sirloin steak, pounded 1/4-inch thick and finely sliced into strips
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • sea salt
  • Sauce

  • 12 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 12 cucumber, sliced in half, seeds removed, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 -2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 large scallion, thinly sliced on the bias, for garnish


  • For the beef: Heat a wok over high heat and fill halfway up with peanut oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees, or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface.
  • Place beef strips in a large bowl and add 2 T. cornstarch. Toss until the beef has absorbed the cornstarch. Add the remaining 1 T. cornstarch right before frying and toss to coat.
  • Fry the beef in 2 to 3 batches until golden, 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with sea salt.
  • For the sauce: Set another wok or saute pan over high heat and add the chili sauce, soy sauce and orange juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until it becomes thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 1-2 minutes. Toss the beef in the sauce to coat thoroughly.
  • Serve over a bed of the shredded lettuce and sliced cucumber that has been sprinkled with rice vinegar. Then garnish with the scallions and orange zest.

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I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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