Stir Fried Asparagus and Beef

 1-1/2 lbs. asparagus
4-5 scallions
1 lb. skirt or flank steak
2 tablespoons water
2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry or rice wine
1 tablespoon oil
2/3 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
1 cup peanut oil
2 slices peeled ginger
1 clove peeled crushed garlic
1/2 cup sliced canned water chestnuts

Wash, peel, and roll-cut the asparagus into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Slice scallions into 1-inch pieces. Diagonally cut the beef into 1/4-inch slices.

Marinade: combine 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, the sherry or rice wine, 1 tablespoon oil, and a pinch of sugar. Add meat and marinate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix sauce: combine remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup beef stock or water, remaining soy sauce, the sesame oil, and oyster sauce (if you wish). Set aside.

When meat has marinated, heat peanut oil to 375° in a large sauté pan or wok. Toss in meat and cook, stirring, until meat is opaque, about 1 minute, and remove meat from pan. Drain oil, reserving 2 tablespoons, then reheat. Toss in ginger and garlic, and cook for 10 seconds. Add asparagus and scallions; stir in 1/2 teaspoon sugar and a dash of salt.

Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes (the asparagus will turn bright green). Add remaining stock, cover, and steam for 2 minutes. Uncover, add beef and water chestnuts, and toss together.

Stir in the sauce and cook until lightly thickened.
Serves 4.