Stir Fry Ginger Beef

The trick to a good stir-fry is working with a very hot, relatively stick-free pan. I say relatively stick-free because you don’t want one of those stick-free pans with the coating that peels off, but say more like a well-seasoned wok or a cast iron frying pan. Hard anodized aluminum will work too, as its surface is bonded into the pan and can take high temperature cooking. Cooking on high heat allows you to get a good sear on the meat and vegetables without overcooking them.

What can I say about this recipe? Not much other than I really like it. The beef strips marinate in a soy, vinegar, honey, ginger marinade, and then fry up quickly with garlic, chile, and more ginger. Top with cilantro and serve over rice. Quick, easy, good.

Stir Fry Ginger Beef Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 2 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chile pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Beef and stir-fry

  • 1 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb top sirloin steak
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (preferably peanut)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 3-4 green onions, cut on a diagonal, 1/2-inch apart, including the greens
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 hot chiles, preferably red serranos, seeded, sliced
  • 1-inch nob of ginger, peeled, cut lengthwise into matchstick shapes
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped cilantro

Method

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1 Chill the steak in the freezer for 30 minutes before you slice it, this will make it easier to cut in thin slices. Slice the steak first crosswise in 1/2-inch thick slices. The cut each slice lengthwise into strips.

2 In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients; the soy sauce, vinegar, grated ginger, honey, red chile flakes, and cumin. Mix the beef in with the marinade to coat and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and up to 4 hours, in the fridge.

3 In a small bowl, mix the corn starch with 2 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.

4 Heat the oil in a wok, or a large sauté pan, over high heat until it is nearly smoking. As the oil is heating up, pat the beef dry and separate it into small batches no larger than what can fit into the palm of your hand. Working in batches, sauté beef until just brown outside but rare inside, no more than 1 minute. Transfer beef to a bowl.

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5 When all of the beef is cooked, put the chiles and garlic into the pan and stir-fry 30-45 seconds. Add the julienned ginger and cook for 30-45 seconds more. Add the beef back to the pan. Add the cornstarch slurry. Add the scallions and mix everything together. Cook for 1 minute.

Turn the heat off and mix in the cilantro. Serve at once with steamed white rice.

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33 Comments

  1. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    To me this is Chinese comfort food, and if you keep a pantry full of Asian condiments, you really don’t need to add much in the way of ingredients. I’m not a cilantro lover, so I’d probably leave that out. But I might add in some baby bok choy, if I were lucky enough to have it on hand.

  2. Amanda Pascoe

    That looks amazing! Can this be made with chicken instead of beef? My fiancee doesn’t eat red meat.

    I don’t see why not. I think a boneless, skinless chicken breast would work. ~Elise

  3. Michael

    I used to go to a certain website to get recipes and ideas for dinner. I’m a bachelor so sometimes I need fast/healthy interesting meals. I came across this site a week ago today and have made at least four different meals. I have beef in the fridge right now and I’m going to make this tonight. This is my new favorite site. Thanks for keeping it current. Oh, can I use flour instead of corn starch?

    Hmm, good question on the flour vs corn starch. You could try it, though I think corn starch will work better for this purpose. ~Elise

  4. Lauren OT

    Did you seed the peppers or not? Looks like a great recipe!

    It depends on how hot the peppers are, and how hot you want your dish to be. I prefer to seed the peppers before slicing. ~Elise

  5. Dave

    I’m a vegatarian, but I do eat seafood (pescatarian). Do you think that this dish could be made with salmon in place of the beef?

    Salmon may be a bit tricky. We would recommend shrimp, squid, or a very firm white fish such as halibut. ~Elise

  6. Ed R.

    Made this tonight, Really enjoyed the recipe. Great flavors.

  7. sharon

    I have a soy allergy so things like this generally don’t work for me. What could be substituted for the soy in marinade (and wouldn’t be as tasty)?

    No idea. I was going to suggest Bragg Liquid Aminos, but that’s made with soy too. Perhaps Worcestershire sauce? Very hard to substitute soy sauce in recipes like this one. ~Elise

    • Amy

      I know this comment is old, but coconut aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce that is soy free!

  8. Ophelia

    YUM this looks great – I know my husband would love all that ginger. I think I’d want to toss some vegetables in to avoid making a side dish with it. What would you recommend? Maybe some asparagus?

    Or broccoli, or green beans. Blanch first. ~Elise

  9. Andrea

    I’ve been on a stir-fry kick lately, having just gotten a wok for the first time. I’ve made stir fries three times a week for the last three weeks! So yeah, I’m bookmarking this recipe for next week. It looks great! Ginger is possibly my favorite ingredient – each week I find myself buying bigger and bigger roots of it.

  10. Gourmet Mum

    This is a truely wonderful recipe, stir frys are great because they are generally so easy to do. I particularly like your tip for cutting the beef – I’ll remember that.

  11. Paula Gomez

    I made this last night and it is a winner. My serranos were still green. Couldn’t find “reds” without driving all over town. I used only 2 small green and sliced thinly without seeding (thinking the whole time, “this is gonna be hot!”) I was right. Way too hot if not seeded. I have a well developed palate for “hot” but even this was a bit too hot. Next time I’ll definitely seed.

  12. Shaheen

    Kang Kong in stir fries is pretty interesting. You should try it.

  13. ellen

    Not a big ginger fan, so I made this dish with out it. It was delicious & super easy too.

  14. Tom

    You might want to try fresh lime juice instead of the vinegar. I love the fresh “zing” of lime!

  15. Cori

    I made this the other night and sliced the peppers as you told me. I didn’t know whether to seed them (I’ve been cooking for years and still didn’t just use common sense) so I kept the seeds. I used three green serrano peppers for this dish and 1.25# beef. I even added more vegetables. It was SO SO spicy! I have been eating it since it’s delicious but next time I’ll do 2 peppers and take all of the ribs/seeds out. Just for others looking for that advice. But thanks for the recipe, we’ll be making this again next week!

  16. Kelly

    Made this tonight and was even better than expected! This one is going in the file for sure! I used 2 red serranos (w/o seeds) and it was the perfect amount of spice for us. I made it in my larger cast iron skillet and meat came out perfect. Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. cash

    Made this last night. I think it may have been a touch too much ginger, so next time I’ll reduce. I also added peanuts and snow peas for extra crunch and extra greens. this was really good. Totally forgot to make rice though. Oops! Will def. make again. Thank Elise, another winner!

  18. Graciela

    I guess I will have to try this one again, last night it was all gone too soon – Great recipe!!

  19. Shelley

    Tried this ginger beef stir fry the other night and it was fantastic! The meat was tender due to the searing in small batches, and very flavourful!! Shared the recipe with friends and will definitely make it again.

  20. Kelli

    I made this over the weekend and we LOVED it! The marinade is the perfect blend of spices and seasonings. I am definately going to make this one again.

  21. Lindsey

    Very very delicious! I might not have used enough ginger though. It tasted more like cilantro than ginger so I will deffinitely add about twice as much ginger as I did and maybe some more veggies. Other than that it was awesome! Thank you!

  22. Heather

    This was delicious! I added some veggies out of my garden that needed to be used: carrot and zucchini. I also used seasoned rice vinegar since it was all I happened to have on hand. I think it threw off the flavor a bit so I’ll try the unseasoned next time. The marinade was great.

  23. Sarah

    Really enjoyed – very tasty and quick. Perfect for weeknights. Would love some tips to juilienne ginger well – never seems to work well. Excellent!

  24. Amanda K.

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I marinaded the beef for 30 minutes, but next time I will let it marinate an hour or two to see if it’s even more flavorful. The only modifications I made were adding some sliced mushrooms and some blanched asparagus and carrot. I only added one green serrano based on previous reviews, but next time I’ll add two because it wasn’t spicy enough for us.

  25. Sofia

    We had this for dinner tonight and it was great. Your instructions for how to properly stir-fry the meat are probably the clearest and most concise I’ve found. Thank you so much for another awesome recipe.

  26. Judy

    This is the best!!

    I was looking for a new recipe to use up some ginger root I had. It tasted GREAT! Just cooking for myself, I used a small NY steak (reduced the other ingredients proportionately) and substituted a fresh jalepeno (1/2 of it) from my garden. I also cooked some sliced carrots & at the end, added those & frozen snow peas.

    OH MY! Very tasty and a really square meal over rice. Shrimp and/or chicken would be just as great with it!

  27. Erin

    I made this for dinner tonight, and it was fantastic! I added some green beans and sliced mushrooms that I had on hand, but otherwise followed the recipe as-is. Delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Victoria

    This is delicious! My husband and I make this once a week. We have charcoaled grilled the meat instead of stir frying it and eat it with steamed rice. We have also used boneless skinless chicken breasts instead. also delicious.

  29. Seth

    We added broccoli and red peppers, and ate this with udon noodles. It was fantastic. We keep our ginger in the freezer so we always have tons on hand.

  30. Kira

    Can I use ground beef for this?

    I haven’t tried it with ground beef, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  31. bdixon

    yum! thanks for sharing! didn’t have peanut oil, or ginger, or cilantro. used a jalapeno instead of the chile. still was delish! i think it was the marinade.
    thnx again

  32. Ida

    Made this today, really amazing! Going to make this again, as soon as possible!

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