No. 329: Orange Beef

Seriously, Sam Sifton and The New York Times Cooking can do no wrong these days.

After an amazing oven-roasted chicken shawarma, I thought a takeout inspired orange beef sounded delicious.


For the sauce
1 tablespoon neutral oil (canola)
1 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons orange zest, plus the juice of one orange
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar (do not use seasoned rice vinegar)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce

For the beef
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pinch kosher salt
1 boneless rib-eye steak, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup neutral oil
6 scallions, white and green parts cut into 1/2 inch long pieces and separated
2 to 4 dried red chiles, or to taste

To make

Make the sauce: Heat oil in a small sauce pan set over medium-high heat. When it begins to shimmer, add ginger, jalapeño and orange zest and stir to combine. Sauté mixture until ingredients soften, approximately 2 to 3 minutes, then add garlic and continue cooking until it softens, approximately 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Add orange juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce to pan and stir to combine. Allow mixture to come to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and reduces by half, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the meat: Combine egg white, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Add steak, tossing to coat the meat with the batter.

In a large skillet or wok set over high heat, heat oil until it shimmers and is about to smoke. Add beef to the pan or wok in a single layer and cook without stirring until the bottoms of the pieces are crisp and golden, approximately 60 to 90 seconds. Add white pieces of scallion and chiles to the pan, then turn the beef pieces over and cook the other sides, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter.

Pour orange sauce into the hot pan or wok, let it boil and stir it as it thickens. Add meat and white scallions and stir to coat with the sauce. Return meat and sauce to the platter and scatter green scallions over the top. Serve with steamed broccoli and white rice.

The results

I'm so sorry, folks. I'm the worst about photos these days.

But imagine this ...

A thick and savory orange sauce coating juicy pieces of beef, nestled against steamed broccoli and topped with green scallion. It's all served with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. You take a bite and the sweet, tangy sauce mixes perfectly with the beef and broccoli.

Can you see it? Smell it? It's delicious:)

That was the end result to last night's dinner, a lovely take on classic takeout.

I will say, we used stew meat for our beef which was a bit chewy in the end. It's all about the quality, so if you want to go top end I'd use the recommended sirloin here.

Here's to leftovers today! Can't wait to see how the kiddos like it.

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Amelia McCormick

Kansas girl transplanted to Asheville, North Carolina. Smiler, lover of great food and wine, facilitator, runner, storyteller, wife, optimist, and mother of sweet twins:)

Asheville, North Carolina