My grandmother was an amazing Chinese home cook, and this stir-fry, a Cantonese classic, was one of my favorite dishes. It has tender, thinly sliced beef coated in a savory marinade that doubles as a sauce. It's full of zingy ginger and garlic, and sweet tomato wedges that are cooked just enough to release some of their juices but keep their shape. It's a hearty dish that's delicious spooned over a heaping bowl of steamed rice to soak up all the tasty sauce. It's also a great way to celebrate tomato season when you're looking to add a new recipe to your book.
Even though my grandmother managed to make even rock-hard winter tomatoes taste good with this preparation, peak-season tomatoes will take this dish over the top. You can even use heirloom tomatoes so you get a variety of colors, flavors, and textures.
Beef and Tomato Stir-Fry
For the beef and sauce:
12 ounces flank steak, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
For the stir-fry:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 (1/4-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound tomatoes (about 3 medium), cut into 1-inch-wide wedges
3 medium scallions, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
Steamed rice, for serving (optional)
Marinate the beef: Cut the flank steak crosswise (with the grain) into 2- to 3-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Place the beef in a medium bowl.
Stir the oyster sauce, soy sauce or tamari, wine or sherry, cornstarch, and sesame oil together in a small bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture to the bowl of beef and toss to coat; set the remaining sauce aside.
Make the stir-fry: Heat a large frying pan or flat-bottomed wok over medium-high heat until a drop of water vaporizes immediately on contact. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the beef, and spread into an even layer. Cook undisturbed until the beef begins to sear, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, stir-fry for 30 seconds until the beef is lightly browned but not cooked through. Transfer the beef and any juices in the pan to a large plate.
Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into the pan. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes start to collapse around the edges and release their juices, about 3 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pan, add the scallions and reserved sauce mixture, and stir-fry until the beef is just cooked through and the sauce is glossy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve immediately over rice.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.