BEEF VEGETABLE STIR-FRY
If you do your prep work ahead of time, this Beef Vegetable Stir-Fry will only take a few minutes to put together. This stir-fry has everything you need for a weekday meal: tender beef, crisp vegetables, and a perfectly seasoned sauce (the right amount and the right consistency!).
The main ingredient in this meal is Chinese bok choy. “Beef with bok choy” used to be a standard menu dish at traditional Chinese restaurants. Although this dish was based on that dish, any other vegetables you have in your fridge can be added to it—carrots and celery are two of my favorites, as are peppers, snow peas, mushrooms, onions, and whatever else you can find in your pantry or freezer.
Although we used bok choy, bunashimeji mushrooms, and whole snap peas, there is a great deal of flexibility and simplicity to this recipe.
Bok choy is well-known for its crunch, sweetness, and health benefits, but few people are aware of the wide range of types available. Bok choy comes in a variety of textures and flavors.
For this beef and vegetable stir-fry, or any other type of stir-fry, preparation is crucial! I recall when Judy and I were juggling work, family, housework, and meal prep while raising Sarah and Kaitlin. It was exhausting, if not impossible!
I used to prepare at least two plates each of sliced veggies and marinated meat the night before the week began in order to make dinners easier.
They would be neatly arranged in the refrigerator and ready to go when the wok arrived. Next, I’d start the rice in the rice cooker, and when the rice was about done, I’d heat up my wok and stir-fry the rice. Soon after, we’d have a hearty meal of bok choy and rice with hot beef, the perfect comfort food after a long day exploring the “forest.”
If you’re wondering if you can use pork, chicken, or tofu instead, the answer is yes. Ultimately, you’ll have a nutritious weekday dinner that will help you wind down your day!
BEEF AND MARINADE:
- 12 ounces of flank steak
- 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of water
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
REST OF THE DISH:
- 250g of washed and drained bok choy, cut into 1×3-inch pieces
- 50g of washed and drained Bunashimeji or Beech mushrooms
- 65g of washed and drained sugar snap peas or snow peas
- 3 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 2 cloves of finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- ½ cup of warm water or beef stock
- ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of minced ginger
- Mix the marinade ingredients with the beef and set it aside for 30 minutes or overnight, depending on how long you want it to marinate. Set aside your vegetables for now.
- The water (or beef stock, if using), sesame oil, soy sauces, oyster sauce, and sugar should be mixed in a small dish and stored in an airtight container.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of oil over the rim of your wok and heat it to high heat. Using a metal spoon, spread the meat evenly in the wok once the oil and the wok have started to smoke. 30 seconds of broiling time is sufficient. After 30 seconds, rotate the steak so that the uncooked sides are seared. That means the beef should be roughly 80% done. Remove the steak from the pan and return it to the marinade.
- In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat and add the ginger. Add the garlic and cook for another 10 seconds before finishing the dish. Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 15 seconds, stirring frequently, to ensure a good sear. Shaoxing wine can be added to the mixture.
- Add the bok choy and snap peas and cook for an additional 20 seconds over high heat, or until the bok choy starts to wilt. Stir in the steak and the sauce combination you’ve made ahead of time. Everything should be gathered in the middle of the wok.
- The sides of the wok begin to super-heat as the mixture returns to a simmer. In order to achieve an authentic wok hay flavor, stir-fry everything in a circular motion so that the beef and vegetables touch the wok’s sides.
- Pour the cornstarch slurry into the middle of the wok and continue to swirl while doing so. The sauce will thicken quickly, so work quickly to combine the beef and vegetables in the sauce for another 20 seconds. No sauce should be left on the plate; instead, the beef and vegetables should be coated in the sauce and stick to each other like glue. If you prefer a saucier stir-fry, increase the stock, salt, or soy sauce to taste. This is the traditional restaurant version.
- Immediately remove the beef and vegetable stir-fry from the fire and transfer it to your serving plate; you can even dish it out on a bed of rice for a terrific one-plate supper. Have some fun right away. Of course, you already know this, so we won’t tell you again.