Stir-fried Beef with Broccoli and Baby Corn

Thai chefs have been generous as well as wise in adopting and adapting recipes from the Chinese canon. This is one such dish, lovingly taken into Thai cuisine and naturalized by the addition of Thai speciality seasonings.

The gentle baby corn and the sturdy broccoli offer delicious contrasts to the robust beef. This is a splendid main dish.


  • 450 g (1 lb) lean beef steak
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh broccoli
  • 225 g (8 oz) fresh baby corn
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • Β½ teaspoon salt
  • ΒΌ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce


Put the beef in the freezing compartment of the refrigerator for 20 minutes. This will harden the meat slightly for easier cutting. Then cut it into thin slices 4 cm (1Β½ in) long. Put the beef slices into a bowl and add the soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of rice wine, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil and the cornflour. Mix well and allow to marinate for 20 minutes.

Separate the broccoli heads into small florets; then peel and slice the stems. Blanch the broccoli pieces and the baby corn in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then immerse them in cold water. Drain thoroughly.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the groundnut oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the beef and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Remove the meat and drain it in a stainless-steel colander set inside a bowl, leaving behind about 1 tablespoon of oil.

Reheat the wok and add the broccoli, corn, salt and pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then add the sugar, the remaining rice wine, fish sauce and oyster sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Now return the drained beef to the wok and continue to stir-fry for 1 or 2 minutes until the beef is heated through. Finally, drizzle in 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil and give the mixture a good stir. Turn onto a platter and serve at once.