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Making this tasty beef stir fry recipe is simple in your own kitchen! The homemade sweet and savory sauce rivals even the best takeout.
Why you’ll love it
This steak stir fry is another wonderful option to add to your rotation of Asian-inspired recipes to make at home. I like to change up my sauces, so in this one we’re going with a soy sauce based one with fresh ginger, honey, and a hint of apple cider vinegar.
What makes this the best beef stir fry is that it’s got protein and veggies, is healthier and cheaper than takeout, and is ready in just 30 minutes. Does a simple family weeknight meal get any better? Thinly sliced ribbons of flank steak and tender-crisp veggies and plenty of sauce… yum!
What you’ll need
For the stir fry
- Olive oil – for sautéing
- Flank steak – it’s a fantastic middle ground between cost and taste, and it’s very tender when cooked right
- Onion – sweet (Vidalia) onions are my preference here
- Veggies – I chose broccoli and red bell pepper
For the sauce
- Soy sauce and water – we’re going with low sodium
- Honey and apple cider vinegar – for a sweet touch and a little acidity
- Ginger and garlic – zesty, savory components
- Red pepper flakes – just enough for a gentle warmth, not making it spicy
- Cornstarch – to thicken up the sauce
Tips for success
- Make sure to cut the flank steak very thinly and slice against the grain. All this means is that you’re cutting in the opposite direction of the lines (muscle fiber) that run down the meat, like skipping across train tracks.
- Prep everything ahead of time since stir fries go quickly once you get started cooking.
- Don’t be afraid to cook it over high heat! Cast iron works great for this. Conversely, be mindful to not overcook your steak.
How to make beef stir fry
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Prep all your ingredients. Slice the steak into thin strips. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the stir fry sauce ingredients. Add half the oil to a skillet, and get it sizzling hot. Fry the veggies, tossing often, to desired tenderness. Set aside.
Add the rest of the oil to the skillet, and arrange the beef fairly spread out. Leave it for a minute to cook, then toss and cook for a short while longer. A little rare is ok. Return the veggies to the skillet, and toss with the sauce. Heat until thickened. Serve right away with rice or noodles.
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
- My 12″ Staub skillet is pictured. It’s a good size, and the meat isn’t too crowded in this one. Overcrowded beef will steam vs. fry.
- A Microplane is handy for grating the ginger.
- I like this cutting board. It’s sturdy with plenty of space for chopping the veggies.
- Kitchen tongs make it easy to toss the stir fry.
Substitutions and variations
- You can sub flank steak for sirloin or tenderloin if you like.
- If you want to use frozen broccoli, thaw it first, and you will likely need to cook it for less time as it’s already partially cooked.
- Prefer a sweeter sauce? Add another tablespoon or so of honey.
- This recipe isn’t particularly spicy as written, so feel free to increase the crushed red pepper flakes or leave them out altogether if you want it mild.
- You can definitely change up the veggies, just be sure they’re cut into similar size pieces so they cook at a similar rate (e.g. if adding carrots, slice them very thin or use matchstick cut carrots).
What to serve with beef stir fry
- Top with fresh bean sprouts for some added crunch or sesame seeds.
- I like a long-grain white rice like jasmine rice. Brown rice would work well too!
- You can also serve over your favorite noodles. Try ramen, Udon, or rice noodles.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftover beef stir fry will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Reheat leftovers in a covered saucepan or in the microwave over a low heat until warmed through.
- You can freeze leftovers, but the veggies will soften up.
If you made this simple beef stir fry or the blog post didn’t answer your questions, leave me a comment below! You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you made it.
Easy Beef Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound flank steak sliced thinly against the grain
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2 cups broccoli cut into small florets
- 1 red bell pepper cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- If making rice or noodles to serve with this stir fry, get that started. Prep all stir fry ingredients ahead of time as the actual cooking part goes very quickly. To prep the steak, trim off any fat and slice it across the grain into very thin bite-size pieces. Add the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk together thoroughly.
- Add one tablespoon of the olive oil to a large skillet over high heat. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes (oil should be shimmering).
- Add the onion, broccoli, and bell pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes, tossing/stirring often (they will end up tender-crisp). Transfer veggies to a plate.
- Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the beef in a single layer (just "sprinkle" it into the pan ensuring it's spread out a bit) and don't touch it for a minute. Stir/flip it (cooking tongs are helpful) and cook it for another minute or so. Important: it cooks fast and will easily overcook and become tough. Leaving it a bit rare at this point is best.
- Add the veggies back to the skillet and pour the sauce in. Stir/toss until coated and the sauce has thickened (about 1-3 minutes). Take the skillet off the heat and serve immediately over rice or noodles.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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