Cook rice: Cook rice in 4 1/4 cup water. Bring water and rice to a boil, cover, lower the heat and let it cook until water is completely absorbed.
Marinate the beef: stir the rice wine, soy sauce and cornstarch* together in a bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Toss the beef gently in the marinade to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
* Alternative thickeners: barley flour or arrowroot flour
Prepare the sauce: stir the chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, chili flakes and salt together in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
Cut the bitter balsam-pear lenghtwise into quarters. Discard the seeds and cut the flesh into slices on the bias. Blanch the balsam-pear in a pot of boiling water until tender-crisp. About 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of oil in wok or skillet over high heat. Shake the marinade off the beef pieces and add to the skillet, stir-fry until no longer pink, 2 minutes. Set aside.
Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to the wok. Add the onion, black bean sauce and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the balsam-pear and the chicken broth mixture and bring to a boil.
Return the beef to the wok, pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook, stirring until the sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Scoop the contents of the wok onto a serving platter with parboiled rice.
I love this dish!