Wok-Fried Fillet Steak

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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

My father, although his palate was almost exclusively Cantonese, to the extent that he even considered a Peking Duck “foreign,” nevertheless enjoyed a beef steak from time to time either at home or in a Western restaurant in Hong Kong. According to him, a steak should be tasty, fragrant, and tender. He introduced this steak to his eight children at a tender age, and we all loved it. I have often cooked it for my son, who is half Chinese and half American, and he, too, loves it.


  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed and cut into pieces about ⅓-½ inch thick
  • tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed but left whole
  • tablespoons Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 2 medium-sized onions, sliced
  • Salt


  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 turns black pepper mill


  • Marinate the beef. Smash the beef once with the broadside of a Chinese cleaver or a large knife to loosen the fibers. Add the salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper and leave to stand for 30-45 minutes.
  • Heat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil and swirl it around. Add the crushed cloves of garlic, let sizzle and turn brown, releasing its aroma to the oil. Remove the garlic with a perforated spoon and discard.
  • Add the beef to the oil and fry each side for about 15 seconds. Splash in the wine or sherry around the side of the wok. When the sizzling subsides, lower the heat to medium and continue to fry the beef for another 15-45 seconds, depending on how you like it. Remove to a serving platter and keep warm, leaving some oil in the wok.
  • Add the remaining oil and the onions to the wok. Stir and turn over medium high heat for about 1 minute. Season with salt to taste, then remove to the serving platter. Serve immediately.

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