Thursday, November 27, 2014

Stir-Fried Beef with Scrambled Eggs and Scallions (Hua Dan Niu Rou)

I first came across this recipe in Fu Pei Mei's 1974 Chinese Cook Book Volume II, which I brought with me when I moved to Southern California from Taiwan to attend UC Irvine back in 1983. I was only 18 at the time and a less than seasoned cook, to put it kindly. I've tried many of her recipes since then, but not this one until just recently. I'm not sure about the origin of this dish, but how can you go wrong with steak and eggs, eh?

1 1/2 lbs. ribeye steak (trimmed of fat), tenderloin or flank steak, very thinly sliced
2 tsp. baking soda


1 tsp. minced/grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. rice wine 
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. cold water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

12 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 cups vegetable oil for frying

5 tbsp. vegetable oil

4-5 scallions, thinly sliced along the bias

1. To tenderize the beef: slice the beef and toss well with the baking soda in a bowl. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then cover with water and let soak 1-2 minutes. Place in a colander and rinse the beef well under tap water. Pat dry with paper towels and place back into the bowl. 

2. Add the marinade ingredients to the beef and mix to combine. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat 2 cups of oil over high heat in a large wok or saute pan. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef and cook in batches, stirring frequently with a slotted spoon, until the meat is just cooked through (5-8 minutes). Remove the beef to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

4. Beat the eggs and 1 1/2 tsp. of salt in a medium bowl. Add the beef to the egg mixture and stir just to combine. 

5. Drain all but about 5 tbsp of oil in the pan and return to the cooktop over high heat. Add the sliced scallions and saute briefly, for about 30 seconds. Add the beef and egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring gently, until the eggs are just scrambled through (do not overcook).

6. Remove the beef and eggs to a plate and serve with steamed white rice. 

Ribeye Steak. 

After tenderizing the beef with baking soda, rinsing well, and patting dry with paper towels, combine with marinade ingredients and let marinate for at least 1 hour. If your kitchen is cool, then it's ok to let this marinate at room temp. Otherwise, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook. 

Rice wine, soy sauce, vegetable oil, black pepper, cornstarch, sugar.

Saute the beef in hot oil until just cooked through. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool for 5 minutes. 

Add the beef to the beaten egg mixture. 

Drain all but 5 tbsp. of oil from the same pan and saute the sliced scallions for about 30 seconds.  

Add the egg and beef mixture to the pan and saute over high heat, stirring gently, until the egg is just cooked through.  


  1. Oh wow! That dish is so mouthwatering. I think I've tasted something like that before on a family dinner, and I've always wanted to try it out myself. Now, all I have to do is make a trip to the grocery in this cold weather, which is probably the only daunting thing about cooking. Hahaha! Anyway, thanks for sharing that lovely recipe! Happy cooking!

    Chris Carpenter @ Domenico's

    1. Thanks, Chris! I hope you brave the cold weather and give this recipe a try - it's amazing how a few simple, basic ingredients can yield so much flavor!