Calgary Ginger Beef

If you missed it yesterday the U.S. men’s ice hockey team defeated Russia 3-2.  The game that ended with T.J. Oshie landing the winning shot at the end of a long shoot out.  Matt Antoine won a bronze medal for the U.S. in the men’s skeleton competition, the first U.S. men’s medal in the event in twelve years.  The Swedish women’s 4x5km ski relay team won Sweden’s first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics.

The halfway point in the Winter Olympics feature brings us to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.  These were the first Olympics to hold the speed skating events indoors.  Katarina Witt became the second woman in history to defend her gold medal, winning gold in the women’s figure skating competition after winning gold in Sarajevo in 1984.  The 1988 Calgary Olympics were the first to extend to sixteen days, and more tickets were sold for events at this Winter Games than were sold at the three Winter Olympics before it combined.

There are a lot of foods that come to mind when you’re trying to think up a recipe to represent Canada.  One that might not immediately come to mind as Canadian fare is a dish called Calgary ginger beef.  This dish is a westernized version of Chinese fare, most likely created by chef George Wong in Calgary.  Strips of beef are marinated, battered and fried, and then stir-fried in a ginger garlic sauce with peppers.  The end result is fantastic and I can guarantee I’m going to be making this more often.

calgary ginger beef

Calgary Ginger Beef


for the marinade:

  • 1 lb. beef flank or sirloin, partially frozen
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry or rice wine
  • 2 tsp. sugar

for the batter:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 1/4 C. cornstarch
  • 1/4 C. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

for the sauce:

  • 1/4 C. chicken stock
  • 1/4 C. light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine or sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry or rice wine
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

to finish:

  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, sliced thin or julienned
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), cut into thin strips
  • oil, for deep frying


Slice the beef into thin strips.

Add the beef and all marinade ingredients into a bowl and stir so the ingredients are combined and the beef is coated.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the batter, beat the egg white with the water, then stir in the cornstarch, salt, and flour and set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients.

Have all of the other ingredients ready at this point.

Heat 4-5 C. of vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat (or use a deep fryer).

Mix the batter into the beef strip mixture.

Drop 1/3 of the battered beef into the hot oil and fry 3-4 minutes until it is browned and crispy.

Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Repeat this until all of the beef mixture has been fried.

Remove all but 2 Tbsp. of the oil from the wok (if you used a deep fryer, add 2 Tbsp. of oil to a wok before proceeding) and return to medium-high heat.

Add the dried peppers to the oil and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the bell pepper and carrot and stir-fry until the vegetables are cooked through but still slightly crunchy.

Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Give the sauce mixture a stir to combine the ingredients and pour it into the wok, stirring it into the vegetable mixture.

Cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens slightly, then toss in the fried beef.

Cook to heat through, then serve over cooked rice.

Source: adapted from What’s 4 Eats


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