Beef with Pineapple

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Preparation info

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Appears in

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

Because of the warm climate in South China, tropical fruits abound, and it is not unusual to combine fruit with meat or poultry. Pineapples and mangoes are favorites with beef, affecting an appetizingly sweet-and-sour taste in the dish.


  • 4 large rounds of fresh pineapple, ½ inch thick, cored and cut into chunks
  • Small pinch salt
  • About 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pound rump steak or skirt, trimmed and cut across the grain into rectangular slices about ¾ x 1½ inches and ¼ inch thick
  • 5½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, cut diagonally into thin slices
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1-inch sections, white and green parts separated
  • 8 thin slices peeled fresh ginger, cut into very fine silky strips
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry
  • ¾ teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water


  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
  • 8 turns black pepper mill
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • Taste the pineapple for acidity, then add the salt and sugar accordingly. Mix well and leave to stand for 30 minutes or longer.
  • Marinate the beef. Add the salt, sugar, soy sauce, pepper, wine or sherry and cornstarch to the beef and stir in the same direction to coat. Add the water, 1 tablespoonful at a time, stirring until completely absorbed before adding another spoonful. Leave to stand in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Blend in the oil.
  • Heat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add 4 tablespoons of the oil and swirl it around several times. Add the garlic, let sizzle, then add the white scallions and half of the ginger; stir to release their aroma. Add the beef and, sliding the wok scoop or a metal spatula to the bottom of the wok, turn and toss for about 30 seconds, or until the beef is partially cooked. Splash the wine or sherry around the side of the wok. When the sizzling subsides, remove the beef, still underdone, to a dish and keep warm nearby.
  • Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons oil to the wok and swirl it around over a high heat. Add the remaining ginger, stir a few times, then add the pineapple. Push the pineapple to the edges and pour the well-stirred dissolved cornstarch into the center of the wok, continuing to stir as it thickens. Return the beef to the wok, add the green scallions, and stir to mix until thoroughly hot again. Remove onto a serving dish and serve immediately.

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