RECIPE: Stir-fried beef from Makan by Elizabeth Haigh

“This quick and delicious beef stir-fry is a staple dish for us at dinnertime at home,” says chef Elizabeth Haigh.

“You can omit the chilli and dried chilli flakes if you’re cooking for little ones, which is what I do for my son, Riley. As with all stir-fries, have your ingredients measured and prepped ahead, because the cooking time is very short.”

Stir-fried beef from Makan by Elizabeth Haigh


(Serves 4)

250g boneless beef rump, sliced into bite-sized pieces

4tbsp cooking oil

1½tsp finely chopped root ginger

2tsp finely chopped garlic

1 red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces similar to the beef

1 fresh, medium-hot, red Dutch chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)

2–4tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste

2 spring onions (green part), finely sliced

1tsp toasted sesame oil

For the marinade:

1tsp rice wine (Shaoxing or sake)

¼tsp salt

½tsp light soy sauce

¾tsp dark soy sauce

1½tsp potato flour

1½tsp water.


1. Stir the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the beef and mix in well with the marinade.

2. Add three tablespoons of the oil to a wok set over a high heat and swirl the oil around to coat the wok. When it is starting to smoke, add the beef and stir-fry briskly, separating the pieces using a Chinese spatula. When the pieces are separated and still a little pink, remove them from the wok and set aside.

3. Add the remaining oil to the wok, then add the ginger and garlic. Allow them to sizzle for a few seconds to release their fragrance. Tip in the red pepper and fresh chilli, if using, and stir-fry until hot.

4. Return the beef to the wok and give everything a good stir, then add the chilli flakes. When all is hot and fragrant, add the spring onions and remove from the heat. Stir in the sesame oil, check the seasoning and serve.

Variation: Stir-fried venison: Venison is a very healthy alternative to beef, as it is rich in iron, potassium and zinc and is very lean. Just replace the beef in the recipe above with 250g venison fillet, cut into strips, and add a splash of stock at the end to prevent the stir-fry from being too dry..

Makan: Recipes From The Heart Of Singapore by Elizabeth Haigh is published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £26. Photography Kris Kirkham. Available May 13.

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