Chinese cuisine is so vast and all encompassing that I’m always on the lookout for good recipes that define it’s cooking. This recipe is from Daughter of Heaven – A Memoir with Earthy Recipes by Leslie Li (Arcade Publishing). The book features Ms. Li’s grandmother’s recipes, inclusive of this one, Beef and Tomatoes in Ouster Sauce. From the ingredients utilized, I would consider this is a Cantonese recipe. It’s rather easy to prepare and renders a glorious dish. Served over plain boiled rice, it’s a winner.



1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon granulates sugar (substitute honey or maple syrup)
1 pound flank steak, cut across the grain in ¼-inch slices (substitute chicken breasts or turkey)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons oyster sauce


In a bowl, stir together the cornstarch, soy sauce, sherry, and granulated sugar. Add the steak. Toss the mixture well, and let the steak marinate for 20 minutes.

In a wok or heavy skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat (but not smoking) and stir-fry the onion for 1 minutes. Transfer the onion to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok, and heat it until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic. Stir-fry for 45 seconds, or until golden. Discard the garlic.  Add the steak and the salt. Stir-fry the mixture for 1 minute.

Sprinkle the tomatoes with the brown sugar, and add them to the wok. Stir-fry the mixture until the tomatoes are just heated through. Add the ketchup. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the onion and the ouster sauce. Stir-fry the mixture for 1 minute.

Makes 4 servings.