What Type Of Beef For Stir Fry


What type of beef for stir fry is important. There are so many different cuts to choose from. I often find myself standing in the meat department confused on which cut to pick up. I want to make a difference in your life when it comes to picking beef cuts for stir fry. I want you to feel confident and enjoy your meal when you learn how to cook beef the right way.

Garlic Butter Steak Stir-Fry

  • SERVES: 6
  • PREP TIME: 10 min
  • COOK TIME: 15 min
  • CALORIES: 347
  • 30 MINUTES

This steak stir-fry with a savory garlic-and-butter sauce feels indulgent, and is so easy to make. Served on its own or with rice, it’s the perfect quick weeknight dinner.

This Steak Stir-Fry Puts Take-Out to Shame.

Fast and healthy: two of our favorite adjectives when it comes to weeknight dinners. If you’re anything like us, you’re constantly looking to mix up your weeknight meal rotation. Verdant, crisp snow peas and a fragrant garlic-butter sauce mean that this easy steak stir fry is the perfect way to welcome spring.

Easy. Steak. Butter. Garlic. Do we have your attention? Let’s get started!


What Kind of Beef Do You Use for Steak Stir-Fry?

We’d like to tell you that any cut of beef works when trying to achieve a high quality stir-fry, but when it comes to making the very best steak stir-fry, it’s all about the cut. While you can use flat iron, skirt steak or sirloin, our favorite cut of beef for stir-frying will always be flank steak. Here’s why we love flank steak for stir-fries:

  • It’s lean! Flank steak is made from a cow’s abdominal muscles and is therefore super lean. Perfect for stir-frying in our ultra-delicious garlicky soy sauce and butter sauce.
  • It’s affordable. While flank steak is not always the cheapest cut, it is one of the more affordable cuts of beef.
  • It slices easily into thin, even pieces. And thin slices are the key to perfect stir-fried beef. But more on that later.

Note: If you can’t find flank steak at your local grocery store, sirloin or skirt steak will also yield delicious results.

How Do You Make Stir-Fried Beef Tender?

There’s nothing worse than taking a bite of flavorful beef only to find that you have to chew the heck out of it because it’s tough, not tender. So, how do you make sure that your stir-fried steak is nice and tender? In addition to starting with the right cut, it’s important to slice your steak really thin. The thinner, the better! The easiest way to achieve really thin slices is to cut your beef when it is slightly frozen. If you don’t have time to freeze your beef first, then just be sure to use a sharp knife and take your time.

How-To Make the Best Steak Stir-Fry:

  1. Start with a great cut of beef (see above) and slice it thin!
  2. Choose your vegetables. Because it’s almost spring, we paired our steak stir-fry with vibrant green snow peas, but broccoli is also a great alternative. Be sure to adjust your cook time depending on the vegetables you choose.
  3. Choose a pan that allows for really high heat. For example, a cast iron skillet, carbon steel pan, or a wok if you have one. Get the pan really hot, so that when you add the oil it sizzles and even smokes slightly.
  4. Season the beef and coat it in cornstarch. This will give your stir-fried steak a glorious crispiness.
  5. Add the meat to the hot pan. Work in small batches to avoid overcrowding. This ensures that your beef will have a nice crisp exterior and tender, juicy interior.
  6. Once the meat is cooked—this will happen fast—remove from the pan and set it aside.
  7. Add your veggies to the hot pan. Give them a quick fry while stirring.
  8. Sauce time! Once the veggies are cooked, return the cooked beef to your pan along with the garlic, soy sauce and butter sauce. True, soy sauce and garlic butter is not a traditional stir-fry sauce by any means, as far as we’re concerned it should be! It’s SO delicious with the stir-fried steak and peas!

Is Steak Stir-Fry Healthy?

If you use ghee (clarified butter) or grass fed butter to make your garlic-butter stir fry sauce, then this recipe would be considered paleo, Whole30 AND Keto-approved! Seen in that light, this is one healthy meal! Flank steak is a very lean cut—in fact, it’s one of the very healthiest cuts of beef you can buy. Plus, stir-frying the veggies means that they cook quickly and lightly, thus maintaining a lot more nutrients than they would if they were steamed or boiled.

What to Serve with Steak Stir-Fry:

If you’re on a keto or any kind of low-carb diet, this beef and snow pea dish is a great stand-alone dinner. For those of you that are just looking for a quick and tasty meal full meal, we highly recommend serving this over steamed rice OR with some noodles. It would be delicious over fresh pasta, or Asian-style noodles like thick udon or even buckwheat soba noodles.

Steak Stir Fry

Steak Stir Fry that’s better than takeout! Thinly sliced beef is marinated and cooked with classic stir-fry vegetables in this easy recipe. Serve it over noodles or rice for a delicious dinner the whole family will love.

Reasons You’ll Love This Steak Stir Fry Recipe

Beef stir fry marinade – In this recipe, the beef is marinated prior to cooking to infuse it with even more juicy, tender flavor.

Budget friendly ingredients – We use flank steak, an inexpensive cut of meat that’s easy to find on sale, so this recipe stays easy on the wallet. 

Make it your own – Swap out the vegetables in this recipe for your other stir-fry favorites, or use what you have on hand! 

So many serving options – Beef stir fry is traditionally served over rice. It’s also tasty on noodles, cauliflower rice, or with any cooked grains you like.

Easy dinner idea – Making this stir-fry takes just 30 minutes of active cooking time!

Stir-fry is one of our favorite homemade dinners. I love that you can mix it up with different proteins, vegetables and sauces based on what you have on hand. Learn to make Beef Stir Fry at home that’s just as tasty as a restaurant meal– at a fraction of the cost. 

Steak Stir Fry Ingredients

This is an overview of the ingredients you will need to make this deliciously easy beef steak stir fry recipe. Important notes and substitutions for certain ingredients are discussed. The full printable recipe, with amounts and specific details, can be found at the bottom of the page.

Beef Stir Fry Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Flank Steak – Flank steak is one of the most popular cut of meat used in Chinese restaurants for stir frys, and for good reason. It’s full of flavor, not too hard on the pocket book, and it takes up marinade well. Skirt steak will also work well or you could use sirloin steak.
  • Vegetables – This recipe uses broccoli, snow peas, carrots and bell peppers. Other veggies you could use included zucchini, celery, baby corn, mushrooms, bok choy or cabbage.
  • Soy Sauce – If you are sensitive to salty dishes, you can use a low sodium soy sauce.
  • Sesame Seeds – I recommend toasting the sesame seeds. To do this, toast them in a skillet at medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Watch them carefully as they can turn very quickly. They should be golden or medium brown.

How To Make Steak Stir Fry

  1. Cut the steak thinly across the grain. Place it in a freezer bag or medium bowl. Stir in 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce and 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, then set aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the sauce by whisking together ½ cup soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, and ginger. Set aside. Prepare vegetables by cleaning and chopping.
  3. Heat oil to high heat in a large deep skillet or wok. Add half of the meat to the skillet and fry for 3 minutes. Remove from skillet and fry the remaining beef. You don’t want to crowd the meat or it will not sear properly. Once cooked, remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Add the vegetables, minus the green onions, to the skillet and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the beef back to the skillet.
  6. Stir in the sauce and heat thoroughly. Sprinkle the green onions and toasted sesame seeds over top, then serve.

Beef Stir Fry Recipe Tips and Advice

  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. They will reheat well in the microwave.
  • Don’t Overcrowd The Pan: It’s important to not overcrowd the pan when cooking the steak. It’s best to work in batches if needed.

Beef Steak Stir Fry FAQs

What beef is best for steak stir fry?

Flank steak is an excellent choice. Other options include skirt steak, sirloin, tri-tip and tenderloin.

How do you make stir fry beef less chewy?

Make sure you are cutting the meat into thin slices. Thin sliced beef takes less time to cook, leaving a more tender bite.

Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry

Stir-fries make me feel like a kitchen wizard. From the fridge, there is but a hodgepodge of on-the-brink veggies; from the pantry, a bottle of soy sauce. A spell of garlic and a flash of the pan later, and we have magic: Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry! 

A plate with Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry with Rice

Tender sirloin steak cooked in a quick homemade teriyaki sauce with whatever fresh or frozen vegetables you care to throw its way, this healthy beef stir fry recipe is happy to be served with noodles, rice, or wrapped inside lettuce leaves.

Growing up, I remember my mom being able to open our cabinet and refrigerator and turn whatever she saw into dinner. She didn’t need a recipe to cook something yummy.

I haven’t quite gotten there yet—I know it looks like I throw things together around here, but quite a bit of planning goes into the recipes you see—save for one notable exception: stir fries.

A black skillet with a healthy beef stir fry with steak and vegetables

Healthy Teriyaki Stir Fry Recipes

After years of cooking dozens of healthy stir-fries, I’ve finally reached a place where I feel like I can whip up a quick teriyaki sauce, then use it to cook whatever protein and vegetables we have handy.

  • This Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry and this Healthy Beef and Broccoli (a spin on Mongolian beef) are old favorites.
  • This Korean Beef Bowl is newer but quickly gaining favor, especially when we have ground beef on hand.
  • A simple Tofu Stir Fry is my go-to when we’re eating meat-free.

Each stir fry is different, but they have core ingredients in common: protein, plenty of veggies, and a sauce that balances notes of savory and salty (soy sauce) with sweet (honey or maple syrup) and acid (rice vinegar).


Or if you wanted a variation from a teriyaki sauce, definitely try this fantastic soy sauce with a peanut twist in my popular Pork Stir Fry recipe.

The more you cook stir-fries, the more you’ll find yourself able to move and groove with the items you have on hand.

This teriyaki beef stir fry came about on a day when we had sirloin steak. Sirloin is my first choice for teriyaki beef and other stir fries because it cooks quickly, is lean, and is easy to make tender (see notes below for more).

Feel free to use this recipe with other kinds of protein or change up the veggies. You are the kitchen wizard this time, and it’s your stir fry charm to cast.

A healthy beef stir fry with teriyaki sauce and vegetables

How to Make Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry

If you want to cook stir fries often (and Beef Lo Mein too), these ingredients are excellent to keep around.

Once they are in your pantry, you’ll be able to make healthy beef and other stir fry recipes the moment a craving strikes.

The Ingredients

  • Sirloin Steak. A sirloin steak cut of meat is teriyaki’s best friend. It’s tender and will soak up the flavors you cook it in (like our beef stir fry sauce). However, you can also use flank steak or chuck steak to make teriyaki beef.
  • Soy Sauce + Black Pepper. Used to make our beef stir fry marinade. This umami bomb (yes, I said it) of a marinade gives the beef deep flavor right from the start.
  • Vegetables. Anything you have around! A red bell pepper adds beautiful color to our stir fry. For the mixed vegetables, broccoli, snap peas, or carrots would all be tasty. Only have frozen veggies on hand? No problem. You can use them in this recipe (see tips below). Make sure to cut your vegetables so that they all cook in roughly the same amount of time (harder veggies like carrots should be cut smaller and thinner than softer ones like asparagus, for example).
  • Water Chestnuts. The crunchy element you didn’t know you needed. Once you try them in your stir fry, you’ll never want to make one without them.
  • Green Onions. A delicious, fresh crunch and subtle bite to finish off your stir fry.
  • Teriyaki Sauce. Soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes come together to create a homemade teriyaki sauce that’s the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and savory. It’ll make you feel like a true wizard of stir fry flavor. You’ll also need a little dash of cornstarch to help thicken it up.

The Directions

  1. Marinade the beef in the soy sauce and black pepper. Stir together the homemade teriyaki sauce.
  2. Brown the beef in a large pan or wok until cooked through.
  3. Sauté your vegetables of choice until tender.
  4. Combine! Add the water chestnuts, beef, and sauce to the pan with the veggies. As the sauce thickens, stir in part of the green onions. Finish with a sprinkle of the sesame seeds and remaining green onions. ENJOY!
Chinese beef stir fry in a skillet

How to Make Stir Fry Beef Tender

  • Slice Across (not with) the Grain. When cutting your beef, slice thinly across (perpendicular to) the grain to make it tender. This helps break down the fibers.
  • Don’t Overcook It. Overcooking your beef will make it tough and unpleasantly dry. In this recipe, as soon as the strips of beef are no longer pink, they are ready to serve.
  • Marinade It. For this recipe, our beef teriyaki marinade not only flavors the beef, but it helps it tenderize as well. Even the few minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients can make a big difference.

Tips to Use Frozen Vegetables for Stir Fries

One of the best parts about easy stir fries like this one is the ability to use frozen vegetables. Here are a few tips to help you use frozen veggies:

  • Let your vegetables thaw completely before adding them to the stir fry, and pat away any excess moisture.
  • Make sure your pan is HOT before adding the vegetables, or they will become soggy.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. If your veggies are packed into the pan, they won’t be able to achieve that delicious sear.
  • Keep your expectations reasonable. Frozen vegetables will not taste as crisp as fresh ones, but are still yummy, perfectly healthy, and will save you oodles of time.

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Cut your beef up to 24 hours in advance, and store it in the refrigerator. Stir your sauce ingredients together up to 1 day in advance, and chop your vegetables up to 1 day in advance. Store both separately in the refrigerator.
  • To Store. Place leftover stir fry in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm beef and vegetables in a skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Store beef and vegetables in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry topped with green onions

What to Serve with Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry

  • Noodles. Teriyaki beef with noodles would be scrumptious. You can toss the cooked noodles into the stir fry sauce at the end of the recipe. I like soba noodles or brown rice noodles, and whole wheat spaghetti noodles can work too. For something different, you could even pair it with this Asian Noodle Salad.
  • Rice. Serve your beef over a bed of white, brown, or cauliflower rice for a delicious meal.
  • Lettuce Cups. Wrap your beef stir fry in a lettuce cup for a low-carb twist.

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