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I love stir-fry dinners. They are quick, easy, and healthy. The basic formula for any stir-fry is a protein (in this recipe, it’s beef), lots of veggies, and a sauce that blends salty and sweet with something acidic. My sauce is a simple teriyaki made with a blend of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, honey, and rice vinegar. It’s soooooo good!
Stir fry is a great way to clean out the vegetable compartment in the fridge. I always seem to have a few veggies (a little broccoli, a couple of carrots, maybe some mushrooms) that need to be used. This is especially true when I’m nearing grocery shopping day. Almost any veggie, in any combination, works in this stir-fry. This includes everything from green beans to zucchini to bell pepper, snap peas, cauliflower, or celery.
In a pinch, frozen veggies will also work.
There are a couple of time-saving shortcuts you can take to reduce the prep time. Pre-packaged “stir-fry vegetables” are available in the produce department with a tasty assortment of traditional Asian-style veggies that are cleaned, cut, and ready to toss in the pan. Also, often available in the meat department is pre-sliced sirloin strips steak labeled for stir-fry use. Personally, I pass on the prepped veggies because I always have plenty in the fridge, but I always get the pre-cut sirloin strips.
It’s pretty apparent that this is a very flexible recipe, and it just gets better. There are several substitution options if you are missing some of the ingredients needed for the sauce or marinade. While the stated ingredient will best enhance the overall taste, these substitutions are a close second. If you don’t have rice vinegar, use white vinegar—substitute ground ginger for fresh ginger (the conversion is 1 teaspoon dry for 1 tablespoon fresh). Brown sugar or maple syrup can be used in place of the honey. Cornstarch is the preferred thickening agent for the sauce, but 2 tablespoons of flour will work just fine.
My family likes this dish served with white or brown rice, but quinoa or noodles are also a great choice. If you’re looking for a lower calorie or low carb option, try serving it with cauliflower rice or lettuce wraps. This quick and easy stir-fry is a healthy rival to take-out Chinese. The simple teriyaki sauce packs flavor with just a little heat (thanks to the red pepper flakes), the steak strips are tender, and the veggies are cooked to perfection and complemented by the crunch of the water chestnut. Even non-veggie lovers will be asking for more!
Easy Beef Stir-FryCourse: MainCuisine: AsianDifficulty: Easy
Easy Beef Stir-Fry featuring a simple, flavor-packed teriyaki sauce made with pantry ingredients, will win over any non-veggie lover!
1 pound sirloin steak cut into thin strips
6 tablespoons soy sauce – divided (1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil divided
3 cups chopped vegetables
½ onion – sliced
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts drained
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons honey (brown sugar or maple syrup)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger (1/4 teaspoon ginger powder)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch (or 2 tablespoons flour)
Optional: 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
Prepared white rice, brown rice, quinoa, noodles, cauliflower rice, or lettuce cups — for serving
- Place the beef in a bowl and top with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and black pepper. Stir to coat then set aside to marinade.
- In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the soy sauce, water, honey, vinegar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- In a large, deep sauté pan, heat ½ tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (glistening or shimmering but not be smoking), add the beef. Cook until the beef is browned on all sides and mostly cooked. Remove the beef and any juices that have collected in the skillet to a plate and set aside.
- Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil. Add onions and vegetables. Cook for 4 minutes, or until slightly softened and lightly browned.
- When the vegetables are ready, add the water chestnuts and return the beef and juices to the pan. Pour in the sauce and toss to coat. Let simmer 3 to 4 minutes to thicken and warm the beef through. If desired, sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top. Serve warm with white rice, brown rice, quinoa, noodles, cauliflower rice, or lettuce cups
- Beef shortcut: Many grocery stores have stir-fry sirloin strips ready-to-cook
- Veggie Shortcut: Many grocery store sells stir-fry veggies cleaned, cut, and prepped
- Most veggies in your fridge will work in this recipe including broccoli, carrots, celery, zucchini, bell peppers, bean sprouts, snap peas, mushrooms, even frozen veggies
- Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally
- Serve with white rice, brown rice, quinoa, noodles, cauliflower rice, or lettuce cubs (low carb option)