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Chinese Stir-fried Beef in Oyster Sauce

Updated on October 19, 2012

Beef in Oyster Sauce with Snow Peas

Flank Steak
Flank Steak
Snow Peas
Snow Peas
Ginger Root
Ginger Root
Oyster Sauce
Oyster Sauce

Chinese Food

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Beef in Oyster Sauce with Snow Peas


Chinese oyster sauce is a dark brown condiment made from sugar, salt, water and oyster extract. The quality and price varies with the amount of oyster extract that is added.


I normally buy the mid-priced one from a Chinese grocery store. If you have any doubt about which variety to use, simply ask the owner which one he prefers.


The origin of this sauce is usually credited to Lee Kam Sheung who sold cooked oysters in Guangdong province in China. One time he overcooked the oyster soup and it turned into a thick, brownish liquid which he began to sell to his customers.


In 1988, he formed the Lee Kum Lee Oyster Sauce House to mass-produce his invention. Today, pure oyster sauce is prohibitively expensive to produce so varying percentages of oyster extract are used.


The following recipe uses beef and snow peas, but pork, chicken or lamb would work too. Instead of snow peas you could use broccoli, asparagus or even baby corn. In fact, you could eliminate the meat entirely and just use a selection of blanched vegetables instead.




Preparation Time:

30 Minutes

Cooking Time:

30 Minutes



1 Lb. of Beef Flank Steak (cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/8 inch slices across the grain while slightly frozen)

1 Tablespoon Black Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

¼ Teaspoon Sugar

¼ Cup of oil

Mix in a bowl except for the oil and let stand for at least 15 minutes.



1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger Root

1 Teaspoons Minced Garlic

3 Scallions cut into 1 ½ inch lengths including the green part

½ Cup Sliced Water Chestnuts

¼ Lb. Snow Peas (break off the ends and blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water and then set the color in cold water)


Sauce Mixture:

4 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce

2 Tablespoons Dry white Wine

½ Teaspoon Sugar


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and stir-fry the beef mixture for about 2 minutes until the meat loses its redness. Then remove it to another dish.
  2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the ginger, garlic, and scallions to lightly brown them.
  3. Stir in the sauce mixture and heat until it begins to bubble.
  4. Add the meat back into the pan along with the snow peas and water chestnut slices.
  5. Stir-fry for 30 seconds and serve with steamed rice.

You could just as easily substitute asparagus or broccoli for the snow peas and pork ,lamb or chicken can be substituted for the beef. To make this a meatless meal, replace the beef with Chinese mushrooms.


Beef in Oyster Sauce

Guangzhou, China Montage (Formerly Canton)

Guangdong Provence, China

Guangdong Province:
Guangdong, China

get directions

Shanghai, China:
Shanghai, China

get directions


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    • picklesandrufus profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      this looks really good. I love oyster sauce. Will bookmark this one too!


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