Super Quick and Easy, the Basic Beef Stir-Fry

Beef Stir-Fry 

Hands-on Time: 5 min. Total Cooking Time: 5 min.


Mix Soy Sauce (2 t), Sugar (1 t), thinly sliced beef (0.5 lb, ~1/8” thick or less). Heat pan, add oil (1/2t), wait ~ 2 to 3 min or until light smoke appear. Add the beef mixture, stir-fry for ~2 min or until the “red” in beef is barely visible (it ~ 70% done). Turn off heat, ready to serve!


Most of the beef stir-fry dishes start with stir-fry beef. Stir-fry beef is the foundation to numerous beef dishes that uses basically the same stir-fry beef to combine with different vegetables and/or sauces. In most of my recipes, I tried to simplify and reduce the steps so everything can be cooked in the same pan/skillet (mostly through controlling the heat level) without extra steps of swapping ingredients, set things aside to cook later, or cooking different ingredients separately. But I think it’s still worth the effort to try just the simple beef stir-fry to get a sense of the cooking time, the heat level (each stove is a little different), and the optimal saltiness (different soy sauce can have very different saltiness level, and everyone’s taste is different) for your particular case. Once you figured out your unique settings (or recipes) for stir-fry beef, then you can simply stir-fry other vegetable separately and combine everything together with 10s to 30s, medium heat stir-fry. Just to name a few possible ingredients to combine with stir-fry beef: onions, bell peppers, mushroom, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, etc. You can also add various different sauces/spices (i.e.  sweet and sour, black pepper, chili paste, black bean sauces, etc.) to create different dishes. Give it a try. I hope you can find your own beef stir-fry.



Use high heat to sear the surface of the beef. No Need to stir constantly.


Do a quick tasting right before turning heat off. Add pinch of salt or sugar to adjust taste.

Going the extra mile (G.E.M)the small step (optional) that takes the dish to the next level.


Sprinkle some sesame seeds on the finished dish to add flavor and color to presentation.


Stir-fry some vegetable (i.e. onions, bell peppers, carrot, etc.) separately and mix with the stir-fry beef over medium heat for different variety of beef dishes.


  1. Pan/skillet (~ 8 to 12”)
  2. Bowls for mixing
  3. Measuring spoon




  1. Thin sliced beef, 0.5 lb, ~ 1/8 inch or less. See how: “Chinese Cooking Basics: how to slice beef?”


Units: t = teaspoon, T = Tablespoon.

*note* relative ratio is more important the absolute amount.

  1. Soy sauce – 2 t
  2. Sugar ~ 1 t
  3. Oil – ½ to 1 t
  4. Salt ~ 1 pinch

Before Cooking:



Mix Beef with Soy sauce (2t), sugar (1t). The amount of soy sauce should be barely enough to coat all the beef slices. We want to minimize the amount of liquid added.

Cooking Steps:


Put Pan/skillet on the stove, High heat. Add oil (~1/2t to 1t).



When oil starts to smoke, add beef mixture. Distribute evenly. Wait ~ 30s before flipping to cook on another side or just start to stir-fry for ~ 1 to 2 min until the raw meat color is barely visible (~ 70% done). If you like well-done, cook until beef completely changed color.

Turn heat off and It’s ready to serve!

G.E.M.1 Sprinkle some sesame seeds on the finished dish.



2 thoughts on “Super Quick and Easy, the Basic Beef Stir-Fry

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