Whether you’re doing a round of Whole30 or not, this Spicy Beef Stir Fry is the perfect back-pocket dinner. It’s super easy to make and comes together in around 15 minutes. Not to mention the fact that it uses minimal ingredients yet packs a serious punch of flavour. Try serving it over a bed of cauliflower rice.
The secret to any stir fry is to get the ingredients prepped before cooking. That means washing, slicing and dicing before you even put the pan on the stove. The culinary term for this is mise en place (everything in its place). It’s especially important here because the stir fry should be cooked quickly over a fairly high heat. If you have to chop a vegetable midway, chances are that whatever is in the pan will start to burn.
Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand to make your own version of this Whole30 Spicy Beef Stir Fry. After all, that’s exactly what I did! You can add celery, bok choy, cashews, green bell peppers, mushrooms, you name it. Go wild! The important thing to keep in mind, though, is not to overcrowd the pan too much, otherwise you will end up steaming the vegetables rather than stir-frying them.
The same is true of cooking over a heat that isn’t hot enough. High heat is the name of the game with this Whole30 Spicy Beef Stir Fry. It’s the high heat that will develop flavour on the meat and veggies. If you cook this stir fry over medium heat or lower, it will cause excess moisture to build in the pan, which will result in steaming the ingredients rather than frying them. Just think about those dazzling woks that are on display at your favourite Asian restaurant. Those things are being cooked over burners that run as high as 50,000 BTU! For reference, a conventional gas stove usually caps out around 18,000 BTU.
Since you are going to cook the spicy beef stir fry over high heat, it’s important to use a pan that can withstand the temperature. Carbon-steel, cast-iron and even stainless-steel are all good options here. Stay away from non-stick materials because they tend to break down at higher temperatures.
For cast-iron, you can’t go wrong with a Lodge skillet. They’re super affordable and extremely durable.
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch
- ½ pound beef steak of choice such as top sirloin, flat-iron, bavette, Denver, skirt, flank, or inside round, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 medium carrot julienned
- 1 red bell pepper julienned
- 1 spicy red chili pepper such as Fresno
- ½ medium red onion thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- In a bowl, combine the coconut aminos and arrowroot starch. Whisk until dissolved and no longer clumpy. Add the steak and toss to coat. Cover and set aside to let marinate for 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Preheat a large cast-iron or carbon-steel pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the avocado oil and heat until shimmering. Reserving the marinade, drain off as much of it as possible from the beef. Carefully add the beef to the hot oil (it will splatter) and cook, undisturbed, until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip the beef and continue to cook until browned on the opposite side, about 1 minute. Transfer the beef to a bowl and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium high and add the carrot, bell pepper, chili pepper, and onion. Stir-fry the vegetables until they have softened slightly, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 60 seconds. Add the reserved marinade and sesame oil and cook, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes. Return the beef to the pan and toss to coat.
- Serve with cauliflower rice and enjoy immediately.