Chili-Garlic Beef with Asparagus and Cashews

Recipe: Chili-Garlic Beef with Asparagus and Cashews

We’re in San Francisco meeting our new grandson, Henry Robert, so I went with a stir-fry this week to get in the mood. Appropriately, the recipe comes from the San Francisco Chronicle! Here is Henry at lunch on Sunday.

Don’t judge him too harshly, he’s not yet two months old. Nobody really expected that he’d be able to finish his beer.

This is a really simple stir-fry whose secret, as with most of these dishes, is in the sauce. Sadly, I didn’t include the sauce in any of the pictures. I blame Sophie.

The recipe calls for flank steak, but I couldn’t find a 1-pound portion at the grocery store, so I used what they called “stir-fry beef” and it worked just fine. The most important thing is to cut it into small, uniform pieces so that it cooks quickly in the wok.

The sauce, although simple, is remarkably complex in taste. The hoisin and brown sugar supply a mellow, sweet depth, and the citrus, vinegar, and chili-garlic paste supply heat and sharpness that combine to complement each other very well. The beef and asparagus provide different textures and carry the sauce to your mouth. It all works together to put a delicious and healthy dinner on your table in about 15 minutes.

Rating: This gets a generous 4 out of 5 glasses of White Zinfandel from the chef’s chief food fan. I thought the beef was overcooked. Next time the “browning” step will be cut short. The secret to this is the sauce, and the sauce is delicious.


Chili-Garlic Beef with Asparagus and Cashews

By JT Published: March 13, 2012

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Ready In: 30 mins

A quick and tasty stir-fry with a sauce to kill for.



  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients (hoisin through brown sugar). reserve.
  2. Heat a wok, or other large pan, over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 T olive oil and lightly brown the beef in batches. Remove browned beef and reserve.
  3. Add the asparagus to the hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, 3-4 minutes (until lightly cooked). Add reserved beef, along with any accumulated juices, and stir to combine.
  4. Add sauce and stir well to combine all ingredients. Add cashews and stir again. Cook for 1-2 minutes until all ingredients are heated through. Serve immediately over rice or noodles.
This entry was posted in 4 Wine Glasses, Beef, Dinner. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Chili-Garlic Beef with Asparagus and Cashews

  1. AmandaD says:

    I will totally make this!! I don’t have any chili-garlic sauce though. That do you think about substituting sweet chili sauce instead?

  2. Amber says:

    JT–Made this for dinner tonight–was delicious! Scaled back the chili-garlic sauce a bit for the sensitive palates in our house, but otherwise made as directed. So yummy–thanks for a great recipe!

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