Sesame Beef and Asparagus
1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced steak
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
3 tbsp. oyster sauce, reduced sodium version if available
3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, more or less to taste
1 tbsp. corn starch
1/4 cup beef stock, or water
3 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1/2 pound fresh asparagus
3/4 cup sliced water chestnuts
Cut the asparagus into 1 1/2 inch pieces and blanch in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the asparagus and immediately plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking and preserve its color. Drain ice water off of the asparagus and set it aside.
Heat a wok over very high heat. Add 2 tbsp. of peanut or regular sesame oil and quickly stir fry the steak slices for only 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the beef from the wok and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
To the wok, add the ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, 5 spice powder, rice wine vinegar, black pepper, brown sugar and toasted sesame oil. Bring to a boil for only a minute.
Dissolve the corn starch in the water and add to the simmering sauce in the wok, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
Add beef back to the sauce along with the blanched asparagus and water chestnuts.
Simmer only for another minute or so until the beef, water chestnuts and asparagus are heated through. Serve over steamed rice or your favorite Chinese noodles.
Sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds when serving.