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Crystal Garden Beef and Pea Pods

1 egg white
2 T. Chinese cooking wine or Sherry
2 T. cornstarch, divided
2 T. mushroom or Chinese dark soy sauce, divided
1/4 C. plus 3 T. peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
3/4 lb. beef flank steak, thinly sliced into 1-in. strips
1 (1-in.) piece fresh ginger root, peeled
2 green onions, trimmed
1/2 C. cold water
1 t. sugar
1 T. dark sesame oil
2 carrots, sliced into pieces similar to beef
1 T. chili paste with garlic
1 (14-oz.) can baby corn
1/4 lb. Napa cabbage, shredded
1/3 lb. pea pods, blanched
1 t. salt
Steamed rice, for serving

Whisk together egg white, wine, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon oil. Add sliced beef, mix well and marinate 20 minutes.

Cut ginger root into very thin matchstick pieces. Cut each onion into thirds, then cut each piece lengthwise two or three times. Set aside.

Whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch, water, sugar and dark sesame oil; set aside.

Heat wok to medium-high. Add 1/4 cup oil. When oil is just about to smoke, add beef. Stir-fry beef until all pieces are light brown. Remove beef from wok. Rinse wok and reheat to high. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When oil is just about to smoke, add ginger and stir-fry 10 seconds. Add onion; stir-fry 10 seconds. Add carrots; stir-fry 15 seconds. Add chili paste; stir-fry 10 seconds. Add baby corn and Napa cabbage; stir-fry 1 minute. Add blanched pea pods and salt; stir-fry 1 minute. Add remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce; stir-fry 30 seconds.

Whisk cornstarch mixture to blend, then add with cooked beef. Stir-fry 20 seconds. Transfer beef and vegetables to serving platter. Serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4.

Note: Chili paste with garlic can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Chinese cooking wine is available in Asian markets.

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