It’s no secret that I’m a honey garlic fan. I almost feel like I can make honey garlic sauce and dip everything into it. My favorite growing up was honey garlic pork. Even though I was the pickiest kid on the block, I couldn’t resist the sweet and savory combo of honey and meat. Honey garlic is definitely a nostalgic thing for me but I still love it now and I’m pretty sure I’ll love it forever.
There are so many ways of making honey garlic [insert protein of choice]. The technique I used here is called Chinese velveting. It’s a bit of a funny name, but essentially what you’re doing is making the meat tender and velvety by coating it in egg whites and cornstarch. When I was a kid, my mom would always let me use my hands to velvet the meat before cooking – I thought it was absurdly fun and she probably liked it because it kept me still for a minute or two.
It’s an extra step that’s done with most stir fries and before deep-frying. Some people skip out on it, but the cornstarch and egg whites makes things crispy. It sort of creates a seal so the meat inside juicy, tender, and, well, velvety.
This was a super simple meal to whip up. Yes, you do have to deep fry the steak bites, but I find that every once in a while I get a deep-fry craving that I just need to satisfy. I served the honey garlic beef with some cucumber spears and rice and it made for a satisfying hearty meal. Totally hit the spot!
PS – I’m in Minneapolis right now and it snowed and I’m so happy! I’m here for a cold minute and if you want to follow along, check out my snapchat (iamafoodblog) for updates.
Honey Garlic Beef Recipe
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 lb steak of choice*, cut into bit sized pieces
- oil for deep frying (I like grapeseed or rice bran)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- toasted sesame seeds, if desired
- thinly sliced green onions, if desired
Preheat the oven to 250°F.
In a large bowl, whisk to together the egg whites and cornstarch until light and frothy. Add the steak pieces, coat and let sit while you heat up your oil.
Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Heat an inch of oil in a high-sided, heavy bottomed pot or skillet over medium high heat until oil reaches 350°F.
Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to carefully drop the steak pieces into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes, flipping if needed. Drain the steak bites on your prepared rack and keep warm in the oven.
In a non-stick pan, heat up a touch of oil and cook the garlic on medium heat until slightly golden, but not browned, 1-2 minutes. Add the honey, soy sauce and ground pepper. Turn the heat up to high so the honey-soy mixture bubbles, thickens and turns into caramel-sticky goodness.
Toss the steak bites with the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions, if using. Enjoy immediately with rice or grain of choice.
Note: I used chuck, but feel free to use a tender cut of meat. The beef doesn’t cook for too long, so sirloin or rump would be good choices.