This is on high rotation in my house: I cook it almost weekly. The sticky soy and garlic on the beef is addictive, while the green chillies, with their gentle heat, bring a real brightness to the dish. Don't skip the toasted rice, either: the nutty flavour and crunch add so much.
1 bunch watercress
2 tbsp jasmine rice
900g beef (scotch, rump cap, hanger steak or eye fillet)
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp roughly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fish sauce
60ml grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
2 white onions, diced
1 green capsicum, cut into 3cm pieces
2 long green chillies, sliced
6 spring onions, white and most of the green, cut into 3cm batons
1 lime, to serve
steamed jasmine rice, to serve
For the cooking sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp caster sugar
1. Trim and discard any woody parts of the watercress. Chop the remaining leaves and stems at about 4cm intervals and set aside.
2. Add the 2 tablespoons of rice to a dry frying pan over medium–high heat. Toast the rice, shaking the pan constantly to colour evenly, until golden brown (about 5 minutes). Tip into a mortar and grind to a rough powder. Set aside.
3. Cut the beef into 1cm slices, then add to a large bowl with the garlic, pepper and fish sauce. Toss to combine, then set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes. If marinating for longer – and overnight is ideal – refrigerate.
4. Combine the cooking sauce ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, arrange the watercress on a serving platter.
5. Preheat the oil in a wok for 4 minutes over a high heat. Add the beef, spreading it out to make contact with the wok. Leave undisturbed for 2 minutes before stirring through. Add the white onion, capsicum and chilli and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the spring onion and sauce. Stir through for 1 minute, then tip onto the watercress.
6. Sprinkle the rice powder over the top and squeeze over the lime. Serve with steamed rice.