This Chinese restaurant style beef and vegetable stir fry is a quick and flavorful dinner. It’s packed with colorful veggies, tender strips of beef, and a homemade stir fry sauce. You can prepare most of this dish ahead of time and then cook it just before serving.
My mom usually made the dish with beef and onions, just like they made at Liu's Chinese Restaurant in Beverly Hills. For a long time I kept this dish simple with beef, broccoli and onions. In the current version, I added an assortment of mixed vegetables such as broccoli, baby bok choy, carrots, and water chestnuts. This used to be a meat-centric dish, but now meat and vegetables share the spotlight.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy to prep ahead of time.
- Beef and vegetables share the spotlight.
- Great way to use up vegetables in the fridge!
Dana’s note: This beef and vegetable stir fry dish was my favorite childhood dinner. In the late 1970's my mom started moving away from her generation's "convenience" recipes (which included packaged ingredients like Lipton onion soup mix, ketchup, and Campbell's soup), and started exploring new recipes with fresh ingredients. She was ahead of her time.
One night, we dined at a local Chinese restaurant, and my mom noticed a cookbook that was for sale: Madame Wong's Long-Life Chinese Cookbook. My mom started cooking from the book, and this recipe quickly became a family favorite.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
See the recipe card below for a complete ingredient list and measurements.Jump to Recipe
- Beef - You can use filet mignon or beef sirloin in this recipe. See below for more about the best type of beef for stir fry.
- Cornstarch - This helps thicken the sauce and also to tenderize the sirloin if using.
- Tamari or soy sauce - I recommend using a low sodium kind.
- Sherry cooking wine or rice wine - Brightens the dish. Can substitute with more broth.
- Cooking oil - It is best to use a cooking oil with a high smoking point, such as grapeseed, peanut, or canola, since stir frying is done at a high heat.
- Vegetables - Use your favorite fresh vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces. I like broccoli florets, baby bok choy, carrots, water chestnuts and onions. Other options include green onions, snow peas, green beans, and red bell pepper.
Best type of beef for stir fry
I love using filet mignon for this dish as it is very tender, but also it's expensive. A great alternative is the less expensive beef sirloin. Although not as tender as filet, there are easy ways to tenderize the meat.
By cutting the sirloin across the grain, and letting it sit tossed in corn starch for several minutes, you can tenderize the meat. If you are using grass fed beef, be careful not to overcook it.
Step by Step Photos
See the recipe card below for complete directions.Jump to Recipe
Season the beef and set aside. If using sirloin, toss with cornstarch.
Combine soy sauce, wine, broth, remaining corn starch, and sugar in a small bowl and mix. Set aside.
Sauté vegetables in a hot wok or skillet over medium heat until partially cooked and bright in color. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add beef to the hot skillet and brown on both sides.
Add the vegetables and sauce into the skillet with the meat. Stir and allow the meat and vegetables to finish cooking in the sauce.
The dish is done when the sauce thickens, the meat is cooked through, and the vegetables are crisp but tender. Serve immediately with white or brown rice.
- Slice the meat across the grain to make the meat more tender.
- If using beef sirloin, tenderize it by marinating in corn starch.
- Chop ingredients and mix sauce ahead of time to save time.
- Have your butcher cut the meat into strips for you to cut down on prep time.
- Don’t overcook the vegetables - tender but still crunchy vegetables are best.
The beauty of a stir fry is that you can personalize the ingredients to your own taste or what is seasonal.
- If you want a spicy sauce, add a few dashes of hot sauce to the stir fry.
- Feel free to swap out the fresh veggies to fit your tastes, like baby corn, Chinese pea pods, bamboo shoots, or red onion.
- If you don’t eat meat, try this dish with chicken or fish.
I ask the butcher to slice the meat for me, which cuts down the prep time. Cut the vegetables and measure the sauce ingredients in a measuring cup ahead of time, then park everything in the refrigerator until it's time to stir fry at the last minute.
Storage and Reheating
How to store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. Store vegetables and sauce separate from rice.
How to freeze: I don’t recommend storing this dish in the freezer. A stir fry can be cooked quickly, so making large batches and freezing is not necessary.
How to reheat: This dish reheats well in the microwave.
More beef dinners
- Beef and Barley Soup: A Tribute to Aunt Rose
- Korean BBQ Beef Recipe & My Korean Market Adventure
- Grilled Asian Beef Short Ribs and Clippings from the LA Times Food Section
Frequently Asked Questions
Filet mignon is a tender cut of meat, great for quick cooking but it can be expensive. Sirloin is a great, more affordable option. Cut against the grain and toss with cornstarch to tenderize it. You can also try a tender flank steak.
You can swap out beef for your favorite protein. Try chicken or seafood, even tofu!
Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry
- Wok or skillet
- 1 pound filet mignon or beef sirloin cut across the grain into thin strips about ¼" thick
- kosher salt and several grinds of freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 teaspoons organic cornstarch divided, only need 1 teaspoon if using filet
- ¼ cup low sodium tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup sherry cooking wine or rice wine
- ¼ cup chicken broth or clear vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon high heat cooking oil such as grapeseed, peanut, or canola
- 5 cups mixed raw vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces; such as 1 head of broccoli, 3 sliced baby bok choys, 1 sliced carrot, ½ can of sliced water chestnuts and ½ medium onion cut into ½ " strips.
- Prepare the meat: sprinkle with several pinches of salt and several grinds of freshly cracked black pepper. If using sirloin, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to help tenderize. If using filet mignon, the cornstarch is not needed in this step. Set aside.
- To make the sauce: Put soy sauce, wine, broth, remaining corn starch, and sugar in a glass measuring cup and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Place a large skillet or wok on the stove with medium heat. Pour in enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan and warm oil. Sauté vegetables for about 3 to 4 minutes until vegetables are partially cooked and have turned bright in color. Vegetables should remain crunchy. Set aside.
- Place meat in the skillet. Brown on both sides over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes. If there is significant liquid in the bottom of the pan, drain out the liquid.
- Add the vegetables and sauce into the skillet with the meat. Stir over medium high heat. Let the meat and vegetables finish cooking in the sauce, about 2 minutes. Stir frequently. The dish is done when the sauce thickens, the meat is cooked through, and the vegetables are crisp tender. Do not overcook or the vegetables will become too soft. Serve immediately.