Scallion Beef Stir Fry (Cong Bao Niurou)

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Make this once and you’ll never cook a tough steak again.
scallion beef stir fry recipe: scallion beef stir fry
Ching Ying Wong/Tiffy Cooks

Before you order takeout (again…), hear us out. You can tackle a dish similar to your go-to order in less time than it takes to wait for delivery. Not only is this scallion beef stir fry fast and easy, but the recipe will also teach you a few hacks for cooking better beef. It's from Tiffy Chen’s new cookbook, Tiffy Cooks: 88 Easy Asian Recipes from My Family to Yours.

If you’re a newbie (or intimidated by preparing steak), don’t fret. “Often, the thing people worry about when cooking beef at home is that the meat is going to turn out chewy and tough,” writes Chen. “For this recipe, a friend who owns a restaurant in Taiwan shared with me some tricks that restaurants use to get tender beef every single time!”

These tips include briefly freezing the beef before slicing it, cutting it against the grain and marinating it in a tenderizing, acidic mixture of baking soda, corn starch and rice vinegar. The more you know.

Reprinted with permission from Tiffy Cooks: 88 Easy Asian Recipes from My Family to Yours by Tiffy Chen. Copyright © 2024 by Yin Chu Chen and Tokytiffy Consulting Ltd. Photographs copyright © 2024 by Ching Ying Wong. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.


1 pound New York strip steak (or your preferred cut of beef)

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg white

3 tablespoons rice wine (optional)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup and 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

6 scallions, cut into 2-inch-long pieces, white and green parts divided

10 dried red Thai chiles

Rice or noodles, for serving


1. Place the beef in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will make it firm and easier to slice. Remove it from the freezer and cut it diagonally, against the grain, into thin strips.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the corn starch, baking soda, egg white, rice wine and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the beef strips and mix to coat. Marinate it for 20 minutes at room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the light soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, sugar, Sichuan peppercorns and cumin.

4. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 cup of olive oil. Add the beef strips and fry them until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside. Pour out the oil and wipe the pan.

5. In the same pan over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the yellow onion, scallion whites and chiles. Sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Drizzle in the sauce and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.

6. Increase the heat to high. Return the beef to the pan and sauté until coated, about 2 minutes. Add the scallion greens and sauté for about 30 seconds more.

7. Transfer to a large serving plate. Serve with rice or noodles.

Nutrition Facts
  • 892 calories

  • 78g fat

  • 22g carbs

  • 27g protein

  • 11g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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