Beef Stir Fry

4 Servings
55 min

If you’re on the lookout for a quick and flavourful meal, a stir fry is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

For this recipe we’re using sirloin tip steak.

Our tip to getting perfectly thin cuts on our slices for this beef stir fry is to first freeze it for half an hour before we’re ready to start. That firms up the meat just enough. Of course, if you’ve already frozen your meat, you’ll want to slice it before it’s totally thawed.

Ready to tenderize.

We’re using a process called velveting to tenderize the beef in this stir fry. Velveting is made of a slurry of cornstarch and water (and some additional ingredients if desired). It coats the meat, as you see below, which browns meat more evenly, seals in its juices, and improves the adhesion of the sauce. It can rest for up to 30 minutes in the fridge.

In the meantime, you can prepare the sauce (be sure to read our notes further down in the section ‘About the Sauce’).

Cut up the vegetables. This is where you can use up whatever you happen to have on hand.

And don’t forget the minced garlic; it isn’t a stir fry without the aromatics!

We’ve done this recipe many times and have forgotten we own two mandoline slicers! A mandoline really does speed up the time it takes to cut the carrots.

This particular ceramic one doesn’t have a guard (or maybe we lost it) so be sure to stop cutting when you still have a sizeable stub and cut the rest with a knife. Don’t take chances; it’s too easy to accidentally cut yourself.

Cook the beef in batches for only 1-2 minutes per side (you can speed up the process if you want to use two pans). It will get reheated again in the sauce so don’t overcook.

Remove it to a bowl.

No need to wipe out the pan when you add the vegetables. Those browned bits are flavour! If we’re using mushroom, I usually add them first.

Then in goes the rest.

The bamboo shoots are last since you want to keep the crunch. After adding the sauce, the meat goes back in to heat up again.

If you're going to serve this dish with rice or noodles, you'll want to see 'about the sauce' in the next section!

About the Sauce

After we made this, we discovered there isn’t enough sauce in this beef stir fry to coat noodles if you want to add those like we did. Dry noodles are never a compliment to any dish, but there’s a way to rebound if you do want to serve it that way!

Remove the beef stir fry to a serving dish. Then add this Korean BBQ style sauce to the cooked noodles in the pan you just used and heat them through. Or instead, if you prefer, you can easily double the sauce in this recipe if you don’t want to use a bottled sauce.

Note that if you do use the bottled sauce, this can also be done simultaneously if you use two pans to cook your beef from the start instead of batching them in one pan.

bottle of Korean style BBQ sauce

Garnish as you like with some scallions and sesame seeds. We sometimes like to garnish with cashews instead.

If you want a beef recipe that you can just set and forget, try this beef stew with wine. Learning how to use a pressure cooker will give you a meal that tastes like it’s been cooking all day, but just takes an hour from start to finish!

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Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 45 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef freeze for half an hour before slicing
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar swerve
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin
Stir Fry
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil divided
  • 1 large red bell pepper cored and cubed
  • 1 container button mushrooms halved
  • 2 medium carrots thinly sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 8 oz can bamboo shoots drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger or equivalent frozen
To Serve
  • Rice noodles or rice
  • 1/4 cup Korean style BBQ sauce or double the recipe for the sauce to coat the noodles instead
  • 2 green onions sliced (optional garnish)
  • Sesame seeds optional
  • Cashews optional

A tip for thinly slicing the beef is to first freeze it for half an hour. Season with salt and pepper, then prepare a cornstarch slurry. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoon of cornstarch, with a teaspoon of water. Add rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Place the beef in a bowl and mix well to caot. It can rest in the fridge up to 30 minutes. In the meantime, make the sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl.
In a large fry pan heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat and cook the beef in two batches. Brown each side for 1-2 minutes, then pull the meat from the pan and set it aside.
Add in the mushrooms and cook for a minute. Then add in the remaining oil, the red bell pepper, broccoli and carrots. Cook the veggies until tender (about 3-5 minutes) stirring occasionally. Clear the centre and add the garlic and ginger. Stir constantly for 30 seconds until fragrant and mix it in to the rest of the ingredients.
Add the peas and the bamboo shoots and stir in the sauce. Then add the beef. The cornstarch in the sauce will thicken it as it cooks for 2 more minutes! Remove to a bowl and finish with the green onions, sesame seeds or cashews, if desired. Serve with rice or noodles.
For the rice noodles, follow the directions for cooking on your particular package. The noodles we use require soaking in hot water for two minutes.Once cooked, combine with bottled Korean BBQ style sauce and heat through in the pan before serving under the beef stir fry.
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