Thinly sliced beef, fried until crispy, and coated in a sweet and slightly spicy garlic and ginger sauce; 30 Minute Ginger Beef is an inexpensive dinner the whole family will love! Get ready, Dear Reader, because this is one of my most popular and loved recipes!
30 MINUTE GINGER BEEF
This particular beef recipe has been one of the most popular recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen since it was originally published in early 2017. No matter how popular though, there were many readers who struggled to get it just right. Today, I updated the recipe with new photos and better cooking instructions. I’m hoping that this will help you to achieve the best possible 30 Minute Ginger Beef at home. No more takeout orders are needed!
Every year, I share my Top 10 Recipes with you and I think this one has been on every list since I first shared the recipe with you, Dear Reader. It is an easy recipe which requires almost no kitchen skills. You can use cheap cuts of meat, which makes this recipe great for families on a budget. And, to be honest, you really don’t need that much of it to go a long way.
I did mention in the blurb at the top that this recipe is slightly spicy. You can completely control the spice level to suit the needs of your family. In our home, McKenna and I are the only two who will eat meat, and fortunately, we both love spicy foods, so I always add extra. So, either omit the dried chili flakes completely or add more. It’s up to you.
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THE BEST BEEF FOR THIS RECIPE
Before John.e and I started living together, I used to make Ginger Beef nearly once a week. It was such a great weeknight meal – easy to prepare and very forgiving of cheaper cuts of beef.
If you ever have one of those days at the grocery store when you’re craving steak, but the price is outrageous or the cuts are just not worth it, grab some cheaper steak and you’ll easily satisfy your beef cravings.
Personally, I think skirt steak or flank steak works best for this recipe. Both of these cuts are often used interchangeably because they are both tough cuts of beef. But, sliced thinly against the grain, they are tender and delicious.
If you can’t find a skirt or flank steak, you can certainly use other cuts of beef as well. I’ve used beef tenderloin for this recipe a few times and it works perfectly.
We shop at an Asian grocery store quite often. They stock thinly sliced beef that is primarily used for bulgogi or ramen dishes. It’s a little more expensive pound for pound, but it’s thinly sliced rib eye and it works very well for this recipe as well.
SUBSTITUTIONS OR VARIATIONS
This dish is one that I’ve perfected. Truth be told, I don’t need to refer to a recipe at all. So, when I decided to post this recipe to my blog, I had to really think about how to get the measurements right. One of the best things about this dish, other than the wonderful flavour, is that the recipe is very forgiving.
For example, if you love the flavour of fresh ginger, you can certainly add more in the cooking process. I love ginger and always use a lot of it. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can use the dried ground ginger powder in a pinch. Since ground ginger is more intense, use only 1/4 tablespoon.
The carrots can be substituted for red or green peppers. Just keep the amount the same. In some cases, when I’m really busy or running late, there’s not much time to carefully julienne the carrots. In that case, I just slice them thinly or I’ll even grate them. If you grate them, use larger holes on your box grater, otherwise, the carrots will disappear in the sauce.
Increase or decrease the garlic based on your preference. I love cooking with fresh garlic and I love the taste of it. I can’t even imagine someone wanting to cut back on the garlic but to each their own! If you want to use garlic powder instead, use 1/8th of a teaspoon for every clove.
I like to use low-sodium soy sauce in this ginger beef recipe, but you can use regular soy sauce. Low-sodium soy sauce will reduce the sodium levels, but it also prevents the flavour of the beef from disappearing. Regular soy sauce is great, but low sodium is better in this dish. If you decide to use regular soy sauce, you can lighten it up by using half soy sauce and half water.
I love to serve 30 Minute Ginger Beef with rice. Since this recipe brags about being ready in about 30 minutes, I often use instant or minute rice. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might recall that I cannot cook “real” rice to save my life. I always resort to instant rice whenever possible.
Also, I’m a little bit nervous about really spicy flavours, so for me, the rice helps to cool down the heat from the dried chili flakes. Since originally posting this recipe, I have been slowly increasing my spice and heat level tolerance. Now, I even add extra spice. But, you do you. You can even omit the dried chili flakes if you wish.
I’ve also served this dish with simply sautéed broccoli as well. Since this beef dish is rather heavy, I tend to feel less guilty about eating a second portion of it if I serve it with broccoli. It also pairs very well with fried noodles. Yum!
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THIS IS WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
The ingredients listed below will give you an idea of what you will need. Exact measurements can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Steak – Once again, a skirt or flank steak is a great choice, but beef tenderloin will do just nicely too.
- Cornstarch – This is used to coat the beef before frying. Cornstarch is much better than flour for a dredge. It’s crispier and lighter.
- Veggies – One large onion, a couple of match stick carrots, some fresh ginger and garlic, and a few green onions too.
- Soy Sauce – There’s a lot of soy sauce in this recipe. Depending on the brand, soy sauce can be really salty. Try to use low-sodium soy sauce to avoid preparing a dish that might be too salty to eat!
- Vinegar – I love the flavour of rice vinegar in dishes like this, but regular white vinegar is great too.
- Sesame Oil – Because I cook a lot, I have a bottle of sesame oil on hand at all times. If you have it – great! If you don’t, just use vegetable oil instead.
- Brown Sugar – Yes, you will need to use it. It helps to caramelize the beef and helps to create a sticky, sweet sauce. And, it will balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce and the tartness of the vinegar.
- Spices – Regular ground black pepper is used, but no salt is added to this dish. Red chili flakes can be used for heat but can be omitted completely.
- Sesame Seeds – These add flavour and texture, but can be omitted as well if you don’t have any.
HOW TO MAKE 30 MINUTE GINGER BEEF
I told you that this recipe was easy and that it required very little skill. Now, I’m going to tell you how to make it and prove my claim to be accurate. First, toss the steak with the cornstarch in a large bowl and set aside. Next, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and onions to a saucepan. Sauté for two minutes until the onions are translucent.
Add the carrots to the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until tender. Next, add the garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Stir into the carrots and onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Lastly, add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, black pepper, brown sugar, and sesame seeds. Whisk together. Lower the heat to a simmer and allow the sauce to slightly thicken.
In the meantime, bring about 2-3 cups of vegetable oil to optimum frying temperature in a deep skillet. Shake the excess cornstarch off the beef and fry each piece in batches until crispy. This process takes about 3-4 minutes. Drain the fried beef on paper towels. Toss the fried beef with the sauce mixture. Garnish with green onions. Serve immediately. Was I right, or was I right!?
LEFTOVERS – IF BY CHANCE YOU HAVE ANY LEFT!
Before we get to the recipe, there’s just one more thing I have to tell you about – freezing. When I first posted this recipe, I was the only meat eater in our home. I would make a big batch of this beef and freeze it.
Here’s what you should do: Portion the completely cooled beef into food-safe containers. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the container and place on the lid. The water is important to prevent the beef from drying out during the re-heating stage.
Allow the beef to thaw at room temperature for 2-4 hours before you plan to reheat it. To reheat, simply remove the lid and transfer the contents to a skillet. Place a lid on the skillet, and over medium heat, allow the beef to heat up. The water will steam the beef and keep it moist. The beef should be fully reheated and ready to eat in five minutes.
Do You Like This Recipe?
You should consider trying these other delicious recipes too!
30 Minute Ginger Beef
- 1 pound skirt steak, sliced thinly (flank steak or beef tenderloin will work too)
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, julienned (can use grated or shredded carrots too)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (rice vinegar or white vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- Toss the steak with the corn starch in a large bowl and set aside.
- Over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and onions to a sauce pan. Sauté for two minutes until onions are translucent.
- Add the carrots to the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Next, add the garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Stir into the carrots and onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Lastly, add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, black pepper, brown sugar, and sesame seeds. Whisk together.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and allow the sauce to slightly thicken.
- In the meantime, bring about 2-3 cups of vegetable oil to optimum frying temperature in a deep skillet. Shake the excess corn starch off the beef and fry each piece in batches until crispy. This process takes about 3-4 minutes. Drain the fried beef on paper towels.
- Toss the fried beef with the sauce mixture. Garnish with green onions. Serve immediately.
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