This Chinese style beef and vegetable stir fry is budget-friendly, simple and delicious. My favourite part? Done within 30 minutes! Lately, I've been loving quick and easy meals that are easy on the wallet and (of course) packed full of flavour.
The key to achieving tender beef here is adding a little baking soda - a trick many Chinese takeout places make.
- Beef strips are easy to find at major supermarkets or your local butcher. If you can't find any, replace with a couple of cheap steak cuts and slice them at home.
- Broccoli and carrots are my choice of vegetables for this beef stir fry. Broccoli can take on a lot of flavour and sauces from this dish and carrots adds sweetness and a little something good for your eyes 😉 (beta-carotene - a compound your body then converts into vitamin A). But you can add whatever vegetables you like - such as capsicums (bell peppers) or green beans.
- Brown sugar is used a lot in the recipes (instead of white sugar) in this blog as I find they add more flavour (molasses) to any dish!
- Baking soda is your friend to lovely tender beef strips! Beef, when cooked to well done (often the case when making a stir fry), tend to get quite tough, especially the cheap cuts. A little baking soda help tenderise the meat and is used quite often at many Chinese takeouts!
- Corn flour lightly coats and helps with attaching sauces to eat pieces of beef, keeping it slightly glossy and tasty!
- Dark/light soy sauces combo is used here to ensure we get as much flavour as possible in this dish. Dark soy sauces are stronger in flavour, darker in colour and lighter on the salt content than light soy sauces. This combo is very common in Chinese cuisines - in achieving that rich, umami flavour.
- Shaoxing wine is a Chinese cooking wine (really good quality ones can be consumed as a beverage) that is made with fermented rice. Similar to cooking with red or white wine, Shaoxing wine adds depth and aroma to a dish.
Cutting vegetables for stir fries
Cut your vegetables and proteins in similar sizes.
This is very important as it'll ensure even cooking, like left image above.
A trick I use when mincing garlic and ginger is grating them with a cheese grater. Gets the job done in no time (just be careful of your fingers!).
Step by step instructions
STEP 1. Marinate the beef strips with dark/light soy sauces, black pepper, Shaoxing wine, brown sugar, baking soda and cornflour. Allow about 10 minutes for beef to marinade.
STEP 2. Saute minced ginger, garlic and sliced onions in a hot non-stick pan on high heat.
STEP 3. Once lightly golden, add marinated beef in the pan and saute until the beef starts to brown but not cooked through. At this point, remove everything from the pan into a plate and set aside.
STEP 4. In the same pan, add broccoli and carrots, saute for about 1 minute then add ¼ cup of water and cover the pan with a lid. Now reduce the heat down to medium/low. This will allow the vegetables to steam cook.
STEP 5. Once vegetables are soft to your liking, add the beef mixture back into the pan. Pour in some light soy sauce and cornflour mixed with ¼ cup of water (this will help thicken the sauce up).
STEP 6. Stir through on high heat for 1 - 2 minutes. Crack some more black pepper if you like!
That's it! Serve immediately with fluffy steamed rice.
Here you have it! Delicious, easy beef and vegetable stir fry. This is a great quick weeknight dinner or a work from home lunch.
Chinese beef and vegetable stir fry
- 300 g beef strips
- 2 cups broccoli cut into small florets (see note 1)
- 1 carrot thinly sliced (see note 1)
- 1 onion thinly sliced (see note 1)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger fresh, minced
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornflour (see note 2)
- 2 tbsp neutral tasting oil like sunflower or canola
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- ½ tsp baking soda (see note 3)
- black pepper
- Mix beef strips with beef marinade ingredients together and set aside for about 10 minutes.
- In a hot, non-stick pan, saute ginger, garlic and onions with oil on high heat until lightly golden.
- Add marinated beef into the pan and saute until brown and not cooked through. About 1 minute. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add carrots, broccoli and saute for about 1 minute. Pour in ¼ cup of water, place a lid to cover and allow vegetables to steam. Turn heat down to medium as vegetable steam.
- Once vegetables are soft to your liking, add the beef mixture back into the pan. Turn the heat back up to high.
- Pour soy sauce and cornflour mixed with ¼ cup of water. Stir through for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Serve with steamed rice.
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