Having just discovered a really comprehensive Chinese supermarket round the corner from the flat, it was time to swipe a wok from my parents, order a copy of Chinese Food Made Easy and stock up on some sticky, tangy sauces.
This is Ching-He Huang’s recipe for beef in oyster sauce. I combined it with her tip for frying oyster mushrooms to go on the top. This is quite a dramatic way of having dinner: you lay out all your ingredients to start with, all meticulous and calm and organised, and then BLAM – smoke and sizzling and it’s all ready in about eight seconds.
Toss three cloves of garlic and a medium chilli pepper, both finely chopped, briefly in 1tbsp of groundnut oil in a very hot wok. Chuck about 200g baby white-stemmed pak choi into the wok. Stir fry for one minute with 1 tsp oyster sauce and a pinch of salt mixed in.
Take the pak choi out and divide it between two plates. Chuck your beef in the wok with a bit more groundnut oil and sizzle for a minute or two until it’s done how you like it. Take it out and pile it on top of the pak choi.
Throw some sliced oyster mushrooms in your still-hot wok on a high heat with another tsp oyster sauce, 1tsp balsamic vinegar and some salt. Stir fry for a minute, then throw them on top of your beef. Serves two.