Cast Iron Chinese…

If you are like me and find yourself wanting really good Chinese food, yet lacking a wok (and maybe a take out menu), never fear! Just grab your trusty cast iron skillet or dutch oven. I can’t lie, it doesn’t work exactly like a wok, but it is a better-than-average substitute.

This recipe is fun and by using jarred black bean sauce, pretty easy. I will say to get everything ready before you start cooking. It helps during the quick cooking Chinese food usually requires. I think the French call it “mise en place” and through trial and error I have found this to be a MUST.

One more word of advice to help. For the thinly sliced beef, follow these instructions. Freeze a beef roast for 30 minutes prior to slicing. Place beef pieces in your food processor with the slicing blade. Make sure it is not too thin or you will basically end up with ground beef. Go a little thicker than you think. Then slip your sliced meat into the marinade while you get your mise en place ready.


  • 2 lbs skirt of flank steak (I just used a roast. Just make sure to slice against the grain)
  • 1 lb fresh string beans
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 4 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • Oil, enough to cover the bottom of the skillet or pan


  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. cooking sherry (this helps take out the fishy taste stir fry can get)
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 clove garlic


  • 1 t. chili garlic sauce (This was HOT for our family, so start with 1/2 and move up)
  • 1/3 c. black bean sauce
  • 3 T. soy sauce


  1. Mix marinade and beef together and add the sliced beef. Make sure each piece gets coated. Let marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes (if doing longer, refrigerate)
  2. Add oil to pan and heat on high. Add beef to pan and sear the meat, but don’t over cook. Take out of pan and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the green beans (you may need more oil). Stir fry for one minute, then add garlic, ginger and onion. Cook until the beans are tender, but still crisp. Add beef and sauce to mixture and stir until heated through.

Serve over hot rice.

Serves 4-6

Here is the beef searing away And here are the beans





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