Beef Stir fry with Bamboo Shoots (Bo Xao Mang Recipe)

Beef Stir fry with Bamboo Shoots (Bo Xao Mang Recipe) Recipe

I bought three large bags of fresh bamboo shoots this weekend, which I used to prepare an enormous pot of bún măng gà (bamboo chicken noodle soup).

Today I took the leftover bamboo we hadn't cooked, but instead of chicken, I paired the bamboo shoots with tender beef steak (bò xào măng). I stir-fried the two with oyster sauce and fresh ginger. To add a little color to the dark dish, I mixed in a few vegetables such as asparagus spears, carrots and Portobello mushrooms. You could make the exact same dish with tofu and vegetarian stir fry sauce if you need to feed a vegetarian crowd, (which is always my case!).


Yields: 4 servings

1 pound sirloin steak, very cold, sliced paper-thin
4 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
3 tablespoons caramelized onions (see tips)
1 shallot, sliced
3 fresh young bamboo shoots
1 carrot, peeled
1 Portobello mushroom
½ bunch asparagus spears
1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon palm sugar (or regular sugar), freshly grated
1 (1-inch) chunk fresh ginger
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons black bean sauce
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked


Prepping the vegetables: Slice the asparagus on the bias (about 3"-long pieces). Slice the carrot as well into ½-inch slices. Using the edge of a spoon, scrape and remove the gills of the Portobello mushroom. Wipe the inside clean using a paper towel (see tips). Cut into long strips then cut the strips in half. Set aside.

Freshly grated ginger:

Clean the ginger root and remove any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife (or the edge of a spoon). Grate the ginger with a fine mesh Microplane. Gather about 1 teaspoon of grated ginger root.

Prepping the beef:

Note: Make sure the beef is very cold so it's easier to slice the meat. Cut the meat perpendicular to the grain so the slices remain tender.

In a bowl, combine the beef, palm sugar, red chili powder, salt and grated ginger. Drizzle with a little oil. Allow to marinate for about 5-10 minutes.

Assembly time:

Pat the meat dry using paper towels.

In a wok, add oil. Once the oil is hot (over high heat), add the shallot slices. Cook until they're shiny. Add the meat and quickly pan-sear each side of the pieces. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the meat changes color, stirring constantly. Transfer to a platter. Add more oil, then add the garlic, carrot and bamboo shoots. Add oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, black bean sauce, soy sauce and caramelized onions. Mix well. Add the asparagus and mushrooms. Cook for another 2 minutes. Check the doneness of the vegetables. Return the beef to the wok. Drizzle with fish sauce and a little sesame oil (if used).

Sprinkle with black pepper.

Bon appétit!


There are other cuts of steak that are likely to produce tender results, as opposed to those cuts that won’t. Filet mignon, porterhouse, T-bone or New York strip will all be tender steak this way.

Briefly placing the meat in the freezer before slicing helps control the thickness of each slice of meat. Make sure the slices are as thin as you can make them for fast cooking time.

You can find oyster sauce and hoisin sauce in any Asian market or in most supermarkets. I use Lee Kum Kee brand.

For more crunch, you could add slightly toasted sesame seeds or roasted peanuts. 

How to caramelize onions: Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan. Add thinly sliced onions. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. To save time, I often have already-caramelized onions on hand in the freezer. I suggest making them in advance in large batches. Just place about 1 tablespoon of tightly packed fried onions per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn.

Fresh young bamboo shoots are available in most Asian markets. Simply rinse them, then slice them horizaontally.

Removing the gills of Portobello mushrooms prevents the dish from turning dark once cooked. This step is only for the aesthetic of the dish and does not affect the taste. I chose Portobello mushrooms because the texture is similar to beef and makes a great combination.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on March 13, 2012.


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