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Shacha Beef with Slivered Celery
4
servings
Main
Course
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
Ingredients
1 lb
beef flank steak (or substitute with skirt steak), sliced thinly against the grain into 2–3-inch-long pieces
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1 tsp
cornstarch
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¼ tsp
baking soda
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1 tbsp
toasted sesame oil
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2 tbsp
soy sauce, or more to taste
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2 tbsp
neutral oil, such as peanut oil
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2
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
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lb
celery stalks, thinly sliced on a bias
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2 tbsp
shacha sauce (such as Bullhead brand)
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2
scallions, both white and green parts, cut to about 2-inch-long segments
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Steamed rice, for serving
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The assertive flavor and crispness of celery, sliced thinly on a bias, make a fine complement for the briny, fishy funk of shacha sauce. This singular condiment originated with migrant workers from China’s Chaoshan region, who were inspired by Southeast Asian satay sauces and adapted them to local tastes involving dried seafood. It’s also very popular in Taiwan, where people from the region settled and adapted it further. Look for Chinese celery in an Asian market if you can find it—its thin stalks are more intensely flavored than the larger, American celery stalks. Or use any sliced vegetable as a stir-fry pairing instead—bell peppers, broccoli, or just scallions or onion.

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix the beef with the cornstarch, baking soda, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, until the oil is very hot. Add the beef and garlic and spread them out in the oil; let cook for about 10 seconds to slightly sear the meat, then stir and cook another 5–10 seconds, stirring. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside in a bowl; it can be pink or undercooked at this point.
  3. Add the celery to the same pan and stir for about 10 seconds. Stir in the scallions and cook for another few seconds. Return the beef to the pan, then add the shacha sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir to distribute the sauces evenly. Remove from heat. Taste for seasoning, adding any extra if desired. If desired, add a little splash of water to dilute the saltiness and create a thin sauce. Serve immediately with the rice.

Cathy Erway

Cathy Erway is the author of the cookbook The Food of Taiwan and the memoir The Art of Eating In. She hosts the podcasts Self Evident, exploring Asian American stories, and Eat Your Words on Heritage Radio Network, and blogs at Not Eating Out in New York.