This recipe for easy Chinese Beef Stir Fry is an excellent option for those of you trying to do more home cooking. It tastes just like your favorite Chinese takeout in less time than it takes to order! Try this simple and flavorful dish for dinner tonight - the whole family is sure to love it.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
If your home is anything like mine, then weeknights are a bit hectic. This yummy tender beef stir fry is a perfect quick meal on those crazy nights! It takes only 15 minutes to get on the table It's also great to make ahead of time for your packed lunches.
Packed with stir fried beef and vegetables, you can also feel really good about feeding this to your family. Unlike many restaurant recipes, this one is free of any added colors, preservatives or MSG.
If you happen to be gluten free, you can make a simple swap and use either coconut aminos or tamari in place of the soy sauce. You can also adjust the spice level to your liking by adding more or less red pepper flakes.
My recipe for beef and vegetable stir fry also includes a little known trick for ensuring that your beef is soft and tender. Don't worry though, it just takes a few extra minutes to get things done.
I can almost guarantee you're going to love cooking this stir fry beef recipe for dinner. It's honestly the best takeout fakeout recipe around!
*Here's more delicious and easy recipes for you for you to try:
While the ingredient list might look intimidating at first, I'd reckon you have many of the ingredients already in your pantry.
Also, note that the marinade and sauce for this easy beef stir fry are one and the same. It's my go-to Chinese style stir fry sauce for quick dinners. Even if you have to buy a few ingredients to make this dish happen, I promise you'll use them often.
If you wish to make this beef stir fry Paleo, simply swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos and opt for arrowroot flour in place of the cornstarch. You can either omit the brown sugar or opt for a natural version like maple syrup, honey or agave.
How to Make a Good Beef Stir Fry
Step 1 - Tenderize Beef
To start with, combine thinly sliced 8oz beef with¾ teaspoon baking soda. Toss it well using your fingers (or tongs, if that grosses you out) and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse the beef well and drain off the excess water and pat dry it a bit using paper towel.
TIP: While this step is optional, the process of "velveting" the beef will result in a much more tender end product. I highly recommend you follow this step!
Step 2 - Make Stir Fry Marinade & Sauce
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir to incorporate.
TIP: You can make a slurry with the cornstarch and two tablespoons of water and then add to the sauce. This will help to ensure that the cornstarch doesn't clump.
Step 3 - Marinate Beef in Stir Fry Sauce
Add ⅓ of the prepared sauce/marinade to the beef slices, toss well, cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.
TIP: Do you like to knock out a lot of prep ahead of time? Toss the meat with the marinade and freeze for up to three months.
Step 4 - Cook the Beef and Vegetables in Stir Fry Sauce
Heat vegetable oil in wok or pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
TIP: For the best results, choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point. I recommend vegetable oil, but grapeseed, avocado or corn oil will all do the trick.
Now add marinated beef and cook stirring it on high heat until it changes the color to light brown and nicely seared but not cooked through completely. This will take around 2-3 minutes.
Shove the beef on one side of the pan and add chopped scallion whites, sliced onion and carrot and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add bell peppers and sauté for another 15 seconds. Now, add rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water to the remaining marinade and mix. Stir the sauce with the veggies and meat and cook until the sauce thickens (around 30-45 seconds).
Add sesame oil and toss. Sprinkle scallion greens and sesame seeds and remove the wok from heat immediately.
Ensuring that your steak is sliced as thinly as possible will result in the best flavor and texture for this beef stir fry. Be sure to slice against the grain to get the best pieces. Aim for ⅛ of an inch per slice, though you can go up to ¼ inch.
To help you slice the steak, I recommend popping it in the freezer for about 45 minutes before cutting. You don't want the meat to be completely frozen, but having it be just a little frozen makes it much easier to handle.
In order to avoid overcooking your beef, be sure that your pan is nice and hot. The oil should look streaky when you tip it, like the "legs" in a glass of wine. Sear the meat quickly, removing it from the heat as soon as it is done.
The best solution I have is to "velvet" your beef. The process of "velveting" requires that you marinate the beef in baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for 30 minutes, then rinse it off and pat it dry. If you want more info, check out this informative article.
You should also be very careful not to overcook your meat. Give it a quick sear in the oil and then move on to sautéing the vegetables to stop the frying process.
I use sirloin here, but you can easily substitute ribeye, tri-tip or thinner cuts like flank steak, skirt steak, or strip steak.
Yes! While frozen vegetables may not maintain the same level of crispiness as fresh, they are frozen at peak ripeness and will taste just as delicious.
As a bonus, they will also have just as much nutritional value as fresh at a fraction of the cost! Just be sure to thaw the vegetables completely before stir frying.
Make it ahead
You can either do a few things to get yourself prepared to make a fresh dinner, or opt to make the entire beef and vegetable stir fry and portion it out for later.
If you want to do the former, whisk the sauce and marinate beef strips a day in advance and store. You can also toss your beef strips in marinade and freeze the beef and sauce in a freezer bag for up to three months before using!
You can also get ahead by preparing your veggies. Chop your ginger, garlic and vegetables up to a day ahead and store separately in air tight containers.
Protein : You can use chicken, shrimp, fish and tofu instead of beef.
Vegetables : There are great options apart from bell peppers and carrots. So, you can also add vegetables broccoli florets, water chestnuts, zucchini, snow peas, asparagus, bok choy and mushrooms to this stir fried beef.
Serve this delicious hot stir fry with steamed white rice or noodles of choice. Further, you can also toss this stir fry with steamed rice or noodles to make it beef and rice stir fry or beef and noodle stir fry.
You can also serve it with cauliflower rice or quinoa if you're trying to sneak in a bit of extra fiber.
Storage & Freezing
To store: This easy stir fried beef and vegetable recipe is perfect for meal prep. The leftovers will last for up to 5 days in the fridge. Divide into single portions for an easy grab-and-go lunch option!
To freeze: Absolutely! It should last for up to three months if packaged appropriately. Just note that the veggies will be a little softer after freezing, and this is completely normal.
To reheat: You can opt to reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warm thorugh. Just do your best not to over cook the beef, as it will become tough and chewy if you do.
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If you tried this simple and easy recipe for my Beef Stir Fry Recipe, please let me know how it turned out! Rate and review it below, or leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
Beef Stir fry Recipe
- 8 oz Top Sirloin Steak (thinly sliced against the grain)
- ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda (bi-carbonate soda)
For stir fry marinade
- 2 tablespoons Tamari or Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- Dash of Salt and Pepper
For stir fry
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic (chopped or minced)
- 1 teaspoon Ginger (chopped or grated)
- 2 stems Scallion (see note 4)
- ½ small Onion (sliced)
- ¼ cup Carrot (cut into strips)
- ¼ cup Bell Peppers (yellow, green or red) (sliced into strips)
- 1 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Water
- 2 teaspoons Sesame oil
- 1 teaspoons Sesame Seeds
- To start with, combine thinly sliced beef with soda, toss it well using fngers and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, rinse the beef well and drain off the excess water and pat dry it a bit using paper towel.
Making stir fry marinade
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients very well ensuring cornstarch is fully incorporated. (see note 2)
- Now, add ⅓ of the prepared marinade to the beef slices, toss well, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. (see note 3)
Stir frying beef
- Heat vegetable oil in wok or pan on medium high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and ginger and cook for 15 seconds.
- Now add marinated beef and cook stirring it on high heat until it changes the color to light brown and nicely seared but not cooked through completely. This will take around 2-3 minutes.
- Shove the beef on one side of the pan and add chopped scallion whites, sliced onion and carrot and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add bell peppers and sauté for another 15 seconds.
- Now, add rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water in the remaining marinade and mix. Stir-in the sauce and cook until the sauce thickens (around 30-45 seconds).
- Add sesame oil and toss. Sprinkle scallion greens and sesame seeds and remove the wok from heat immediately.
- Serve hot with steamed white rice. You can also serve it with cauliflower rice or quinoa.