1Cut steak lengthwise in 2-1/2-inch strips, trimming off fat as you go.
2Then cut across the grain, in 1/8-inch thick strips.
3Put meat in bowl and att 1 teaspoon salt, cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce.
4Wash asparagus carefully, break off tough ends, and cut diagonally into pieces about 1/4-inch thick. (If you cut on a sharp diagonal, the pieces will be abut 1-1/2 to 2" long.)
5Cut onions in half lengthwise, lay cut side down, and slice crosswise into 1/4" slices.
6Smash garlic cloves with flat side of knife or cleaver and remove skin.
7Heat a wide frying pan or wok over highest heat, add 1/4 cup oil, it should bubble slightly from the heat.
8Add garlic and cook just until pale brown.
9Heat a wide frying pan or wok over highest heat, add 1/4 cup oil, it should bubble slightly from the heat.
10Add garlic and cook just until pale brown.
11Remove and discard.
12Add meat, stir frequently, and cook until almost browned. Remove to a bowl.
13Add 3 tablespoons more oil.
15Cook a minute or two stirring constantly.
16Make a little hollow on top of the onion; add bean sauce.
17Cook until onion starts to get translucent.
18Add asparagus and sprinkle over 1 teaspoon salt, sugar and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
19Cover and cook, taking the top off occasionally to stir well, just until asparagus is tender-crisp.
20Then, put the meat on top.
21Cook, stirring, just long enough to get the meat reheated.
22BEAN SAUCE DIRECTIONS
Heat a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
23Add the oil, the black beans and garlic.
24Stir-fry about 12 seconds.
25Add the rest of the ingredients and stir-fry about 1 minute or until sauce thickens.
26Makes about 3/4 cup sauce.
27TIPS: This is usually served over white rice. I always add more garlic, usually with the onion, and leaving it in. You can experiment with using flavored oil in part. Also, try a different Asian sauce if you have it on hand.