Slice steak into broad 1/8-inch thick strips, about 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. In a small bowl combine steak strips with baking soda, crushed garlic cloves and 1/4 cup cold water. Mix well and soak 5 hours.
Rinse steak slices and dry well on paper towels. In a small bowl mix together egg white and salt, stirring vigorously until egg white foams. Stir in sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon peanut oil and cornstarch. Add steak and toss to coat. Marinate 1/2 hour at room temperature. In another small bowl, combine thin soy sauce, Shao Hsing, remaining 4 teaspoons sugar, vinegar, sesame oil and sesame paste; set aside.
In a wok heat remaining 4 cups peanut oil over high heat to 375 degrees. Drain beef, pat dry then deep-fry 45 seconds, turning pieces several times with a metal spoon. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and drain on paper towels. When oil returns to 375 degrees, deep-fry 15 seconds more, remove beef, and drain. Repeat deep-frying, 15 seconds, a third time. Remove beef and drain on clean paper towels. When oil returns to 375 degrees, deep-fry asparagus and red bell pepper 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels.
Drain off all but 1 tablespoon oil from wok and increase heat to high. Add chili peppers, scallions, chopped garlic and chopped ginger; stir-fry 1 minute. Add asparagus and red pepper; stir-fry 10 seconds and add beef. Stir in soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil and serve immediately with rice.
*available in Asian groceries
Recipe Courtesy of David Rosengarten