Ginger Beef Stir Fry

Easy Beef Stir Fry! With ginger and scallions and a honey soy marinade.

  • 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 (use gluten-free soy sauce if cooking gluten-free)
  • 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 dark toasted 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 chilis, preferably red serranos, seeded, sliced
  • 1-inch nob of ginger, peeled, cut lengthwise into matchstick shapes
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped cilantro


1 Chill steak, slice into strips: 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.

stir-fry-ginger-beef-1.jpg stir-fry-ginger-beef-2.jpg

2 Marinate the beef: 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 Make cornstarch slurry: In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.

4 Brown the beef strips: Heat the oil in a wok (vegetable oil plus dark sesame oil if using), 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.

stir-fry-ginger-beef-method-1 stir-fry-ginger-beef-method-2

5 Stir fry chiles, garlic, ginger: 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.

6 Add beef, cornstarch slurry, scallions: Add the beef back to the pan. Add the cornstarch slurry. Add the scallions and mix everything together. Cook for 1 minute.

stir-fry-ginger-beef-method-3 stir-fry-ginger-beef-method-4

7 Remove from heat, stir in cilantro: Turn the heat off and mix in the cilantro. Serve at once with steamed white rice.

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  • Anne

    This is my first time making stir fry. Used round steak that was precut for stir fry. I had 1/2 lb meat. Used whole marinade. Marinade for 3 hours. Very salty. Meat had a weird texture. Hubby is not happy. What did I do wrong? I appreciate your help!!!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Anne, so many variables! You used the full amount of marinade with only 1/3 the amount of beef called for in the recipe, and you marinated it for a full 3 hours, which might account for the saltiness. It could also be the soy sauce you are using. Different types of soy sauce have different intensities of salt. I don’t know how thin your pre-cut slices of beef were, but if they were thinner than the 1/2 inch strips that I made, that would also expose more salty marinade to the beef. The recipe calls for top sirloin. Top round isn’t going to be as flavorful.

  • Ginger

    If you google “the ginger people” you’ll find minced organic ginger in a jar that keeps forever in the fridge. I find this is easier and less wasteful than buying a fresh piece of ginger and old using an inch of it. I’m sure there are other brands but I found this at Whole Foods, which gives it their seal of approval as far as I’m concerned.

  • Lord Koos

    Made this in a wok with extra hot peppers, extra ginger, one whole bunch of baby asparagus, and half of a red bell pepper thinly sliced, for some color. Used cumin that was freshly ground in a mortar. It looked beautiful and was delicious!

  • Mark Lebrun

    I’ve used this recipe so many times, I have it memorized! It always turns out fantastic! Here are a few suggestions, that I’ve found to enhance the flavor, even more. Try using several heaping tbs. of brown sugar, in addition to the honey. The glaze is delicious, and locks in even more of the flavorful juices! I often add other vegetables, including asparagus, grape tomatoes, yellow peppers,etc. It’s nice to serve over pad thai noodles, or any kind of “glass” noodle – wide and flat works best.

  • Jarrett Hather

    Is the optional sesame oil the light or dark/toasted variety? At what point would you add it?


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jarrett, good question! It’s the dark toasted variety. Add it in with the vegetable oil when stir frying the beef. I’ve clarified the recipe, thank you.

  • Dale

    This recipe has been a staple in my house for years. I absolutely love the flavour. I add in a sliced green pepper for some extra veggies and it’s awesome. Thank you for making such an awesome recipe! It’s lovely and fresh tasting with a little zing


  • acryfromourhearts

    p.s. also did not use corn starch + water

  • acryfromourhearts

    left out rice vinegar, chilis, one scallion, and cilantro plus the meat I used was sliced steak that was smoked salmon thin
    it was great though!
    if there’s a next time, yay asian without exclusive ingredients!, I’ll use 50% more of both green onions and ginger
    thank you!

  • Ashley

    Absolutely amazing! This is the first stir fry recipe that actually was a success for me. The flavors are amazing. An hour marinade was enough for the meat to absorb the flavors. I don’t like it too spicy so left out the pepper. I added some veggies, matchstick carrots, broccoli florets, and sliced mushrooms with a bit of seasoning, before returning the meat to the pan. Also sprinkled a bit of the marinade for more sauce to coat the veggies. My boyfriend loved it.

  • Lacey

    Dumb question, do you add the marinade to the pan along with the cornstarch slurry? Otherwise what it’s the sauce?

    • Elise

      Hi Lacey, great question! I think you could easily add back the marinade at the end if you wanted more sauce for the dish. As it is, the moisture comes from the meat cooking (beef is 60% water). You’ll want to simmer the sauce in a small saucepan for several minutes (may need to add water to it) to kill any bacteria that came from being in contact with the raw beef. That said, the dish has plenty of flavor without extra sauce.

  • cam gauthier

    I was told not to cook this to often,I do whenever I want one complains,hold the cilantro I use jamaican thyme

  • Sam

    I’m an extremely picky eater, so to say this thing is one of the best stir-fry’s I’ve had, is saying a lot. The 1st time I did it, I disobeyed the recipe by not removing the excess marinade from the beef and it didn’t turn out right because the honey made everything very sticky. So yeah, pat the beef dry as indicated. I marinate mine for an hour and the flavor is infused in the beef so don’t worry that it’ll be flavorless when you pat the beef dry. I also tailored it to my own taste by adding ~1 tsp light soy sauce and ~1 tsp oyster sauce after throwing the beef back in with the other goodies and it’s heaven. I love the honey in this recipe because the sweetness is really subtle (unlike the sugary taste when you use regular sugar).

  • Momma

    Love the Recipe! I added and subtracted a few items. I added lemon/orange peel.. Did not add the pepper or the cilantro.. Definitely helped to marinade the meat for a couple of hours. Stir Fried my veggies and added it all back together. Poured over rice and wow…great meal! Thanks for sharing a great recipe! Loved it Loved it!

  • Chad

    The marinade, ginger treatment, and the cornstarch slurry here form a solid foundation for a good stir-fry. I went with beef and a large handful of fresh basil and it turned out restaurant-quality. Nice work on this one!


  • Sarah

    This marinade is so yummy! I cut back the chili pepper flakes to 1/4 tsp because my kids don’t like spicy food. Also, I didn’t have any of the veggies on hand (and I used the last of my ginger in the marinade) so I actually put in a red pepper and some spinach instead. This is a great and versatile recipe. I served it with a lentil pilaf. Yum!

  • Darren

    Amazing changed it about a little. Less soy sauce more honey & did with chicken. And as you can do with Chinese food, used lots of bits n bats up. Three adults two children all liked

  • Sonja

    While I did make some changes to suit personal preference, I very much kept to the original spirit of this dish. I kept the marinade unchanged, but reduced the amount of meat while adding broccolini, baby bok choi, and julienned yellow pepper (obviously, I did not marinade the vegetables). I very briefly stirfried the veggies first, and then set them aside, throwing them in only at the very end. Instead of the serranos I used about 2 tsp.of Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), since I currently have some on hand. Even though I really love ginger, I thought that matchstick pieces might be a bit in the face, so I grated that part of the ginger as well, and I added one large, finely minced shallot. Finally, I used egg noodles instead of rice.
    So.. several modifications, but I prepared the marinade exactly as written, while generally following the method and steps. It was all delicious!

    Thanks for sharing.:)

  • Simone

    If I were to add extra vegetables to this, would I need to increase the marinade ratios to make enough sauce?

    • Elise

      The marinade makes about 1/2 cup, so if I were to add vegetables to this dish I would up the marinade amounts as well, so that you would have more sauce. But don’t marinate the vegetables, only the beef.

  • Anne

    Hi, Thank you for this dilicious recipe! I want your wok though. It looks awesome! What is the brand?

    • Elise

      Hi Anne, the brand of the pan is Infinite Circulon. It’s hard anodized aluminum.

  • Ida

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

    • Wendy

      Hi Seth. Just wondering how you store your ginger in the freezer and how low will it keep this way? Do you freeze it with the peel on or off? Thank you.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sarah

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • Graciela

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Tom

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

  • ellen

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

  • Shaheen

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • Ed R.

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.