Karl’s Beef with Chive Stem and Oyster Mushrooms

The challenge this weekend is reconciling Jan’s diets and a guest’s Ketogenic diet. Jan has to eat low fat because she is missing her gall bladder. A keto diet eliminates most carbohydrates and emphasizes protean, oils and roughage to force your metabolism into ketosis. These diets are polar opposites.

Karl’s Beef with Chive Stem and Oyster Mushrooms

Karl’s Beef with Chive Stem
and Oyster Mushrooms

I was given a link on how to adapt my recipes to this diet. Jan has pointed out that I do not want to get sucked into the debate about the science or to replicate the “cultural narratives” (over simplified explanations) about this diet. A Ketogenic diet can cause dramatic weight loss, but it can also be fairly dangerous if you do not understand what you are doing. When I was working off-shore I had a friend who was using this diet on his own. When he got back on-shore he went to a doctor about his bleeding gums.  He was told he was suffering from extreme malnutrition. If you decide to try this diet, I can only recommend that you find a good nutritionist to guide you through the process.

Most of the sites I have viewed about a Chinese keto diet are on how to maintain it while eating out.  One example is how to ask the waitperson to leave the sugar out of the sauce. I am making my own sauces, so I simply need to include the keto diet guidelines in making them.

To condense what I have found about creating a Chinese keto recipe:

1) Do not add any extra sugar or corn starch in making your sauces.

2) Check any premade sauce for added sugar. This means to limit the use of hoisin sauce, because peanuts and sugar (high sources of carbs) are integral to this sauce.

3) Steaming food is good, battering and frying is bad.

4) Use butter or canola oil, rather than corn or peanut oil, for your stir frying.

5) Use more vegetables that grow above ground (like cabbage) rather than underground vegetables (like turnips), which store sugars.

6) Use fatty meats and leave the skin on the chicken.

Note: This one is a problem for me, because it cannot be reconciled with Jan’s diet. My solution was to make two main dishes, one with fatty beef and other with lean tofu.

7) Use more meat and a lot more vegetables than you normally would, because people will not be filling up on starches.

8) Put any rice, noodles or breads on the side, for those people who are not on the diet and will still want their carbs.

9) Avoid artificial and low fat products (like margarine and skim milk), because they contain chemicals not found in “natural” foods.

Karl’s Beef with Chive Stem and Oyster Mushrooms


½ lb. rib eye beef steak


4 Tbs. soy sauce, separate uses
2 Tbs. minced ginger, separate uses
2 Tbs. chili garlic sauce
1½ Tbs. shaoxing (rice wine)
1½ tsp. sesame oil, separate uses

4 cloves garlic, separate uses
1 lb. oyster mushrooms
½ lb. garlic chive stem

2 Tbs. canola oil


1. Slice the beef on a diagonal across the grain into ¼ inch thick strips. If necessary, cut them in half so that you have pieces about 2-3 inches long.

2. In a small bowl, add 1 Tbs. soy sauce, ½ Tbs. of the ginger, chili garlic sauce, and shaoxing, ½ tsp. sesame oil, one finely minced garlic clove and mix well. Add the sliced beef and marinate at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.

3. Put the rest of the soy sauce, ginger, chili garlic sauce, shaoxing and sesame oil in a cup. Set aside,

4. Slice or mince the rest of the garlic.

5. Break up the oyster mushrooms and split any large ones.

6. Cut the chive stem into 2 inch pieces.

Tip: The flower buds are edible, but some may wish to remove them.

7. Drain the excess marinade into the cup of sauce.

8. Stir fry the beef in ½ Tbs. of canola oil in a large sauté pan or wok. When well browned remove to a bowl.

9. Add the rest of the canola oil to the pan and stir fry the mushrooms until they are starting to get some brown spots, about 5-6 minutes.

10. Add the chive stem and continue stir frying for about three minutes.

11. Add the garlic and cook one more minute.

12. Return the beef to the pan and add the sauce. Cook for one to two minutes, tossing to coat the vegetables with the sauce.

13. Remove to a serving bowl.

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Filed under Beef, Main Dishes

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