Steak and Asparagus stir-fry is a quick and delicious weeknight dinner and a great way to extend a steak. Mushrooms and red peppers are tasty additions and a delicious sesame ginger sauce completes it all.
What Kind of Beef is Used For Stir Fry?
Any tender cut of beef will work for stir fry. Sirloin is a good choice because it's economical. You can also use flank steak, which is less tender, but when sliced thinly and cooked quickly can be made very tender, and really flavourful.
Which Oils Are Best for Stir Fry?
Because you are going to be cooking quickly over high heat, you will need an oil with a high smoke point. My favourite is peanut oil, here are a few more that work well for cooking over high heat:
- Peanut Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Canola Oil
- Corn Oil
How To Make Stir Fry Beef Tender
You know how the beef or chicken that comes from a Chinese restaurant has that wonderful silky, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness? They achieve that texture through a technique called velveting. To do this, they coat the meat in a mixture of egg white, cornstarch, rice wine and oil. They then blanch it in either oil or water and dry it before cooking. To me, doing this, although it does work, takes the quick and easy out of stir fry.
Instead, I use this baking soda technique that I learned from Cook's Illustrated. It's so much easier, and it works!
Tips For Stir Fry Success
- A Stir Fry is all about fast cooking over high heat, so it's important to have all of your ingredients prepped and close by before you begin to cook.
- Slice the meat very thinly across the grain. Partially freezing the meat for 15-30 minutes makes slicing much easier.
- In addition, cook the meat in batches so as not to crowd the pieces in the pan. Crowding will result in steaming the meat, rather than browning it.
- The same goes for vegetables. The goal is to keep some crispness, so cook them in batches as well. Alternatively, you can blanch the vegetables in boiling water prior to stir-frying them.
What to Serve With Stir Fry
We actually love this Steak & Asparagus Stir Fry just the way it is. However, you can serve it with rice or noodles if you want to add carbs. Or, with Cauliflower Rice or in Lettuce Wraps if you don't. Rice or noodles are also a good choice if you want to feed more people.
Steak & Asparagus Stir Fry
- ½ cup orange juice
- 3 tbsp tamari sauce or gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp chilli paste sambal oelek or sriracha
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 8 oz top sirloin steak thinly sliced
- 12 oz asparagus trimmed & sliced in half on the diagonal
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 large red bell pepper cored, seeded and sliced into ½ inch strips
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- Whisk all sauce ingredients in a bowl, or put them in a jar with a lid and shake*
- Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat.
- Add 1 tbsp of the peanut oil, heating until just beginning to smoke
- Add the mushrooms and thyme and stir fry until tender and browned about 2-3 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate.
- Add the remaining tbsp of oil & heat, spreading around the pan.
- In batches, add the meat, spreading pieces out.
- Sear the meat for 30 seconds, turn and sear 30 seconds more. Transfer to the plate with the mushrooms
- Add asparagus and red pepper to the pan and stir fry 1 minute
- Add 1 tbsp water to the pan and cook until the water evaporates
- Add the sauce to the pan along with the meat and mushrooms
- Cook, stirring just until the sauce starts to thicken, about 1 minute
- Transfer to a platter, stir in cherry tomatoes and serve immediately