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Seared beef with asparagus stir-fry

Jenny Chandler

A spring recipe designed to make a little luxury go a long way with no sense of scrimping

Recipe Meta


15 mins (plus marinating)


10 mins






For the beef

  • 1 x 350g sirloin steak
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp palm, muscovado or brown sugar
  • ½ tsp grated ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed

For the stir-fry

  • 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2cm dice of ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 300g asparagus, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 100g mangetout, trimmed of stalks
  • 2 red chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp crushed cashew nuts
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 12 leaves of Thai or Mediterranean basil

To serve

  • White rice


Remove any excess fat from the steak (setting it aside to fry with later) and place the meat on a plate. Mix together the oil, fish sauce, sugar, ginger and crushed garlic and tip over the steak. Leave the meat to marinate at room temperature, turning it over after about 30 mins.

Put your rice on to cook. Heat up a heavy frying pan (this is the moment to add the discarded fat if you have any, giving a bit of extra flavour to the pan). Wipe off any excess marinade from the meat, keeping it for later. Once the pan is smoking hot, sear the meat for about 3 mins on each side for rare meat. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large wok and add the sliced garlic, chopped ginger and spring onions. Toss or stir for 10 secs before throwing in the asparagus, mangetout and chillies, and stir-fry for about 15 secs. Add the leftover marinade and about 4 tbsp water, then cook for 2 mins until the asparagus is just tender. Taste, adding more fish sauce or chilli if necessary.

Spoon the stir-fried vegetables over the rice (noodles are also a great option). Sprinkle with ripped basil and a scattering of cashews. Sliver the meat into ribbons and add to the dish along with the lime quarters, ready to squeeze at the table. Scatter over the basil and serve.

Image: Kim Lightbody

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