Stir-fried Beef with Green Beans and Water Chesnuts

June 26, 2009 | By andrea | Filed in: Asian, Beef, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Recipes.


Here’s another great take-out favorite that can be whipped up in a flash: thin slices of beef with crisp-tender green beans, crunchy water chesnuts and a garlic and ginger flavored sauce. It’s delicious!

Don’t let the oyster sauce frighten you. It doesn’t smell fishy or taste anything like oysters…it just forms the base of the sauce along with the beef broth. Look for oyster sauce in the Asian section of your grocery store (by the soy sauce). You need to have everything prepped and ready to go before starting to cook the stir fry. When I say everything, I mean everything (your table set, your rice cooked, etc.). You don’t want your stir fry getting cold while you wait for your rice to cook. I used flatiron steak instead of flank steak because that’s what I had in the fridge. Also, I only used 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes because I wanted my kids to enjoy the dish, although I think it would be better with the full amount of spice. Serve with steamed rice.

Stir-Fried Beef with Green Beans and Water Chestnuts
-recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine

To prepare the flank steak, slice the meat with the grain into 3 long strips, then cut each strip across the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices. A stir-fry is a welcome weeknight meal because it takes just minutes to cook. Our version includes crunchy green beans and water chestnuts, which pair perfectly with tender flank steak. Here’s what we discovered:

Test Kitchen Discoveries

•Stir-frying is very quick and demands a cook’s complete attention for the best results. Have all the ingredients properly prepared and near the stovetop before beginning cooking.
•Freeze the beef for 15 minutes—the meat will firm up enough to slice thinly.
•Skip the wok. We use a nonstick skillet here, which puts more surface area in direct contact with the burner for faster cooking and more even heating than a traditional wok.
•Be sure the pan is properly preheated (the pan is ready when the oil is just smoking) and that the ingredients are spread evenly across the pan. The food should cook quickly, not steam.

Serves 4

1/3 cup oyster sauce  
1/3 cup low-sodium beef broth  
2 teaspoons rice vinegar  
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes  
2 tablespoons vegetable oil  
1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into thin slices  
1 pound green beans , trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces 
2 (8-ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts , drained 
8 garlic cloves , minced 
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger  

Whisk oyster sauce, broth, vinegar, and pepper flakes in bowl. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Cook half of steak until browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to bowl and repeat with additional 2 teaspoons oil and remaining steak.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in empty skillet until just smoking. Cook beans and water chestnuts, covered, stirring occasionally, until beans are bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return steak and any accumulated juices to pan. Add oyster sauce mixture and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve.

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2 comments on “Stir-fried Beef with Green Beans and Water Chesnuts

  1. Cheryl says:

    I plan to fix it this weekend…..sounds really good………fresh green beans in season now.

  2. Beth Moser says:

    Making tonight:) Looks yummy!!!