The man who doesn’t like oysters, the woman who cannot abide sardines. We know the type.
~Harold Nicolson

Just a basic indulgent dish.

Savory oyster sauce is traditionally made by condensing this exquisite shellfish’s extracts yielded from its white broth. This translucent to opaque stock, similar to clam juice, is then reduced until the proper viscosity is attained and the sauce has caramelized to a dark sienna hue. Due to cost constraints though, this old school version is rarely made commerically. Rather, oyster sauce in today’s markets is a syrupy dark brown condiment made from an olio of sugar, salt, water, thickened with cornstarch, and flavored with oyster extract. Even weakened some, it does not lack for umami.


12 oz beef sirloin
1 T soy sauce
1 1/2 T oyster sauce
1/2 T sesame oil
1 T fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 T honey
1/2 T baking powder

2 T peanut oil
4 plump, fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
2 C broccoli florets
1 t Shaoxing rice wine (or pale dry sherry)
1 T dried chile flakes

3 1/2 oz oyster mushrooms
Dash black rice vinegar, to taste
Dash soy sauce, to taste

On a heavy cutting board, cover the beef in saran wrap and beat with a mallet until half as thin. Slice the beef into 1/2″ slices and place into a bowl. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, ginger, honey and baking powder. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat with peanut oil until just smoking and add the garlic and jalapeño chile. Stir fry for a few seconds, then add the beef slices and toss for a few minutes, until just barely cooked. Place into a bowl or onto a large serving plate. Tent and set aside.

Place the wok back onto the heat and add the remaining oil, then add the broccoli and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes. Pour in the Shaoxing rice wine and sprinkle over the dried chilli flakes.

Add the oyster mushrooms, season with black rice vinegar and soy sauce and then stir fry until just cooked, about 1-2 minutes. Add the beef back to the wok and heat.

Serve over rice.