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Beef Tofu Stir-Fry

By Galen Lau
Adapted from this recipe at

Yields: 4 servings


For the beef and marinade:

  • 10 ounces flank steak, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce

For the rest of the dish:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 thin slices ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, cut at an angle into 1-inch pieces, white and green portions separated
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
  • ¾ cup beef or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 block regular or soft tofu, cut into 2-inch squares, ½-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water


  1. Combine the beef, water, oil, cornstarch, baking soda, and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Let the beef marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the wok until smoking and spread 2 tablespoons of oil around the perimeter. Sear the beef for 20 seconds on each side. You want the beef seared on the outside and about 80% done. Transfer back to the marinade bowl, and set aside.
  3. Add the ginger, and let caramelize for 20 seconds. There should be oil in the wok from searing the beef, but add another tablespoon of oil if needed. Next, add the minced garlic and the white portion of the scallions. Stir fry for 10 seconds, and add the Shaoxing wine. Stir again for 10 seconds, and add the chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and sugar. Stir-fry until combined, and then gently slide the tofu into the wok. Let the tofu and the sauce come up to a boil, and drop in the green portions of the scallions and the seared beef, including any juices from the marinade bowl.
  4. Carefully stir in the cornstarch slurry, and lower the heat to medium as the sauce thickens. Be as gentle as possible when stirring so as to minimize tofu breakage. A pushing/stirring motion to rotate the mixture around the wok usually works best for me. Adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding more cornstarch slurry or chicken stock until it is to your liking. Serve over steamed rice!