Easy Beef Stir Fry

When my husband and I visited Austin in January, we had lunch at a fast-casual place where the food presentation was beautiful.  The stir fry looked like a fireworks display of colorful veggies that were slightly crisp and flavorful rather than overcooked or drowning in oily, salty sauce like you find at so many places.  It inspired me to create this easy beef stir fry that incorporates lots of veggies for a bright and fresh weekday or weekend meal!  By using low sodium sauces and a minimum amount of oil, the stir fry also has the benefit of being a healthier alternative to most takeout. 🙂

When you give this a try, feel free to substitute your favorite veggies for the ones I chose.  Just remember to cut them all into similar-sized pieces so they will cook evenly.  You can also substitute pork or chicken for the beef.  For my veggie friends, just opt for veggie broth instead of the chicken broth and leave out the beef!  The recipe below is designed for a medium amount of sauce.  As an alternative, the photo shows a version with less sauce (1/2 a cup of broth instead of 3/4 to 1 cup and no cornstarch to thicken it).  However, if you prefer a lot of thicker sauce, increase the broth to 2 cups and the cornstarch to 2 tablespoons.

Scroll down if you want to skip to the recipe, but I have included a few short videos to make it easier to follow the recipe.  Remember you can play the videos at double speed if you are as impatient as I usually am! 🙂

So, let’s get started.

Tips on Timing:  The first step is to place the beef in the freezer ahead of time.  Ideally, you will freeze it for about an hour before you are ready to slice it.  You also will want to start cooking the rice before you cut the veggies.  The cooking time for this recipe is short and you want the rice to be ready when the stir fry is ready.  Don’t worry if the rice is ready a few minutes early.  Just keep it covered and it will stay warm.

Now it is time to cut the bell pepper, green onions, carrots, and celery.

Slice the cabbage into 1 / 2 inch wide strips and slice the eggplant into 1 / 2 thick slices. If the eggplant is large, then cut each slice in half. The goal is to have large, bite-sized pieces.

Barely freezing the beef makes it stiff enough to easily cut into thin slices.

Salt and pepper the beef.  Then brown it in a large frying pan or wok.

Remove the beef from the pan.  Add the 1 or 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the veggies to the pan and saute.

Add broth, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, and the cooked beef to the vegetables and stir to heat.  If you want a thicker sauce, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with the broth, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce before stirring it into the vegetable mixture.

Serve over rice and enjoy!

Easy Beef Stir Fry
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. beef (e.g., sirloin or NY strip steak), slightly frozen
  • 1 /4 head purple cabbage
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 bell pepper or 2-3 baby bell peppers
  • 1 Japanese eggplant
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. low sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 3 / 4 cup low sodium chicken broth (optionally less or more, see notes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 /4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1-2 Tbsps. cornstarch (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 - 3 cups cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Slice cabbage into 1 / 2 inch wide strips.
  2. Cut bell pepper into large, bite-sized pieces (about 1 inch).
  3. Slice eggplant into 1 / 2 thick slices. If the eggplant is large, then cut each slice in half. The goal is to have large, bite-sized slices.
  4. Slice green onions at an angle into 1 inch pieces.
  5. Slice carrots at an angle into 1 /4 to 1 / 2 inch thick pieces.
  6. Slice celery at an angle into 1 inch wide pieces.
  7. Thinly slice the beef.
  8. Salt and pepper the beef. Then brown it in a large frying pan or wok over high heat until cooked to medium (still pink but not red in the middle).
  9. Remove the beef from the pan.
  10. Add the 1 or 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the vegetables to the pan and saute until the vegetables are cooked but still a little crisp.
  11. Add broth, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, and the cooked beef to the vegetables and stir to heat. If you want a thicker sauce, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with the broth, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce before stirring it into the vegetable mixture. (See notes for options for more or less sauce.)
  12. Serve over rice
Notes
This recipe is designed for a medium amount of sauce and allows you to choose a thin sauce or to thicken it with cornstarch. As an alternative, the photo shows a version with less sauce (1/2 a cup of broth instead of ¾ to 1 cup and no cornstarch to thicken it). However, if you prefer a lot of thicker sauce, increase the broth to 2 cups and the cornstarch to 2 tablespoons.

 

 

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