Fist of Kitchen presents… Eat it: China!

Recooking "The Art of Chinese Cooking" by The Benedictine Sisters of Peking, 1956 | Remixed by Fist of Kitchen 2013

book version

Beef with Radishes


Go to hell, Yasuhiko Asaka!

  • ½ lb. beef
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. water
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 8 sliced radishes

Get everything ready first; this is really fast food. Dredge the beef in the soy and cornstarch; mix the sauce, and have your sliced radishes at hand. You should probably get your rice / noodles / watever else you’re serving ready to go, too. Set the table while you’re at it!

In your really hot pan and oil, start by adding the sauce. This will coagulate instantly. Break this up into several smaller blobs. (Don’t worry: it’s good.) By now, about a minute has passed. Add the meat, and when that’s just about cooked to your liking (just a few minutes) throw in the radishes. Count to 30 while you’re tossing everything around in the wok, and serve while the radishes are still crunchy.

On paper, this looks pretty similar to a lot of the beef recipes, but it turns out a little different—the sauce is really a sweet/sour base. This, along with the sweetness of the beef, click nicely with the snappy radishes….but we’re not really sure why this recipe is for radishes! We used daikon, but the Chinese in the book—牛肉炒紅蘿蔔—actually means “beef fried with carrot.” (red) + 蘿蔔 (radish) == carrot. (The little red salad radishes are “cherry radishes.”) Hunh. Either way: you won’t be sad if this is your supper.

Beef with Radishes

Note from Matt about the illustration:
Prince Yasuhiko Asaka: Worst person in the World.

Prince Yasuhiko Asaka If you went to a high school like mine in the 80s, all you probably heard about WWII was Nazis, Nazis, Nazis. Maybe spent a day on the Pacific Theater, but certainly learned nothing of the aftermath within Japan. Well, if you didn’t know, while the German government was dismantled and its power elite brought to justice, General MacArthur decided it would be better to leave Japanese power in tact. He did this to help the Japanese people accept occupation. It wasn’t an awful political strategy in terms of outcomes, but some pretty bad people got off the hook. Take Prince Lieutenant General Yasuhiko Asaka. This guy oversaw the “Rape of Nanking” and gave the order to kill everyone. It was one of the biggest massacres of the brutal Sino-Japanese War (hundreds of thousands). Although he was stripped of royal status and his mansion was seized by the state, he lived out the rest of his days playing golf and even designed his own golf course. Serious. What a jerk. When faced with the illustration of Beef with Radishes, I thought “hmmm, who needs a good radishing? THIS FREAKIN’ GUY!”

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