Marinade Beef For Stir Fry

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Marinade beef for stir fry is a simple process that will allow you to smell the fresh stir fry with clear conscience. Marinade beef for stir fry is a marinating process. Marinade beef for stir fry is one of the most delicious beef marinades. With fish sauce and red Thai curry paste, you’re going to quickly become hooked on it!

Beef stir-fry

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:30 mins
  • Easy
  • Serves 3

Our quick and easy beef stir-fry can be whipped up in one pan using just a handful of ingredients. This takeaway classic is perfect for a family midweek meal. 

NutrientUnit
kcal433
fat28g
saturates10g
carbs8g
sugars1g
fibre1g
protein38g
salt3.14g

Ingredients

  • 500g stir fry beef strips
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • small bunch spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 200g roasted antipasto peppers in oil or vinegar, drained and sliced
  • boiled rice, to serve

Method

  • STEP 1Put the beef in a medium non-metallic bowl and cover with the vinegar, soy and Worcestershire sauce. Leave to marinate for 20 mins, or if you have the time, overnight.
  • STEP 2Heat a small dry wok until it’s very hot. Tip in the beef, marinade and spring onions, stir fry for 2 mins. Add the roasted peppers, then stir fry for a further 2 mins. Divide the stir fry between shallow bowls and serve with some boiled rice.

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

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

Stir Fry Ginger Beef

The best thing about stir fries?

They come together so quickly!

In this ginger beef stir fry we marinate strips of beef sirloin in a honey soy marinade, then quickly fry them in a hot pan with julienned ginger, red chilis, and sliced garlic.

A cornstarch slurry helps keep the beef strips from drying out and helps create a tasty glaze over the meat.

Thinly sliced scallions are stirred in at the end, and the whole thing is served over rice. Fast, easy, and tastes great!

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.SAVE ITPRINT

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

PREP TIME15 mins

COOK TIME10 mins

MARINATING30 mins

TOTAL TIME55 mins

SERVINGS4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce if cooking gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Beef and stir-fry

  • 1 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound) top sirloin steak
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (preferably peanut)
  • 1 tablespoon dark toasted sesame oil, optional
  • 3 to 4 green onions, cut on a diagonal, 1/2-inch apart, including the greens
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 hot chilies, preferably red serranos, seeded, sliced
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled, cut lengthwise into matchstick shapes
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped cilantro

Method

  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.
  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.
  5. Stir fry chilies, garlic, ginger:When all of the beef is cooked, put the chilies 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.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro:Turn the heat off and mix in the cilantro. Serve at once with steamed white rice.

Basic Marinade for Stir-Fried Meats Recipe

A quick and easy recipe for a stir-fry dinner.

A white plate with a pile of stir-fried beef and mushrooms.

WHY IT WORKS

  • Salt and soy sauce tenderize meat, help it retain moisture, and increase its savoriness.
  • Sugar helps browning characteristics.
  • Oil helps distribute fat-soluble aromatic compounds over the meat.
  • Cornstarch insulates the meat form the high heat of a hot wok, ensuring that it doesn’t overcook along its edges.
  • Aromatics like pepper and wine add a nice basic flavor to meat that pairs well with other ingredients.

Anyone who’s read our Wok Skills 101 Guide knows that with a stir-fry, having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go is of the utmost importance. Meat should be sliced, vegetables chopped, sauces mixed, and aromatics minced, all before you turn up that heat.

But there’s another secret that will improve both the flavor and the texture of your proteins: proper marinating. When done right, a marinade is more than just a flavoring agent. It can help tenderize meat and alter its proteins so that it retains more moisture. It can improve the browning characteristics that is the goal of high-heat cooking. It can also help it absorb other flavors more easily.

Whether it’s chicken, pork, or beef, the basics of marinating are the same. Here’s what we do.

The Ingredients

Bottles and containers of stir-fry ingredients on a counter.

While you can add as many aromatics to a marinade as you’d like, there are a few ingredients that serve as far more than just aromas—they actually physically alter the way meat cooks, aiding in flavoring, tenderizing, and browning.

When I construct a marinade, I like to add my dry ingredients first (salt, sugar, pepper), followed by my wet ingredients (Shaoxing wine, soy sauce), then the oil, and finally some cornstarch.

How do each of these ingredients function?

  • Salt: Both a flavor and a texture enhancer, salt is essential in all marinades. It brings out meat’s natural flavors and also tenderizes it by breaking down myosin, a tough protein found in meat, just like in a good brine. Tenderized proteins also contract less during cooking, which means better moisture retention.
  • Sugar: A flavor enhancer like salt, it also aids in both caramelization and the Maillard browning process. Sugar speeds up browning and creates more depth of flavor. It also provides a balance to the saltiness of salt and soy sauce.
  • Soy Sauce: Essential in stir-fry dishes, a dash of it makes a big difference. Just like salt, soy sauce is a flavor enhancer and builder. It is rich in glutamates, which makes meat taste more savory and improves juiciness.
  • Oil: It helps distribute cornstarch, seasonings, and fat-soluble flavors evenly when mixing the marinade with the meat. You want to use an oil that has a high smoke point, which should be the same oil you will be using when you are stir-frying. Peanut oil is a popular and traditional choice, but you can also use corn oil, refined light olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil.
  • Cornstarch: When added to marinades, cornstarch provides a light coating to meat that protects it slightly from the intense heat of the wok. This helps prevent overcooking and toughening of the outer layers of meat. The starch also acts as a binder and helps liquid ingredients, like soy sauce and shaoxing wine, come together and bind to the meat. The results are more flavorful, tender, and evenly cooked pieces of meat.

Along with those functional ingredients, I usually include the following aromatics:

  • Pepper (white or black): Spicy and pungent, a little goes a long way. Since black pepper tends to be more aromatic, I usually add white pepper in stir-fry dishes when I’m going for a more subtle flavor profile. But black pepper is great when I want something bold and robust.
  • Shaoxing Wine: Slightly nutty tasting, this flavor builder adds an unmistakable aroma to any stir-fry dish. Dry sherry can be substituted for Shaoxing wine, but do try to find it if you can. Any well-stocked Chinese or Southeast Asian market will carry it.

The Dos and Don’ts of Marinating

Raw slices of beef in a glass bowl, topped with corn starch, with a pair of chopsticks which are about to mix the ingredients together.

Before you begin to marinate, keep these tips in mind.

DO make sure your meat is dry before slicing and marinating. If you wash your meat before cooking, make sure to blot it with paper towels until dry. Water is not a flavor enhancer and will only serve to dilute flavor and make browning more difficult.

DO marinate your meat in a bowl that’s big enough for mixing. You don’t want a bowl that just perfectly holds your sliced protein. You’ll be mixing ingredients around, so make sure you have room for the meat to move.

DON’T add minced aromatics to your marinade, like garlic, ginger, or scallions. Stir-frying is high heat cooking, and those minced aromatics rapidly burn. Instead, add them toward the end of the stir-fry. Alternatively, you can slice them into big pieces and fry them in oil for about 30 seconds. Once you remove the aromatics, you can use cook with that infused oil.

A slice of ginger being fried in a blackened wok.

DON’T drown your protein in your marinade. Remember, you’re marinating for a stir-fry. Too much liquid as you stir-fry your protein results in steaming, and nobody likes steamed meat, right?

DO make sure to give your protein enough time to marinate. For this marinade, it only takes 30 minutes. Each ingredient in the marinade needs to have enough time to do what it has to do. This window gives you plenty of time to get your other ingredients ready.

Of course, the idea is that once you have a good basic marinade, it becomes a building block for constructing stir fries on your own, but check out the additional recipes at the bottom of the page if you want some more ideas.

APRIL 18, 2014

Recipe Facts

Prep:5 mins

Active:1 min

Total:5 mins

Serves:2 servings

Makes:1/2 pound sliced beef, pork, or chicken

Rate & Comment

Ingredients

Save Recipe

  • 1/2 pound sliced or diced chicken, pork, or beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with hands to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking.

Stir Fry Steak Marinade

Stir Fry Steak Marinade

The trick to having delicious meat? Marinade! I learned from my mom that she pretty much marinades most meat she stir fries with prior to cooking, even if it’s just 15 minutes. It really does flavor the food, this Stir Fry Steak Marinade is one of the ones we use!

How to marinate stir fry beef?

This is pretty easy actually, you can use either big bowl or a big zip lock bag. I prefer to not waste a zip lock bag and use a big bowl but it’s of course up to you. Using a zip lock bag is probably a better idea if you plan to stick it in the fridge and let it marinade over night.

To marinade, you would just combine the marinade ingredients (salt, sugar, rice vinegar, thick soy sauce, oil, and cornstarch, etc.) with the meat and mix well. If you’re about to cook it you can let it marinade for about 15 mins, but you can also let it marinade overnight.

Thick Soy Sauce

I do not use regular soy sauce for this recipe. I use Thick Soy Sauce, aka Soy Paste. There’s actually many different types of soy sauce! Thick soy sauce is a lot thicker than your normal soy sauce. It has a richer, sweeter flavor, which is perfect for this dish.

If you can’t find any thick soy sauce, you can actually use regular soy sauce. If you do this route, here’s a couple of recommendations:

  • Add some sort of sweetener. Since Thick soy sauce is more sweet, you are now missing a flavor, so I would recommend adding a bit of sugar or sweetener of your choice.
  • Thicken it. Since Thick soy sauce is, well duh, more thick, you may want to add something to thicken the sauce. To do this, you can mix cornstarch and water in a separate bowl to create a thickener, and then adding it to the dish prior to adding the basil.
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Or even more simple – Oyster sauce can often be used as a substitute because it is similar in texture and it is also salty and sweet at the same time.

How to stir fry steak?

The trick to stir frying steak is cutting the meat evenly. This way everything will cook evenly, and you won’t end up with some pieces that are way too tough and some that are still not done inside.

So if you are going to slice it in to strips, then you will want to make sure everything is sliced evenly. Or, if you are going to cut it in to cubes (like I did in this recipe), then you want to make sure all the cubes are about the same size.

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