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Stir-fried beef and tofu

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500 g beef rump or sirloin
0.25 cup soy sauce
0.25 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 medium red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 10cm long piece of lemongrass, finely minced
1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
extra 1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
200 g firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
8 water chestnuts, finely sliced
1 cup bean sprouts, trimmed
1 cup loosely packed coriander leaves
steamed rice to serve


1 Slice the beef into thin strips. Combine the beef strips with soy, vinegar, oil, chilli, lemongrass and sugar. Marinate for 30 minutes. Drain the beef strips, retaining the marinade.
2 Heat the wok, ensure it is hot. Stir-fry the beef strips in 3 batches, reserving each cooked batch to rest in a warm bowl. Reheat wok between each batch.
3 Clean the wok, reheat it and add the extra oil, then heat. Add the tofu and cook for 1-2 minutes, turn gently until tofu is lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Add onions to wok, stir-fry until soft. Add the water chestnuts and bean sprouts, stir-fry for 30 seconds.
4 Return the beef to the wok with the reserved marinade, toss for 1 minute. Stir through tofu and coriander leaves. Serve immediately with steamed rice.


1 Best beef cuts for stir-frying: Use beef stir-fry strips or prepare your own from rib eye/scotch fillet/tenderloin, sirloin/porterhouse/New York, rump, boneless blade, round, oyster blade or topside steaks.
2 When stir-frying meat wait at least 30 seconds before tossing so that the meat has a chance to sear and become brown. This gives the meat great colour and flavour.