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Beef Stir Fry

5 from 1 vote

posted: 07/15/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

My Beef Stir Fry is going to be added to your meal rotation so quickly! With a delicious sauce that works as both a marinade and a sauce for this great dinner, you will fall in love with all the flavors in this simple recipe.

Pan of beef stir fry with bowl of white rice and bowl of seasoning sitting in background

My family loves stir fry recipes! We have so many of them here on Simple Joy, but we really can’t seem to get enough of how easy and full of flavor they are. Homemade takeout is truly my favorite.

In this great Beef Stir Fry, we are making a delicious sauce that works as both the marinade for the beef and the sauce. Your family will love this fantastic and easy beef recipe.

How to Make Beef Stir Fry

Here is a brief overview of how this easy beef stir fry recipe comes together. For the full recipe including all measurements, please scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Make the sauce. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce and divide it. You will need one cup to marinate the beef, and the remainder will be reserved for making the final recipe.
  • Marinate the beef. In a reusable container or a plastic bag that seals well, add the meat then pour the marinade over it. Let the meat marinate for at least four hours, but no longer than 24 hours. See more on this below.
  • Cook the beef. After removing the beef from the marinade, Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the marinated beef to brown. Remove from the pan.
  • Add the veggies. Cook in the hot skillet until they are tender.
  • Add the sauce. Drain off any excess liquid and add the sauce. Allow to thicken and then add the beef.
Overhead view of plate of beef stir fry over white rice. Pan of beef stir fry, bowl of white rice, and chopsticks sitting beside.

Beef Stir Fry Sauce

The sauce in this recipe acts as both a marinade and a sauce. It is full of tangy flavors that will have everyone asking for seconds.

  • Water: The water in this sauce adds bulk to this sauce without affecting the taste.
  • Teriyaki Sauce: This homemade teriyaki sauce adds some amazing flavor and subtle sweetness to the recipe.
  • Soy Sauce: The foundation for most stir fry sauces. We are going with low sodium soy sauce so that we get the great soy flavor without too much saltiness. See my recommendation below for a gluten-free option.
  • Hoisin Sauce: The main ingredient in this very unique condiment is fermented soybean paste. Hoisin brings a nice tang to this sauce.
  • Garlic and Ginger: These are both minced and fresh in this recipe, adding the best layers of flavor to this sauce.
  • Brown Sugar: Just a little bit of brown sugar helps to balance the acidity and salt of the other ingredients without being too sweet.
  • Chili Paste: Made from hot chilis, this gives the sauce a little spice. For a spicier sauce, add a full tablespoon. For a less spicy recipe, add only one teaspoon.
  • Corn Starch: This is what finishes the sauce off and helps it thicken.

Teriyaki Sauce

This homemade teriyaki sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and tangy! And you can control all of the ingredients.
Photo of glass bottle of Teriyaki Sauce.

Best Beef For Stir Fry

The best cut of beef for this recipe is flank steak. The key to cooking with flank steak is to marinate it before using it to tenderize the meat. If you are unable to find flank steak, you could substitute it with skirt steak. I would urge you to avoid pre-cut beef that is labeled “stir fry meat.” Even with marinating, it won’t become nearly as tender.

Cut your flank steak into thin slices against the grain like in the photo below. To determine the grain of the meat, look at the lines in it. You want to slice perpendicular to those lines.

Marinating Beef

As mentioned above, we are marinating the flank steak to tenderize it and add flavor before adding it to this easy dish. The beef stir fry sauce also acts as the marinade, so you only have to mix it up once. The flavors tie in so well!

The beef stir fry marinade starts with my homemade Teriyaki Sauce and has so much flavor! We are then adding in other great flavors like brown sugar, hoisin sauce, ginger, and garlic.

The beef needs to marinate long enough for it to become tender, but not too long that it becomes gummy. The range for this recipe is 4 to 24 hours. The actual cooking of beef stir fry is very quick – just 15 minutes. To save time, marinate your beef the night before so you are ready to roll when you get home from work.

Vegetables for Beef Stir Fry

I love using a combination of peppers, broccoli, and carrots when I make stir fries. These are the veggies that my family loves and will always eat. That being said, you could use other veggies here as well. Here are some options:

  • Mushrooms: These can be added with other vegetables.
  • Zucchini: This can be added at the same time as the other vegetables. Keep in mind that they will contribute a significant amount of moisture to the dish, so you will definitely want to drain the skillet before you move on to the final steps.
  • Onions: These also should be added at the same time as the other vegetables.
  • Snow Peas: Add the snow peas after the broccoli, peppers, and carrots have already been cooking for five minutes. They need only a minute or two.
  • Green Onions: I wouldn’t recommend using both white and green onions. But if you want to use green onions, you could either add them at the same time as you would add the snow peas, or you could use raw green onions as a garnish at the end.
  • Baby Corn: These should be added at the very end with the sauce and the beef, they will only need to be warmed through.
  • Water Chestnuts: Like the baby corn, you will want to add these at the very end.


Serve your stir fry over rice. For a healthier option, serve it over Cauliflower Rice, which lowers the carbs of the dish compared to serving it with rice. It is easy to make and very filling. Get an extra serving of vegetables without the carbs of regular rice with a flavorful rice substitute.

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is the perfect way to take your favorite dinners and make them into a lower-carb option.
Overhead photo of cauliflower rice recipe in a skillet.
overhead view of pan of beef stir fry. Bowl of white rice and chopsticks sitting beside


Is this recipe gluten free?

No, soy sauce contains gluten. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, I recommend replacing the soy sauce with a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari. Tamari can be used in place of soy sauce in recipes though it is thicker and a little less salty. 

Do you have to marinate beef for stir-fry?

Yes, this recipe uses a cut of meat that is tough when it is not marinated. Marinating makes the beef both tender and full of flavor, which is the star of the stir fry. This is an easy step since the sauce makes both the marinade and the sauce, it just takes some planning to allow the beef to marinate for a few hours.

What can I substitute for the chili paste?

This is my favorite brand, but if you can’t find it, you could simply add some red pepper flakes. Depending on how spicy you would like it, I would consider adding 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Store any leftover stir fry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. I recommend storing the beef and vegetables separately from the rice. Reheat over low heat and serve over fresh or reheated rice. Always use your best discretion when storing and reheating leftovers.

plate of beef stir fry served over rice with pan of beef stir fry sitting in background

Other Easy Dinner Recipes

If you try this easy beef stir fry recipe or any of my others, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Pan of beef stir fry with bowl of white rice and bowl of seasoning sitting in background
5 from 1 vote

Beef Stir Fry

Serves: 6 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 4 hours 27 minutes
My Beef Stir Fry is going to be added to your meal rotation so quickly! With a delicious sauce that works as both a marinade and a sauce for this great dinner, you will fall in love with all the flavors in this simple recipe.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (29.57 ml)
  • 1 pound flank steak cut into thin strips against the grain (453.6 grams)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper diced
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 head of broccoli cut into florets


  • 3/4 cup water (177 ml)
  • 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce (177 ml)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (118 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (44.4 ml)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons ginger
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar (26.6 grams)
  • 3 teaspoons chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (21 grams)


  • Prepare the sauce, mixing together the water, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and chili paste. Pour one cup of the sauce over the sliced beef in a reusable container and marinate for at least four hours.
    1 pound flank steak, 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce, 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce, 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 6 cloves garlic, 3 tablespoons ginger, 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 3 teaspoons chili paste
  • Add the cornstarch to the remaining sauce, approximately 1 1/2 cups, whisking to combine. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the stir fry.
    2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Heat the oil in a large 12 inch skillet. Remove the beef from the marinade, and discard the remaining marinade. Add the sliced beef to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef from the skillet.
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Add the vegetables to the skillet over medium-high heat. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until they are tender, another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once or twice.
    1 medium red bell pepper, 1 medium yellow bell pepper, 2 medium carrots, 1 head of broccoli
  • When the vegetables are tender, pour off any excess liquid. Add the sauce you prepared earlier and allow to thicken, about 1 to 2 minutes. You will know it is finished when the sauce thickens and darkens in color. Return the beef to the skillet and stir to combine.
  • Serve over rice.
Serving: 1.16cups Calories: 294kcal (15%) Carbohydrates: 30g (10%) Protein: 24g (48%) Fat: 9g (14%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0.03g Cholesterol: 46mg (15%) Sodium: 2366mg (103%) Potassium: 933mg (27%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 15g (17%) Vitamin A: 4695IU (94%) Vitamin C: 155mg (188%) Calcium: 102mg (10%) Iron: 3mg (17%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: asian
Pan of beef stir fry with bowl of white rice and bowl of seasoning sitting in background

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Beef Stir Fry

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners