Beef With Tomatoes
1 pound beef, such as sirloin or round
2 tablespoons oyster sauce*
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 large or 6 medium tomatoes
2 ribs celery
2 spring onions (green onions, scallions)
2 slices ginger
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cut the beef across the grain into thin slices that are approximately 1 1/2 inches long. Add the marinade ingredients. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
While meat is marinating, prepare the remainder of the vegetables. Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Scald the tomatoes, plunging them briefly into the boiling water, then remove the skin and cut each into 4 to 6 equal-sized pieces.**
Cut the celery and spring onions along the diagonal into sections about the same length as the beef.
Heat a wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the heated wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Cook briefly until aromatic, then add the beef. Let brown briefly, then stir-fry until it changes color and is 80 percent cooked through. Remove from the wok. Clean out the wok if necessary.
Heat the wok and 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add the ginger. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the celery. Add the tomato. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt over top. Cover and bring to a boil.
Give the cornstarch/water mixture a quick re-stir. Uncover the wok and push the tomatoes up to the side. Add the cornstarch and water mixture in the middle, stirring quickly to thicken. Add the meat back into the pan. Mix everything together. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Serve hot over rice.