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.
Serve this beef stir fry with white rice, egg noodles, or next to fried rice!
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
Easy 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.
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What an awesome recipe. Everyone one in the family enjoyed this. Simple recipe but oh so tasty. I served it over rice noodles!
This stir fry has become a go to quick meal in our house! I love that I can use up whatever fresh veggies I have on hand and it’s so quick.
I hate to say this, but this recipe was way too sweet and lacked flavor. We reduced the sugar to 1 TBSP and it was still very sweet. I can’t imagine how it would be with 3 tbsp of sugar. It seems like the recipes was missing something, maybe seasoning the veggies. Think the addition of garlic and onion powder would help. The recipe was very easy and came together quite well. I feel bad leaving such a negative review, since we often use Spend With Pennies recipes. This one just didn’t do it for us.
Very good – I added fresh pineapple and used pineapple juice instead of OJ. Coated beef strips with toasted sesame seeds and topped everything with green onions. Delecious – thanks for the recipe.
Absolutely delicious!! I added stir fry noodles and a little more soy sauce once it was done!
wow this was very delicious! so glad i came upon it.
Wondering if anyone has tried this without sugar.
While I have not tried it without sugar, some readers have cut the sugar by half and said they loved it. Let us know how it goes if you make it without sugar Shree!
I think 1–2 tsp sugar is more than enough. We used 1 TBSP and it was too sweet for our liking.
Great recipe for sirloin tip steak sliced very thin. Easy to make and it is very good on steamed rice.
I would love to know what noodles you used and how you prepare and incorporate them. In one of the comments you replied that they are chow mein noodles but I thought those were crunchy canned noodles. Thank you!
I use fresh chow mein noodles and I find them in our grocery store near the tofu or fresh egg roll and wonton wrappers.
Thank you for replying! I will search out stores.