Satisfy those beef stir fry cravings with this simple hoisin beef, snow pea, and shiitake mushroom stir fry. This ‘feel good’ weeknight dinner recipe delivers on flavour in record time.
Got beef? I have so many beefy recipes here for you on the blog. Do you like your beef low n slow? Check out this mouthwatering Massaman Coconut Curry. Or, do you love it quick and sticky like these Grilled Teriyaki Beef Sticks? Whichever way you like your beef, I’ve got the recipe for you!
Beef Stir Fry
Today’s beef stir fry recipe is ready and on the table in mere minutes! You will be amazed at how much flavour is packed into this unassuming dish.
The secret? A flavourful marinade that does double duty by marinating the meat and acting as a finishing sauce. The sauce ingredients are a combination of sweet and savoury Hoisin sauce, garlic, and ginger accented by the sesame oil and soy sauce. It’s pretty basic, but oh so tasty!
Stir fry doesn’t need to contain numerous ingredients to be satisfying. This easy beef stir fry only contains beef, shiitake mushrooms, onions, and snow peas. A simple variety of vegetables allows each one to shine through while making the beef the star of the dish.
Beef Stir Fry Ingredients
- Baking Soda
- shiitake mushrooms
- snow peas
- Hoisin Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Vegetable Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Green Onions
- Sesame Seeds
We’ll circle back to the beef in a moment, but first let’s talk about the other components of this dish. If you have access to fresh shiitakes, that is wonderful. They provide such a great flavour which compliments the beef perfectly. Of course, you can use any mushroom in place of the shiitakes.
I used a fresh from the ground white onion and cut it into large wedges. It had that signature sweetness that most onions in take-out stir fries have. I just love that flavour. Again, use the onion that is available to you.
Since the stir fry sauce contains soy sauce, I generally don’t worry about adding salt and pepper to stir fries or most Asian dishes where it is used as an ingredient. There’s no need for all that sodium!
Furthermore, the Hoisin Sauce that I used was a ‘spicy’ version and it gave the finished dish a nice kick. Use either regular or spicy Hoisin Sauce in this recipe.
Since it was snow pea season in Calgary, that is what I used. Sweet snap peas would also work as would water chestnuts, carrots, or broccoli.
Green onions (or scallions) and sesame seeds add a nice finishing touch to the dish both in flavour and texture.
What Cuts of Beef are Best for Stir Fry?
Flank steak is the most common cut of meat for stir fries. It’s moderately priced, quick cooking, and lends itself well to tenderizing and marinating.
The most economical cut of beef is boneless chuck, however much more care and detail is needed to prepare it for stir frying. It really is best for braising and stewing.
Other cuts that work are top round, round tip, round sirloin tip center and round sirloin tip side steaks — when cut into thin strips and prepared properly, can be stir-fried.
The Stir Fry Technique
Stir frying is a classic Chinese cooking technique in which ingredients are cooked quickly in a small amount of cold oil in a very hot wok. The technique requires ingredients to be stirred or tossed during the cooking process.
The earliest instances of this technique appear during the Han dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) when it was employed to dry grain, not in cooking. The grain was tossed in a hot dry wok until it dried and then it could be stored without molding.
Woks are the primary cooking vessel used in this technique. They have a round bottom and high sides which enhances the tossing/stirring during this cooking method. Woks as we know them first appear during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).
Apparently boiling and steaming were more popular cooking techniques as oil was very expensive and therefore accessible to very few (including restaurants and the wealthy). Later, in the 20th century, frying with oil became more popular as more and more could afford to use it.
This classic technique is not as effortless as it appears to be. There are several steps within the technique that are essential to the dish’s final taste and texture. These two supporting techniques are tenderizing and velveting.
Preparing the Beef Before Stir Frying
Everyone loves a stir fry with tender strips of juicy delicious beef. However, there are a few secrets to achieving this very important texture. Simply slicing the beef as thinly as possible and frying it quickly is not enough to get that ‘restaurant quality’ beef texture.
The first step in every stir fry recipe, used by Chinese chefs the world over is using baking soda to tenderize the meat. To do this, add 1/4 -1/8 tsp baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water to every 1 lb of meat. Thoroughly massage it into the meat and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Baking soda is a very powerful tenderizer. It raises the pH level of the meat’s surface, making it more alkaline. This alkalinity disrupts the meat proteins, making it difficult for them to bond during the cooking process. If they can’t bond, they don’t ‘toughen up’…and the meat stays tender.
Marinating the Beef and the Velveting Technique
After 15 minutes of tenderizing time, it’s time to marinate the meat. The marinade serves to boost the flavour of the final dish but it also performs a role in a technique called velveting.
During velveting, a thick coating consisting of cornstarch and sauce adheres to the meat. This gives the meat a velvety smooth texture and protects it from drying out during cooking. This technique is used for many kinds of protein but is most common with beef.
Once the beef is coated, it is traditionally immersed in hot oil or even water. However, a hot wok with a touch of oil will do the trick when stir frying.
How to Make a Beef Stir Fry
First, it’s time to get saucy. In a small bowl, mix up the Hoisin Sauce with the cornstarch, water, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Pour 1/3 sauce over the beef and massage it with your hands so all the beef is covered. Set aside the rest of the sauce.
Let’s talk about the vegetables. A hallmark of this technique is that everything cooks quickly. Therefore is is super important to have everything prepped and ready to go.
Generally, all of the vegetables should be chopped into similarly sized pieces. I like to begin by frying my mushrooms in vegetable oil first, then setting them aside.
Next, stir fry the ingredients (add more oil if needed) in the order of time it takes them to cook. Stir in the onions first then add in snow peas. I always do the veggies first because I don’t like wiping all the meaty bits out the wok and then trying to stir fry vegetables.
Once all the vegetables have softened slightly (they should still be undercooked) remove from the pan and set aside. Add more oil, then add the beef and fry it over medium high heat, stirring it continuously.
When the beef is halfway cooked, add the vegetables back in and continue to stir fry for another minute before adding the remainder of the stir fry sauce. Serve over steamed rice or with noodles.
Dealing with Leftovers
Hey, if you’ve ever had stir fry leftovers you’ll know they aren’t one of those dishes that gets better the longer it sits. Try to make enough to consume immediately but if you fail in this, they can be reheated in a microwave the next day.
If you make this Beef Stir Fry with Snow Peas recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
Beef Stir Fry with Snow Peas
Satisfy those beef stir fry cravings with this simple hoisin beef, snow pea, and shiitake mushroom stir fry. This 'feel good' weeknight dinner recipe delivers on flavour in record time.
- 1 lb round steak
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons ginger; minced
- 2 tablespoons garlic; minced
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- vegetable oil
- 20 shiitake mushrooms
- 1 medium white onion
- 2-3 cups snow peas
- 4 green onions
- sesame seeds
For the Beef Marinade/Sauce
- Add 1/4 -1/8 tsp baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water to every 1 lb of meat. Thoroughly massage it into the meat and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Combine hoisin sauce, cornstarch, soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil together in a small bowl.
- Slice round steaks into very thin strips and place in a small bowl.
- Pour 1/3 sauce over the beef and massage it with your hands so all the beef is covered. Set aside the rest of the sauce.
For the Vegetables
- Prepare the shiitake mushrooms by removing stems and gently cleaning off dirt and debris. Slice larger mushrooms but keep smaller ones whole.
- Peel and cut the ends off of the onion. Cut it in half, then cut into large wedges. Slice green onions on the diagonal and set aside.
- Remove stems from snow peas. Slice the larger peas into 2 or 3 pieces and leave the smaller ones whole.
For the Stir Fry
- Add 1-2 tablespoons oil to a large frying pan (with high sides) or wok. Stir fry shiitake mushrooms over high heat until they soften. Remove and set aside.
- Stir fry the white onion wedges (adding more oil if necessary) until they begin to soften, then add the snow peas and stir fry 2-3 minutes more. Remove and set aside.
- Add more oil, then stir fry the beef until it is almost cooked through.
- Add the mushrooms, vegetables, and extra sauce and stir fry a few more minutes.
- Serve over steamed rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 526Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 883mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 12gSugar: 18gProtein: 48g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.
We are big beef stir fry fans! Love the idea of adding snow peas to the dish!
Stir fry is so quick and nutritious. It’s a winner all around.
Love the addition of snow peas in this dish. Plus, the sauce is so good
Excellent, thank you so much for letting me know how much you loved it, Linda.
This recipe for beef stirfry was delicious, and I’m so glad I saw it in my Pinterest feed the other day, or I wouldn’t have gotten to try such a wonderful recipe. Have a great day!
Cool!! Glad you found it and tried it out Heidy.
I am a huge fan of stir fry. I love that you have kept it simple with few ingredients. That alliws the flavors to shine!😋🥰👍👌❤
Great tip on the baking soda!❤👍👌
Yes! I love when you can taste all the ingredients, especially that tender beef.
This stir fry is such a beautiful combination of flavors. The sauce was amazing and I really love the snow peas in this. Definitely going to add more next time!
Glad you loved it Anaiah!
I love it when I can make quick dinners. And your marinade is so wonderful. It makes anything so deeply flavored.
It’s such a handy recipe to have on hand for busy nights. Glad you loved that marinade, it’s a favourite.
Super! Glad you loved it Naiby!
We always love a quick and easy stir fry and this sauce on this one was absolutely incredible! So were the snow peas!
Yum, this looks like a meal my whole family would love! Having easy stir-fry recipes on hand is often what prevents me from impulse-ordering take-out. Definitely saving this one!
This recipe turned out to be so delicious! The snow peas were made a perfect addition! 🙂
I love the beef marinade. The addition of snow peas is so clever!
So glad you loved it Aya! Thanks for stopping by.
I never tried beef stir fry with snow peas (although I love them, just never crossed my mind). I have to give this a try, sounds super delicious!
You should give it a try for sure. Classic combo.
Thanks a lot for this amazing beef stir fry recipe! Tasted really delicious and super easy to make! Highly recommended!
Thank you Alyssa, so glad you enjoyed it.
This was really good! Love the addition of shiitake mushrooms. Made this for a mid week dinner and kids loved it. Adding it to the rotation of my meal plans!
Super! Can’t beat a quick stir fry on a busy weeknight.
perfectly eaten with rice it was easy to prepare and very savory for us. the addition of snow peas balances the dish.
Yes, I agree. They give it a really nice sweetness and a bit of textural crunch.
These snow peas look delicious! I love a good stir fry! Yum!
Can’t go wrong with fresh local snow peas!
I love adding the snow peas for the crunch and the vibrant green color. Adding this to my recipe collection.
I totally agree! They are a must in a beef stir fry.