This stir-fried beef recipe is a delicious Chinese restaurant style meal that you can make at home. In this recipe, economical steak is sliced thin, tenderized, marinated, and stir fried with string beans, garlic, ginger, and coated with a tasty sauce.
Stir fried meals are frequent in our household when the summer garden is in full swing. They are easy to prepare, cook quickly, and are filled with garden fresh harvests.
Tips to Getting a Soft Tender Beef
Even the most economical steaks can result in a soft and tender strip when stir-fried with just a bit of prep.
This recipe works with any inexpensive cut of beef that is lean, tender, and has a firm texture. You use beef chuck shoulder steak, flank steak, sirloin steak, rump steak, or skirt steak.
Slice Beef Across the Grain
First, you are going to cut the meat into strips across the grain. The direction of the grain is the way the muscle fibers are aligned. If you slice across the grain, you cut through the fibers, shortening them making them less chewy.
Lay the steak on a cutting board, and look for the direction of the fibers of the beef. Cut the steak into uniform thin 1/8-inch slices across the grain. If your steak is wide, like this beef chuck shoulder steak, cut the slices into more manageable 3-inch strips.
Tenderize with Baking Soda
After the steak is cut into strips, tenderize is with baking soda. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is alkaline and changes the chemistry of the surface of the meat by neutralizing acids and breaking down proteins. This chemical reaction prevents the fibers in the meat from constricting when it hits the heat, so the meat stays tender when cooked.
Place the beef strips into a bowl and sprinkle with baking soda. Toss to coat evenly and let it sit for 15 minutes. Don’t be shocked… as baking soda works on tenderizing the beef, it also turns the meat a bright red color.
Marinate to Infuse Flavor
After tenderizing, rinse the beef very well to remove the baking soda. Place it in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Mix to combine and let it marinade for 10 minutes.
How to Make Beef Stir-Fry with String Beans
Stir fries are versatile and can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand. This stir-fried beef recipe uses freshly harvested string beans, but feel free to substitute your favorite veggies. There is plenty of sauce to coat everything and to drizzle on rice or noodles.
A more detailed and printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this article, but these are the general steps for making stir-fried beef with string beans:
Step 1: Mix the Sauce
Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the Beef
Cut the beef into 1/8-inch slices across the grain.
Tenderize the beef by coating the strips with baking soda. Place the beef into a bowl and sprinkle with baking soda. Toss to coat evenly and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
After tenderizing, rinse the beef very well to remove the baking soda. Return the beef to a clean bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Mix to combine and let it marinade for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Blanch the String Beans
While the beef is marinating, pre-cook the string beans. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add the string beans, and boil for about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans with cold water to stop them from cooking. Pat the beans dry with a clean kitchen towel and set aside.
Step 4: Make the Stir Fry
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil, garlic, ginger, green onions, and stir briefly.
Add the beef and stir fry until the beef is cooked. Add the blanched string beans, sauce, and stir-fry until the beans are cooked and the sauce thickens.
Serve hot on a bed of rice or over noodles. Garnish with the reserved green onion tops. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy another meal.
Stir-Fried Beef with String Bean
For the Sauce
Make the Sauce:
- In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch well with a fork. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and mix. Set aside.
Prepare the Beef:
- Cut the steak into 1/8-inch slices across the grain. If your steak is wide, cut the slices into more manageable 3-inch strips.
- Place the beef strips into a bowl and sprinkle with baking soda. Toss to coat evenly and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- After tenderizing, rinse the beef very well to remove the baking soda.
- Place the beef in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Mix to combine and let it marinade for 15 minutes.
Blanch the String Beans:
- Blanch the string beans while the beef is marinating. Add the string beans to medium pot and cover with water. Bring to boil over high heat, and boil for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, drain, and rinse the beans with cold water to stop them from cooking. Pat the beans dry with a clean kitchen towel and set aside.
Make the Stir Fry:
- Heat the avocado oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger, onions, and stir briefly until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the beef and cook until brown.
- Add the string beans and sauce and stir-fry until the beans are cooked and the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
- Serve on a bed of rice or over noodles. Garnish with the reserved green onion tops. Makes 4 servings.
You May Also Like:
- Orange Pineapple Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- Ginger Garlic Pork Fried Rice
- Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry
Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.