Adapted from The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
by Patricia Tanumihardja
1 pound flank steak or top sirloin
1 plump stalk lemongrass trimmed, bruised, and halved crosswise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut lengthwise into 6 slices
1½ teaspoons salt
8 ounces Asian mustard greens, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
(6 to 7 cups)
1 teaspoon sugar
Handle the beef partially frozen so that it is easier to cut (if it’s fresh, place in the freezer for about 30 minutes). Cut the beef along the grain into 1½-inch-thick strips. With your knife at an angle almost parallel to the cutting surface, slice the meat diagonally across the grain into ⅛-inch-thick slices. Then cut into about ⅛-inch slivers.
Preheat a large wok or skillet over high heat for about 1 minute. Add the beef, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and salt. Stir-fry until the beef just loses its blush, 1 to 2 minutes. The beef will release its own juices that prevent it from sticking to the pan.
Add the mustard green stems and the sugar. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, then add the leaves and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender and bright green, another minute. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
Discard the lemongrass and ginger and serve with freshly steamed rice.
Serves 4 to 6 as part of a multi-course family-style meal.