Easy Beef Stir Fry is the perfect Chinese-restaurant-inspired dish that you can make at home. To get delicious flavor use lots of been, your favorite vegetables, and of course a great sauce.
Beef for Stir Fry
So, what kind of beef is best for stir fry? I use either sirloin or flank steak in my beef stir fry recipe because it is tasty, affordable, and can be easily tenderized. You can use chuck steak as well. The secret to making the best beef stir fry using flank steak is all in how you slice the meat. Thin slices, across the grain is the key. Here’s how to do it:
- Trim away any silver skin, or other tough connective tissue that often surrounds a cut of beef.
- Look at the way the grains are running, you will see long lines of muscle.
- You want to slice across the long lines (across the grain) for the most tender meat. I cut 1/4 inch thick.
Now you’re ready to marinate and/or tenderize.
How to Make Beef Stir Fry
This dish requires a little more prep time than many recipes, but it’s so worth it! Prep your veggies ahead of time and place them in a container in the fridge. To make things super easy, our grocery store sells stir fry veggies cut and prepped.
- Cook the beef in batches in an oiled pan or wok about 2-3 minutes and then remove and set aside (overcrowding the pan causes the beef to steam, not fry).
- Cook the vegetables in a hot oiled pan or wok 4-5 minutes. They should still be crunchy. Set aside.
- In the same pan, combine the sauce ingredients, bring to a simmer and thicken with cornstarch. Add the beef and veggies back to the pan and cook until heated through.
Making Beef Tender
You know how Chinese food always has the most tender pieces of beef and chicken? They use a technique called velveting which makes the meat so … velvety!! This involves tossing the beef (or chicken) with cornstarch and usually rice vinegar/soy sauce and egg white and let it marinate a while. It’s then usually cooked in either oil or water to complete the process and then it’s used in stir-fries.
I always toss my beef (or chicken for chicken stir fry) with cornstarch while I prepare the rest of the ingredients. While it’s not the exact same velveting technique as found in Chinese restaurants, it does change the texture of the meat and tenderize it. The little bit of cornstarch on the outside also gets a nice crust and helps thicken the sauce. Win-win-win!
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Shrimp Stir Fry – so fresh
- Cashew Chicken Stir Fry – family favorite
- Stir Fry Veggies – healthy!
- Shrimp Stir Fry with Zucchini Noodles – low carb
- Easy Pepper Chicken Stir Fry – better than take out
Beef Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 1 pound flank steak thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 cups mixed vegetables
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Season steak with salt & pepper. Toss with cornstarch and set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
- Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan or wok. Cook the beef in 2 small batches over medium high until browned, about 2-3 minutes (beef does not need to be cooked through). Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add vegetables to the pan and cook about until tender crisp, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside with the beef.
- Combine sauce ingredients except corn starch in a bowl and stir well.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the sauce. Bring to a simmer. Combine cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water (or broth) and add it the sauce a little bit at a time while whisking to reach desired consistency. Let simmer 2 minutes. Add vegetables, beef (and any juices) to the pan and cook until heated through.
- Serve with noodles or over rice.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)