One of the most useful skills in wok cooking is blanching. Par-cooking vegetables before frying means they will cook faster and more completely when combined in the wok.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (770 votes)


  • 500 g rump steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 thin slices ginger, bruised
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp stock or water
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold stock or water
  • rice, to serve


Meat marinade

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp cornflour
  • pinch of white pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 10 minutes

Combine the beef with the marinade ingredients and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Heat a cup or two of water in the wok until boiling, add about a teaspoon of the oil and blanch the broccoli for about 1 minute, or until it is bright green and slightly softened (see Notes). Remove and set aside until ready to fry.

Drain the water from the wok and dry the wok over the flame. Add the remaining oil and add the ginger first then the garlic to the oil, then the onion and fry until the onion is softened. Scoop the onion, garlic and ginger out of the oil and add to the broccoli.

Using the flavoured oil left in the wok, fry the beef in batches until well browned. Return all the ingredients back to the wok and toss together. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, stock and sugar and toss to coat. Slowly drizzle the cornflour mixture into the wok while tossing, until the liquids thicken and cling to the ingredients. Remove to a plate, rest for a minute and serve with rice.



• You don’t need to cook the broccoli all the way through while blanching. Remember, you aren’t stopping the cooking process with cold water so the broccoli will continue to cook after you take it out of the wok.

• Oil-blanching is a popular technique in wok cooking in restaurants where meat or vegetables are boiled in oil before wok-frying. It tastes great, but I prefer to use water as the dish turns out less oily.


Recipes and images from Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School (Hachette Australia, $49.99 hbk, $17.99 ebook).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.