Steak and Bok Choy Stir-fry (Chow Steak Kow)

For the steak and marinade:
1 pound beef ribeye or sirloin steak (cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda (optional tenderizer, depending on the quality of your steak)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

For the steak sauce:
5 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed into a slurry with 1 tablespoon water)

For the bok choy base:
12 ounces fresh bok choy (cut and thoroughly washed)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3-4 slices fresh ginger (smashed)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon MSG (optional)

When you prepare the steak cubes, leave some of the fat on the steak. This adds key flavor to the dish. Transfer the cubes to a medium bowl, and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss until the steak is well-coated. Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In a small bowl, combine the water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil. Set aside.

Make sure your bok choy is thoroughly cleaned. We always triple wash our bok choy. Not doing a thorough job risks sand ruining your vegetables.

Heat wok over high heat. Spread 1 tablespoon vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok, and immediately add your smashed ginger slices. After 5 to 10 seconds, add the chopped garlic and bok choy.

Quickly stir-fry the bok choy (so the garlic doesn’t burn), until it begins to wilt. You can also cover the bok choy for 30 seconds if your wok burner is not producing enough heat.
After the bok choy is cooked and wilted (about 60 seconds or so), add the salt, sugar and MSG (if using). Mix thoroughly, transfer to a warm serving plate, and set aside. MSG is totally optional, but it really brings out the flavor of stir-fried vegetables.

Work quickly through these next steps, because your stir-fried bok choy is waiting to be topped with your delicious steak! Carefully rinse your wok with warm water, drain, and wipe off any excess moisture. Place the wok back over the burner set to high heat. Spread 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok.

Once the wok begins to smoke, add the steak in a single layer, fat-side down for any pieces with visible fat.

Sear for 30 seconds or until brown. Use your wok spatula to toss everything together to ensure even cooking and browning, but resist the temptation to stir too much. High heat is essential to ensure you have a good sear and maximum flavor. I like to sear the steak until cooked medium / medium rare, which is why this steak stir fry recipe calls for large 1-inch chunks of steak.

Once done to your liking, turn off the heat, and scoop the steak over the bok choy to rest. (If any liquid has pooled on the bok choy plate, pour the excess off before adding the beef.)

You’ll need at least 1-2 tablespoons of the residual oil in the wok. Pour off any excess and discard. This is pure beef flavor that will make your sauce taste that much better. Turn the wok back up to medium-high heat. Pour the prepared steak sauce into the wok, using it to deglaze the wok. If you want more sauce, you can add some additional water—bonus if you use the water from the bok choy plate, which has a nice ginger and garlic flavor.

When the sauce is simmering, stir up the cornstarch slurry and drizzle it into the sauce, letting it thicken until it coats a spoon. Simmer for an additional 20 seconds to ensure the cornstarch is cooked. Turn the heat off, pour the sauce over your steak, and serve with rice.