How to Make Stir-fry With Beef

by Stacy Zogheib ; Updated September 28, 2017

Stir-fry is a versatile cooking method.

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Stir-frying is a cooking method that can make good use of excess produce and meats. Stir-frying is a quick way to have lunch or dinner on the table in less than half an hour. It is an affordable way to create a healthful meal for your family. You can make a stir-fry by following a recipe or by simply looking through your refrigerator and freezer to see what's available that would go well together. Beef is a versatile meat that works well in most stir-fries.

Preheat your wok over high heat. If you do not have a wok, use a large frying pan with a thick bottom.

Chop vegetables into bite-size pieces. Vegetables that go well with beef include onions, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage and snow peas.

Salt and pepper the meat on both sides. If you prefer your beef medium or rare, leave it whole for now. Otherwise cut it into bite-size strips.

Add 1 tbsp. peanut oil to the wok. The oil should smoke or almost smoke. Then add the beef. Cook the beef until it is seared on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Reheat the wok for a few minutes. Add another tablespoon or two of peanut oil.

Place your vegetables in the wok. Cook them for a few seconds before stirring to give them a chance to sear in the high heat.

Slice your beef if you left it whole, and return it to the wok.

Whisk together 2/3 cup beef broth, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. soy sauce. Add 2 tbsp. corn starch. Whisk until the starch dissolves to create a slurry that thickens into a sauce.

Mix the slurry into your stir-fry and allow it to cook until it thickens. This should take less than a minute.

Remove the stir-fry from the heat, and add 1 tsp. sesame oil. If the stir-fry tastes bland, add more soy sauce. Serve over cooked white rice.


  • Many flavors can be added to a stir-fry. Lemon or lime juice adds an acidic flavor. Rice wine vinegar makes it sweeter. Ginger and garlic powder add spice. The best cuts of beef for stir-frying are flank steak or sirloin. Avoid cuts with lots of connective tissue.

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About the Author

Stacy Zogheib's writing has been published in various online publications. She is a teacher and developmental specialist with experience teaching first grade, special education and working with children ages 0 to 3. She has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary and special education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University.