Honey, Ginger Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry and the Secrets to Cooking a Perfect Beef Stir-Fry …

Honey, Ginger Beef and Vegetable Stir-fry and the Secrets to Cooking a Perfect Beef Stir Fry 001

In my early days, as a newly married 20-something, I worked hard every night to serve a delicious meal to my hubby. I didn’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen, so every day was a new recipe and a new adventure as I built a collection of reliable, favourite recipes.

Unfortunately, not every dinner was a success with the odd takeaway being ordered after a disastrous attempt at cooking ended up in the bin! Because hubby and I both loved Chinese food, I enrolled in a course at TAFE to hopefully learn the finer art of chinese cooking by Oscar Kwong. Oscar was a sweet man with amazing knife skills, some simple recipes (after all it was a Beginners Class) and, thankfully, was blessed with an abundance of patience (God knows, he needed it with the likes of me in his class).

I eagerly turned up each week, tried my best, learned some fantastic recipes but my absolute enthusiasm was reserved for the week we were going to learn how to cook the perfect Beef Stir-fry. Why was I so excited? Because my previous attempts had delivered nothing but chewy bits of beef with the texture of rubber and pleas from my husband to maybe not cook that recipe again … sad face!

Not being one to shy away from a challenge, I was the first one to arrive for Beef Stir Fry week and there I learned the secrets to stir frying tender, succulent, delicious, perfect beef. The recipe below I’ve created myself by using my favourite method of cooking … a bit of this and a bit of that … but I’ve never forgotten Oscar’s tips which are as follows:

  • Use beef fillet as your first choice. I know it’s expensive but the beauty of most Chinese dishes is that they’re loaded with vegetables, so small portions of meat tend to go a long way. To feed a family of four I only use between 300 – 350 g beef fillet, sliced thinly. Once it’s cut up, it looks like there’s a lot more and, by the time you add all your vegetables and rice, it’s a filling meal with no-one ever leaving the table hungry. I also prefer the smaller amount of meat as the meal feels less “heavy”. As an alternative, you could try either rump or scotch fillet, which will still give a good result. I’ve tried making this stir-fry with the Beef Strips that are packaged at the supermarket and the result is generally chewy, tough beef.

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  • Buy the beef fillet as a single piece and slice it yourself. I generally cut the piece in half lengthways, removing any fat (although there’s not likely to be much) and then slice each piece thinly. Make sure you use a super sharp knife and, without being too precise, make each slice approximately 3 – 4 mm thick.

  • Once sliced, season the beef with salt (and pepper if you like) and allow it to reach room temperature.

  • Place the oil in the wok … I like to use Peanut Oil when cooking Chinese food but do be aware if anyone has a peanut allergy … and heat the wok until it’s quite hot without the oil spitting everywhere. Now cook the beef in batches in a single layer. Don’t be tempted to throw all the beef in the wok together to save time as the meat will only end up stewing in it’s own juices and won’t be as tender. The goal is to sear both sides of the meat quickly without cooking it all the way through. It will continue to cook a little after you remove it from the wok and then a little more when you return it to the wok after stir-frying the vegetables and any other ingredients.

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  • Another important tip when preparing any stir-fry is to have all your ingredients prepared and chopped in bowls on the bench ready to be used. The secret is to work quickly otherwise ingredients will overcook as you chop others. Once all the vegetables are chopped, the actual stir-fry can take only 5 – 10 minutes to make. I often do a lot of the preparation throughout the day so that I’m ready to go at dinnertime.

  • Don’t feel limited to the vegetables in the recipe. I often add others like green beans, mushrooms, broccoli or cauliflower.

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Honey, Ginger Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry and the Secrets to Cooking a Perfect Beef Stir-Fry …
Recipe type: Mrs Organised
Ingredients …
  • 300 – 400g beef fillet (or substitute with scotch fillet or rump)
  • salt, to season
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger, minced (or grated)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced diagonally
  • ¼ medium yellow (or red) capsicum, sliced
  • 10 snow peas, topped and tailed, sliced diagonally
  • ½ cup cashew nuts
  • 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce (I use Tamari)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup shallots, sliced finely diagonally
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
Method …
  1. Cut beef into strips or small pieces approximately 3 – 4 mm thick. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. Prepare remaining ingredients according to the ingredients list in preparation for cooking the stir-fry.
  3. Add peanut oil to a wok and heat to a reasonably high heat (but not so high that the oil is splattering). Cook beef in 3 – 4 batches in a single layer. Simply sear each side of the beef and be careful not to overcook. It will continue to cook slightly once removed from the hot wok. Don’t add all the beef to the pan at once or it will simply stew and lose it’s tenderness. Once cooked, remove the beef from the wok and place on a clean plate and set aside.
  4. With the remaining oil in the wok, add the chilli, ginger and garlic and stir-fry, stirring for 1 – 2 minutes.
  5. Add the celery and capsicum and stir-fry for 1 – 2 minutes.
  6. Add the snow peas and cashew nuts and stir-fry for 1 – 2 minutes.
  7. Return the beef to the wok, add soy sauce and honey and stir-fry for 1 minute, stirring to blend ingredients.
  8. Serve immediately with steamed rice, lime wedges and garnish generously with fresh coriander and shallots.

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also like these:

Beef Chow Mein … One Pot, One Bowl 001

Easy Chicken and Hokkien Noodle Stir Fry 001


  1. You’ve presented your Chinese dish beautifully. I remember those early days of being a wife and trying to be a good one by presenting a decent meal at the end of the day. I had my share of disasters too! xx

    • Thanks Charlie … I’ve always had a beautiful set of rice bowls but I recently bought this gorgeous plate on a day trip to Bangalow in northern NSW … it goes so well with the bowls and now completes the set. Yes, it was a risky proposition for hubby eating some of my cooking in the early days … thankfully, I’ve learned how to cook x