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Pictorial: Tomato Beef


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Tomato Beef (番茄牛肉)

Tomato Beef is a popular home-style Cantonese dish. It is also offered in many restaurants.

Picture of the finished dish:


Serving Suggestion: 3 to 4



Main ingredients: (From upper-right, clockwise)

- Beef (flank steak), about 1 lb

- 5 large size chicken eggs

- Ginger, use about 2 inch in length

- 1 large onion

- Garlic, use 5-6 cloves

- 1 can (8 oz) of tomato sauce

- 6 large size tomatoes (about 2 lb)

- (Not shown in picture) cilantro, about a dozen prigs


Cut the flank steak into thin slices. Cut across the grain. Transfer to a small mixing bowl.


To marinate the beef: add 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp oyster sauce, 2 tsp ShaoHsing wine, 2 tsp corn starch, 1 tsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp of ground white pepper, 1/4 tsp of salt.


Mix well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes before cooking.


Trim the vines off the tomatoes. Cut into wedges.


Peel and wedge the large onion. Peel and mince 5-6 cloves of garlic. Grate the ginger (use about 2 inch in length). Cut the cilantro at about 1-inch apart. Beat 5 chicken eggs in a small bowl.

Cooking Instructions:


Use a pan/wok, set stove at high. Add 3 tblsp of cooking oil. Cook and scramble the eggs first. Add a pinch of salt (suggest: 1/4 tsp) while cooking. Keep stirring to fold the egg while cooking. Remove from pan.


Add 2 tblsp of cooking oil to pan. Wait until oil heats up. Add marinated beef slices. Cook for about 3 minutes under high heat.


Do not overcook. Remove the beef from pan while it is still pink. Drain the pan.


Add 2 tblsp of cooking oil to pan. Wait until oil heats up. Add minced garlic and grated ginger. Add 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir. Dash in 2 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine and 2 to 3 tsp of white vinegar.


Add the wedged onion. Sautee for 1 minute.


Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, wedged tomatoes and 1 can of tomato sauce. Add 3 to 4 tsp of sugar. Bring to a boil. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes until tomatoes turn soft.


Add corn starch slurry to thicken the sauce (suggest: 2 to 3 tsp corn starch to 3 tsp of water) to the right consistency. Slowly fold the corn starch slurry onto the pan. Adjust.


Return the beef slices, scrambled eggs and add chopped cilantro. You may also use Italian basil, Thai basil, green onion or other fresh herbs in place of cilantro.


Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir well. When ready, scoop to a shallow dish to serve.


Picture of the finished dish.

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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YAY! You're back. I've missed these post. Looks nummy as always.

Back? I have never left! :biggrin: With my busy schedule these days, I can only do one pictorial a week... :sad:

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Thanks, Ah Leung. I love this dish. We used to have it a lot during the summer when we had an overabundance of tomatoes from the garden. Never had it with eggs, so I'll have to try that next time. Beefsteak tomatoes are good, but it works well with cherry tomatoes too (just need to slice them in half before cooking).

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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This is one of our family favourites. Have never used tomato sauce; I just use vinegar and sugar and chicken stock. I find the tomatoes themsleves give enough of a tomato flavour.

When I make it for Po-Po, I slip the skins off the tomatoes.

Rice is really all you'd need for this dish. I always cook extra rice as we seem to eat mor rice to soak up the sauce!

Sometimes, I cook the eggs like an omelet, then cut it into strips.



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Ah Leung:

I enjoy the way you prepared your "Tomato Beef" it's the one dish that when ordered at most Restaurants never has enough gravy or sauce remaining in the serving plate for our rice. That's even when you order "Beef Tomato over Rice".

Your rendition, really hit's the spot of the right balance required for the rice to soak up together.

In Hong Kong most places use a little Tomato Paste combined with Ketchup as Tomato Sauce is higher priced when available and doesn't taste tomatoey enough by their criteria.

In Hawaii the "Beef Tomato" is generally prepared drier, with the beef browned, then onions and tomato's added, stir fried, some ketchup and a ladle of superior broth, finally some corn starch paste.

Your way with the Tomato Sauce and Gravy will be my new favorite as it has more finess then ketchup. Whats ironical is that in Seattle currently the Tomato is the most expensive part of the dish, not the Beef.


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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This is one of our family favourites. Have never used tomato sauce;[...]

When I cook this with only tomatoes, it doesn't feel tomatoey enough. :raz: I learned this from Hollywood... use tomato sauce to "augment" the tomato feel! :laugh::laugh:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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[...]Whats ironical is that in Seattle currently the Tomato is the most expensive part of the dish, not the Beef.

LOL! :biggrin: That is ironic! Fortunately in Sacto, regular tomatoes and roma tomatoes can go as low as US $0.99/lb when on sale. Can't find that price for flank steaks...

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Ah Leung, thanks once again. Besides rice, can you say a bit about what else you might serve this dish with?

White rice is typical. Like rjwong said, I also love this over Cantonese pan-fried noodles. (Never had curry in tomato beef though). If you don't have the Cantonese noodles handy, use some angel hair pasta. That should work too.

Though it's somewhat different, there is a Vietnamese dish where they cook beef stew with tomato, carrot and lemon grass (it's like a thick soup). They eat it with French bread (bisquette?).

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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[...]Whats ironical is that in Seattle currently the Tomato is the most expensive part of the dish, not the Beef.

LOL! :biggrin: That is ironic! Fortunately in Sacto, regular tomatoes and roma tomatoes can go as low as US $0.99/lb when on sale. Can't find that price for flank steaks...

Ah Leung:

Last week when I went shopping hot house tomatoes on the vine averaged $3.99 pound while at Asian Markets, Flap Meat or Flank was about $3.49 pound.

Checked todays prices and several stores had Roma Tomatoes at 88 cents and 99 cents a pound but were not ripe enough for cooking, vine ripe hothouse tomato's were still $3.99 while ripe Roma's at Sam's Club were almost $5.00 for 2 pounds.

I actually purchased today about 1 1/2 pounds of un-graded Strip Loin at a Asian Market on sale for $3.39 per pound to use for our "Beef Tomato" for dinner tonight with the Sam's Club Roma tomatos.


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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This is an all time classic Cantonese dish with the egg or without the egg. I ordered this dish at this restaurant in NYC and whoever cooked my order is high on coke for adding fermented black bean. Is there a variation of beef with tomato calling for black beans and other ingredients?

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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Black beans? Yes, a lot of people do it, including my mother (not me). The taste of the black beans serves to balance out the "sourness" of the dish. I like it too. Remember, this is very very much a homestyle Chinese dish, so it is infinitely adjustable- according to the cooks preference and experience.

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Black beans? Yes, a lot of people do it, including my mother (not me). The taste of the black beans serves to balance out the "sourness" of the dish. I like it too. Remember, this is very very much a homestyle Chinese dish, so it is infinitely adjustable- according to the cooks preference and experience.

But black beans do add a bitterness to the dish. Is this a Toisan style?

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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No, it is an individual style, as I said. Black beans don't normally add that much bitterness to a dish such as this, only if you go overboard with it. I find that it just adds more contrast and mellowness to beef and tomatoes. And as I said before, I don't normally use black beans myself in this dish.

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stephen and BCinBC: same for me. i don't scramble the eggs first, and add them raw at the end. they cook in the sauce quickly and thicken it without any need for the cornstarch. another thing i do (my grandma taught me to make it this way) is i add ketchup instead of tomato sauce. that probably takes away some of the authenticity, huh? :huh:

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i add ketchup instead of tomato sauce. that probably takes away some of the authenticity, huh?  :huh:

Not at all. A bit of ketchup is what I use all the time. And I am authentically Chinese. :biggrin:

Funny thing, a while back, I was making tomato/beef for supper at Po-Po's. I was about to add some ketsup as she had shown me years ago. This time, she stopped me and said "No, No. Don't add ketsup!". I swear she changes her mind each time she catches me cooking...just to keep me off balance. Now, I just use vinegar and sugar. Next time, she may tell me to add ketsup. :rolleyes::laugh:



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To me, ketchup is just tomato sauce + vinegar + salt. When using ketchup, adjust for reducing (or eliminating) adding vinegar and salt as stated in the pictorial.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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