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

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Marinating time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6



  • 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 cornstarch
  • 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


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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 cornstarch 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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Showing 4 of 46 Comments

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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