Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stir-fried beef with celery 西芹牛肉

It's late at night, and I still need to think about tomorrow's lunch. My husband, the President and Treasurer of the house, told me that we spent too much money on dining out, so me, the CEO of the house, is cooking, cooking and cooking away in the kitchen. On an attempt to use up some things in the refrigerator that are getting old, I came up with this idea. I added a few things, here and there, to the dish to make it more colorful. This is a great dish for lunch, given that it produces almost no juice and can sustain re-heating.


  • 1/2 lb. beef tenderloin
  • 2 five-spice tofu
  • 7-8 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 medium carrot
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 slices of ginger


1. I usually buy the beef tenderloin when it's on sale, and cut it into about 1/2 pound per piece and freeze them. When I need to use it, just take one piece out and defrost it in the microwave. Don't defrost it all the way though, as long as the surface is slightly softened, I take it out. It is easier to cut into thin slices when it's still mainly frozen but not too hard to cut.

2. Cut the beef tenderloin in thin slices, and marinate them with 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp cooking wine, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp corn starch and pinch of salt. I also add 2 Tbsp hot chili sauce, because I LOVE spicy food. 

(Note: I also add 1/8 tsp of baking soda to tenderize the beef. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, and is an essential electrolyte in our body; it is not a chemical that would harm our health. All essential electrolytes in our body, sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate, are maintained at a very tight range by our body. The excess will be eliminated in the urine. The kidneys are the organ that mainly regulate these electrolytes at a constant level, so I am not worrying by adding some baking soda in the beef. However, I won't add more than 1/8 tsp, because you might taste the baking soda in the dish.)

3.Cut the vegetables in thin slices. (This might take a while as it is a rather tedious process, but I was on the phone with my parents, so it's OK.)

4. Heat up 3 Tbsp cooking oil in pan on medium heat. Add garlic and ginger first, stir-fry until slightly brown (about 20 seconds).

5. Add the beef. Cook until the beef are brown (less than 1 minute).

6. Add the tofu, celery and carrots. Mix well so that everything is evenly coated with oil.

7. Season with 2 Tbsp soy sauce for the color and flavor. Stir until the sauce reduces a little. (My doctor said my blood pressure is a little high, so I am watching my salt intake.)

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