Spring weather has been slow to arrive this month. Yet I've been craving spring veggies like crazy. In the coming weeks, asparagus will start popping up in the farmers markets, so I thought I would post a stir-fry to get you in the mood for warmer temps ahead.
As I've mentioned before, lately I've been testing out sauces from Soy Vay, with whom I started a partnership in January. This month I decided to try out their recipe for a garlic beef and asparagus stir-fry using their Hoisin Garlic. Here are some discoveries from the Appetite for China test kitchen:
- Doubling as a marinade, this is one workhorse of a sauce. I altered the original recipe a bit, marinating the beef in about 2 tablespoons of Hoisin Garlic to allow the flavors to seep into the meat before cooking. The result was incredibly tender beef; the sauce takes the place of my usual meat marinade of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch.
- It's a little less concentrated than other hoisin sauces I've used, which makes it easier to stir in the pan. This is especially helpful for this recipe, because the flank steak cooks so quickly, and you don't want to overcook the beef before the sauce gets evenly mixed.
- The flavor is slightly sweeter, which balances out the savoriness from the soybeans. No need to add an extra bit of sugar to your sauce, which I often do.
- It's widely available. This is a huge plus. I often get emails from readers and students from my classes asking where to get good Asian ingredients when they can't get to a Chinatown conveniently. (And most other American-made hoisin sauces I've tried are very lackluster.) The Hoisin Garlic sauce is available at Whole Foods and a ton of other big supermarkets.
All in all, this is a great single bottle sauce that can have you whipping up a delicious stir-fry in almost no time, even if you have no other Asian sauces in the pantry.
After I stir-fried the beef, I just removed it from the pan, stir-fried and steamed the asparagus in the same pan, and brought everything together in the end along with the sauce and cashews.
Garlic Beef and Asparagus Stir-fry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
- 1 pound flank steak, cut against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/2 cup Soy Vay Hoisin Garlic Sauce and Marinade
- 1 pound asparagus, ends removed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
- In a medium bowl, combine the flank steak and 2 tablespoons of the Hoisin Garlic sauce. Allow the steak to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the flank steak and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until mostly brown but not fully cooked. Remove and set aside.
- Add the asparagus to the wok. Stir-fry for about 1 minute, then add 1/2 cup water and cover with a lid. Allow the asparagus to steam for another 1 to 2 minutes until tender-crisp and the water is gone.
- Return the beef to the wok. Add the remaining amount of hoisin garlic sauce and stir until everything is well-mixed and the beef is cooked through, about 1 minute more. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the cashews. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with rice or noodles.
Adapted from Soy Vay.
Disclosure: I am a Soy Vay® Ambassador and Soy Vay® products were provided to me by Soy Vay®.