Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Kayla Berman
Imagine tender slices of flank steak, stir-fried to perfection and bathed in a garlic sauce that strikes the perfect balance between savory, sweet, and aromatic. Dreamy, right? Best of all you can bring this takeout fakeout Beef with Garlic Sauce to life in your own kitchen with under 10 ingredients and in a mere 30 minutes! It might sound too good to be true, but trust me, it’s the real deal! 🌟
Why You’ll Love This Recipe For Beef With Garlic Sauce
Every once in a while, a recipe comes along that truly checks all the boxes, making it an instant favorite. This homemade version of Chinese beef in garlic sauce is just that kind of dish, and here’s why:
- Quick & Easy: Forget spending hours in the kitchen. This sweet n’ savory honey garlic beef comes together in a snap, letting you serve up gourmet flavors in just 30 minutes.
- Made With Fewer Than 10 Ingredients: Simplified cooking doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor. With less than 10 ingredients, this garlic beef recipe proves that minimalism can still be mouthwateringly delicious.
- Healthier Than Takeout: We all love indulging in takeout, but sometimes we wish for something a tad lighter without compromising on taste. This recipe for beef in garlic sauce delivers on that wish, offering a guilt-free and scrumptious option that beats your local takeaway.
- Meal Prep-Friendly: Got a hectic week ahead? Prep this garlic beef stir fry in advance! It keeps beautifully in the fridge and reheats like a dream, ensuring you have a delicious meal ready to go when you are.
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, this Chinese beef recipe is a masterclass in simplicity. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Flank Steak – This is a lean, flavorful cut of beef that comes from the cow’s abdominal muscles. It’s known by meat lovers for its fine, rich marbling and is perfect for quick cooking methods like grilling or stir-frying. If unavailable, skirt steak, sirloin steak tip, or flat iron steak make excellent substitutes for the best beef stir fry with soy sauce.
- Cornstarch – Used for both “velveting” the meat and in a slurry for thickening the garlic sauce. If you can’t use corn in your kitchen, you are welcome to use baking soda to coat & velvet the beef slices and either potato starch, arrowroot powder, or tapioca starch in a slurry to thicken the sauce.
- Sesame Oil – This adds a rich, nutty, toasty flavor to the sauce. You should opt for untoasted oil here so that it can survive the high heat. If you don’t have untoasted, use a high smoke-point oil like avocado or canola oil, then add a small drizzle of your toasted sesame oil at the end. Olive oil works too if that is all you have on hand!
- Fresh Garlic – The bright punch of fresh garlic is the best, but in a pinch you can swap in jarred minced garlic or frozen garlic cubes (e.g. Dorot) to cut back on prep time.
- Fresh Ginger – Again, I prefer the taste of fresh, but ginger paste that comes in a jar or tube can come in handy when you’re in a time crunch.
- Chicken Stock – You can also use veggie or beef stock if needed.
- Soy Sauce – For a hit of salty, umami goodness. If you’re gluten-free, swap in Tamari.
- Honey – For a touch of sweetness, plus a lovely viscosity in the garlic sauce. If needed, you can use agave nectar, maple syrup, or brown sugar instead.
- Rice Wine Vinegar – Subtly sweet and deliciously tangy, this light and lovely vinegar is an eternal favorite in my kitchen. A small amount is all you need!
- Chef’s Knife or Santoku Knife
- Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Wok or Large Skillet
How To Make Shredded Beef With Garlic Sauce
My interpretation of Chinese beef with garlic sauce is so quick to throw together. Here’s how this easy meal is done:
Step 1: Mix Sauce Ingredients. First add the water, chicken stock, soy sauce, honey, and rice wine vinegar to a mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly.
Step 2: Coat Beef. To a separate bowl, add the thin slices of beef and corn starch. Toss until the beef is thoroughly coated.
Step 3: Make Slurry. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, whisking till smooth.
Step 4: Sauté Aromatics. Add the sesame oil to a large pan or skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ginger and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Step 5: Sear Beef. Add the beef to the pan. Sauté until cooked about halfway. I like to let the beef sit without touching or moving it too much — this helps it develop a proper sear.
Step 6: Add the Sauce to the beef. Bring to a simmer.
Step 7: Add the Slurry. Let simmer until the sauce has reached your desired thickness.
Step 8: Serve & Enjoy! Pair with white or brown rice and stir-fried vegetables. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.
Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations
As much as I love this beef garlic sauce recipe just the way it is written, there is plenty of room for you to make it your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Gluten-Free – Swap out the soy sauce for Tamari or coconut aminos to make this a dish even your celiac buddies can enjoy.
- Soy-Free – If soy is a no-no, use coconut aminos (GF) or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (not GF) instead.
- Spicy – There’s a touch of warmth from the garlic and ginger, but if you’re a heat seeker, consider adding a shower of red pepper flakes to the pan when you sauté the aromatics in Step 4. I recommend starting with about ½ teaspoon, then increasing the heat from there. You can also feel free to add a hefty drizzle of sriracha or a few dollops of sambal oelek for serving.
- Briefly freeze your meat. Giving your flank steak a quick 15-20 minute spell in the freezer helps to firm it up just enough that making thin strips is a snap.
- Cut against the grain. Cutting meat against the grain refers to slicing through the fibers of the meat, rather than parallel to them. This technique ensures that the resulting pieces are more tender and easier to chew, as it shortens the muscle fibers. Observing the direction of the fibers (or grain) and cutting perpendicular to them will give you the best results.
- The easiest way to peel fresh ginger is by using a spoon. It sounds weird, but it’s super easy.
- High heat is key. When stir-frying, use high heat to get a good sear on the beef. This locks in the juices to keep it tender and gives the meat a delightful char.
Making meals delightful often lies in the fun presentation and pairing. Here are some playful serving suggestions for your shaved beef stir fry:
- Mix & Match Bowls: Lay out bowls of cooked rice, noodles, an assortment of steamed or stir-fried veggies, chopped green onions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Let everyone build their own personalized Chinese garlic beef bowl!
- Refreshing Sides: Pair the beef with a vibrant carrot salad or cool cucumber salad. The fresh, crunchy textures and flavors make a delightful counterpoint to the savory beef.
- Low Carb Delight: Opt for cauliflower rice as a base, which not only lightens the dish but also adds a pleasant, nutty undertone. Zucchini noodles are a great choice too!
- Lettuce Wraps: For a fun, hands-on dining experience, serve the beef soy sauce stir fry in fresh lettuce cups. You’ll need a head of lettuce like Bibb, butter, or romaine. Add a dollop of the garlic sauce, some green onions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top for a delightful bite!
- Asian-Inspired Tacos: Use mini flour tortillas or soft corn tortillas, top them with the tender beef, a spoonful of cucumber salad, and finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds for an East-meets-West treat.
- DIY Spring Rolls: Set up a station with rice paper, beef and garlic sauce, and an assortment of veggies. Everyone can roll their own delicious spring rolls, making for a fun interactive meal.
Bon appétit! 🥢🍛✨
For this delightful Chinese-inspired dish, flank steak is a top choice due to its lean profile and rich flavor. However, if you’re in a pinch or want to try something different, sirloin strips work wonderfully too. Additionally, many grocery stores conveniently offer beef packaged specifically for stir-fries, which is absolutely perfect for this recipe. So, the next time you’re wandering the meat aisle, keep an eye out! 🥩🛒✨
Absolutely! Chicken would be a fantastic substitute. Just ensure you slice it thinly for even and quick cooking. The savory garlic sauce pairs wonderfully with both beef and chicken, so feel free to get creative and switch it up based on your preference or what’s on hand. 🍗🍲✨
Cornstarch plays a dual role in our sliced beef recipe! For starters, it “velvets” the beef, tenderizing it and imparting a smooth, silky feel. Then, when teamed up with water in a slurry, it becomes a stellar thickening powerhouse, lending our garlic sauce that lustrous, velvety touch. ✨🥘
Not as written, no. But you’re welcome to amp up the spicy vibes by adding a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes or a drizzle of sriracha!
Unfortunately, soy sauce isn’t gluten-free, but you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by swapping in either Tamari or coconut aminos.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Bake
- Buffalo Chicken Thighs
- Pan Seared Shrimp
- Maple Mustard Glazed Chicken
- Burger Salad Bowl
- Parmesan Crusted Cod
More Asian-Inspired Recipes
- Bang Bang Salmon
- Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken
- Firecracker Meatballs
- Ground Turkey Teriyaki Bowls
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp
- Honey Garlic Salmon Bites
- Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry
- Honey Soy Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs
Connect With Me!
If you make this simple stir fry recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.
Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.Print
Beef with Garlic Sauce
Imagine tender slices of flank steak, stir-fried to perfection and bathed in a garlic sauce that strikes the perfect balance between savory, sweet, and aromatic. Dreamy, right? Best of all you can bring this takeout fakeout Beef with Garlic Sauce to life in your own kitchen with under 10 ingredients and in a mere 30 minutes!
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Asian Inspired
- 1 lb Flank steak, thinly sliced or sirloin strips
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- First add the water, chicken stock, soy sauce, honey, and rice wine vinegar to a mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly.
- To a separate bowl, add the beef and cornstarch. Toss until the beef is thoroughly coated.
- Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to form the cornstarch slurry.
- Next add the sesame oil to a large pan or skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Once hot, add the ginger and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the beef to the pan. Sauté until cooked about halfway. I like to let the beef sit without touching too much, to get a proper sear.
- Next add the sauce to the beef. Bring to a simmer and add the cornstarch slurry. Let simmer until the sauce has reached your desired thickness.
- Serve and enjoy! Pair with white or brown rice and stir fried vegetables. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
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