Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry is a great busy weeknight dinner! Flank steak, onions, and snow peas in a stir fry sauce full of garlicky, spicy, and sweet flavor.
Calling all garlic lovers, this is the beef dish for you. With FOUR cloves of garlic, this has got to be one of the garlickiest recipes for a stir fry sauce ever! But don’t worry, all that garlic gets perfectly balanced with the spicy and sweet flavors like honey, mirin, ginger, and chili-garlic paste.
If you aren’t familiar with chili-garlic paste, it’s a spicy sauce made with dried red chiles, spices, garlic, and herbs. It’s a common ingredient in authentic Asian cooking. It’s also called sambal and you will find it in the Asian food aisle in a little plastic jar with a green cap. Once you see how much amazing flavor a teaspoon brings, you’ll be adding this all-purpose chili garlic sauce to all your favorite dishes!
You want to serve Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry with takeout comfort food side dishes like White Rice and Spicy Szechuan Green Beans to soak up the tasty sauce. Since you have your wok out, make stir-fried noodles like Chow Mein or Fried Rice if you have leftover cooked rice. Sub the beef mixture in Lettuce Wraps with this delicious Spicy Garlic Beef.
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Tips for Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry
- Wok: Stir-fries are always best cooked in a wok. The pan is able to reach high heat throughout for even cooking and fast cooking.
- Skillet: A large skillet will work if you don’t have a wok, but make sure it’s big so the pan doesn’t crowd and steam the dish.
- Prep: This Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry recipe cooks fast so you want to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start. Mix the sauce ingredients and set to the side before you start cooking the beef.
- Beef: For even, thinly sliced stir fry beef, freeze your flank steak for 30 minutes before slicing with a super sharp knife. Cut beef against the grain.
- Ginger Root: Freeze your leftover fresh ginger root for later. It will keep for a year in a freezer-safe bag and you can use it from frozen any time you need grated ginger.
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How to Make Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry
- Beef: Add vegetable oil to a skillet and cook the steak slices for 3 minutes on each side. Remove the beef.
- Veggies: Stir in the green onions, garlic ginger, and snow peas, cook for 1 minute.
- Sauce: Stir in the soy sauce, mirin, chili garlic paste, honey, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil, stirring until it thickens.
- Serve: Toss the beef in the mixture, sprinkle sesame seeds over the top, and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry
Mirin is a Japanese wine that is in a lot of Asian dishes. It is sweet and tangy, and it really adds a lot of flavor to Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry.
Cornstarch goes into the recipe along with the other sauces. Then the liquid is brought to a boil. That will begin cooking the cornstarch and thickening your sauce so that it coats each piece of beef and vegetables.
Variations on Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry
- Steak Pieces: You can use any thin steak like skirt steak, flat iron steak, flank steak, or a thin cut top sirloin steak. Try this spicy garlic sauce with boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, thinly sliced or in small bite-size pieces.
- Spicy Flavor: If this isn’t a hot enough heat level for you, add more spicy ingredients like sriracha, cayenne pepper, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, or dried Sichuan pepper. You can also make it peppery by seasoning the steak pieces with a lot of coarse ground black pepper.
- Sweet and Savory Flavors: Give Spicy Garlic Beef more sweet, savory flavor with ingredients like hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Barbecue Sauce, steak seasoning, or ketchup.
- Veggies: Other great stir fry veggies to use are broccoli florets, bell peppers, carrots, or yellow onions. Cut veggies into thin strips about ¼ inch wide so they cook fast but stay crispy.
Slow Cooker Spicy Garlic Beef
- Sauce: Add all the sauce ingredients (except cornstarch) minced garlic, and grated ginger to the slow cooker and stir well with a whisk.
- Beef: Place beef in sauce mixture and stir to coat.
- Cook: Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low for 4 hours, or on high for 2 hours.
- Veggies: Mix 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch with equal parts water until cornstarch dissolves. Add cornstarch mixture, snow peas, and green onions to the sauce and stir well.
- Finish: Cover and cook Spicy Garlic Beef for an additional 30 minutes on high heat. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top of each plate before serving.
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How to Store Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry
- Serve: Serve Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry hot and fresh for best taste and sauce consistency. This beef stir fry dish can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it should be stored.
- Store: Store Spicy Garlic Beef Stir Fry in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in a wok or large skillet over medium heat, using beef broth if needed to thin out the sauce.
- Freeze: Cool completely and place Beef Stir Fry in a sealed container or freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 2 months and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stovetop.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound flank steak , sliced thinly against the grain
- 6 green onions , thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger , minced
- 12 ounces snow peas
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- white sesame seeds , for garnish (optional)
- Add vegetable oil to a large skillet on high heat.
- Add the steak slices and cook for 3 minutes on each side in batches (do not crowd pan).
- Remove steak, lower heat to medium.
- Add the green onions, garlic, ginger, and snow peas and stir well, cooking for 1 minute.
- Add in the soy sauce, mirin, chili garlic paste, honey, sesame oil, and cornstarch, stirring well.
- Bring to a boil and stir until sauce thickens.
- Toss beef back into the mixture. Sprinkle white sesame seeds over the top before serving (optional).