1 pound flank steak
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 pounds fresh asparagus with tight tips
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons canned bean sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Cut steak lengthwise in 2-1/2-inch strips, trimming off fat as you go. Then cut across the grain, in 1/8-inch thick strips. Put meat in bowl and add 1 teaspoon salt, cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Wash asparagus carefully, break off tough ends, and cut diagonally into pieces about 1/4-inch thick. (If you cat on a SHARP DIAGONAL, the pieces will be abut 1-1/2 to 2" long.) Cut onions in half lengthwise, lay cut side down, and slice crosswise into 1/4" slices. Smash garlic cloves with flat side of knife or cleaver and remove skin. Heat a wide frying pan or wok over highest heat, add 1/4 cup oil, it should bubble slightly from the heat. Add garlic and cook just until pale brown. Remove and discard. Add meat, stir frequently, and cook until almost browned. Remove to a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons more oil. Add onion. Cook a minute or two stirring constantly. Make a little hollow on top of the onion; add bean sauce. Cook until onion starts to get translucent. Add asparagus and sprinkle over 1 teaspoon salt, sugar and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Cover and cook, taking the top off occasionally to stir well, just until asparagus is tender-crisp. Then, put the meat on top. Cook, stirring,just long enough to get the meat reheated. Serve at once.