Gluten-Free Spicy Beef & Vegetable Stir Fry
You might look at this Gluten-Free Spicy Beef & Vegetable Stir Fry recipe and think “what’s different about this stir fry compared to other stir fry recipes?” Well, I’m glad you imaginarily asked that.
You see, this recipe is first and foremost all about the sauce. You can customize it to your liking by adding less or more of the brown sugar and chili garlic paste, but the sauce here is key to what makes this stir fry different from the rest. I use San-J’s tamari lite because it keeps the sauce from tasting too salty.
This recipe is also special because it is based on how we ate when I lived on Okinawa – lots of veggies with the meat more of an accompaniment – however, if you prefer more meat, you can use 1 pound but cook it in two batches so the meat fries and doesn’t steam.
A couple other things to note about the meat: It is easier to slice the meat thinly if you put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes but then let it sit out for 20 minutes after slicing, so it is not ice cold when you put it in the pan. Also, it is best if you don’t cook the meat all the way through, as it goes back in the pan and can get over cooked.
You can switch up this recipe by using the same sauce but with any kind of protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu) or none at all. You can vary the vegetables as well. I make this at the end of the week and basically clean out my vegetable bin of odds and ends. Just add the denser vegetables like carrots and broccoli first as they take longer to cook. You don’t want to over-cook your veggies though, as this dish is best with crisp-tender veggies.
To make this recipe go off without a hitch and with perfect ease, make sure your oil is sizzling hot before you start to cook the beef and the vegetables and be sure to do all your chopping before you start to cook because this goes very quickly!
Gluten-Free Spicy Beef & Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe
For the Spicy Stir Fry Sauce:
- ¼ cup San-J Tamari Lite
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons chili garlic paste (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon dried ginger)
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
For the Stir Fry:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil , divided
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 8 ounces top sirloin , thinly sliced and at room temperature
- 1 medium onion , peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic , thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot , peeled and diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 large bell pepper (any color) seeded, deveined, and thinly sliced
- 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
- White and black sesame seeds , for garnish
- Rice or cauliflower rice for serving
- Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat until sizzling hot. Add the sesame oil, let it heat for a few seconds then add the beef in an even layer in the pan. Let sit undisturbed for 30 seconds then start flipping and stirring for another 3 minutes or until the meat is almost cooked to your liking. Transfer from the pan onto a plate and set aside.
- Add 1 more tablespoon of oil and let heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrot and broccoli, cook for about 3 minutes then add the bell pepper and cabbage. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add the sauce, cook for 1 minute then add the beef and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.
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