Margarita's International Recipes

Imperial China

Fengmi Niulijirou Hetaoren

Chinese honey-glazed beef and walnuts

As far as dishes from imperial China go, this one is relatively recent. It was created back in the 18th century for Emperor Quianlong, to cook three deer he had caught during a hunting trip in northern China. The Emperor liked the dish and I understand why.

The beef in this recipe was impossibly tender - I had never had it cut into matchsticks before and I liked the novelty of it. The glaze wasn't too sweet and it was just addictive. I doubled the recipe from the original, but I really should have quadrupled it. The leftover were great too - even cold.


Chinese honey-glazed beef and walnuts


  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil for deep frying
  • 1 1/2 cups walnut halves
  • sesame seeds


Place flank in the freezer for half an hour to partially freeze. Cut against the grain into thin slices, and then into matchsticks. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch with the water. Add the egg, soy sauce and five spice powder and mix well. Add the beef and mix until it's covered in all sides.

In a separate medium bowl, mix together the honey, wine, ginger, balsamic vinegar and salt. Set aside.

Add an inch of oil to a wok or frying pan. Heat over high heat until very hot. Working in batches, add the beef and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Working in batches again, add the walnuts and cook until crispy, about a minute. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Pour out and discard the oil leaving about 3 Tbsp in the wok. Return to high heat. Add the honey sauce and cook for 15 seconds. Add the beef and walnuts, turn heat down to medium-high, and cook, stirring to make sure the beef and walnuts are covered with the sauce, for five more minutes. Plate and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Adapted from a recipe at The Daring Gourmet

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