Once mastered, stir frying is an easy skillet dinner you can make any night of the week with a variety of meats and vegetables. In this recipe, we made a lighter version of the popular Chinese stir-fry.
A stir-fry can quickly go from healthy to high in calories and fat depending on what you put in it. Usually, it’s the sauces that are ladened with oil and sugar, with even more oil added during cooking.
Making your own stir-fry will result in a much healthier, and we believe, tastier, and less expensive experience than eating out. We use no sugar in this recipe.
After the initial splash of oil for flavor and to get the stir-fry going, we added water to the wok or skillet when it seemed too dry. No need to add tons of oil, as many restaurants may do, either. We also cut way back on the high-sodium in regular soy sauce and just used 2 tablespoons of lite soy sauce.
Taking these few steps added up to great savings in calories, fat and sodium.
Beef, a great source of protein, vitamins B12, B3, B6, zinc, niacin and riboflavin, is a treat to eat once in a while. But the American Heart Association recommends eating beef less often than poultry or seafood since its consumption may increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
The key to stir frying is to have all the ingredients sliced and diced ahead of time because when you begin cooking it goes very quickly and takes every moment of your attention.
Preparation time: 30 (to slice meat and wash and cut vegetables)
Cooking time: 10
Total time: 40
- 1 lb. sirloin beef, sliced thin, or other lean meat or seafood (poultry, pork, shrimp)
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional (if you like a little heat)
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces, rinsed and drained
- (Add other vegetables you may have on hand such as mushrooms, snow peas, carrots, asparagus)
- 2 tablespoons high-heat oil, such as peanut, sunflower or safflower oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional
- ¼ to 1 cup water as needed during cooking
- 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock (water can be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Mix together marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and add the sliced beef. Marinate the beef while preparing the vegetables and sauce for stir fry.
- Mix sauce ingredients together in small bowl and set aside.
- When ready to stir fry, drain the beef until ready to cook. Discard the leftover marinade.
- Heat work or large skillet to medium high heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil and the onion and red pepper flakes to the pan and toss with large spoon or wok spatula for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add broccoli, red bell pepper and any other vegetables you desire. Add ¼ cup of water at a time if pan seems dry. Keep tossing or stir frying vegetables for 3 to 5 minutes, adding water as needed. You want vegetables to be tender crisp yet able to pierce with a fork.
- Remove vegetables to a bowl while you stir fry the beef.
- Add the second tablespoon of oil to the wok/skillet and the beef. Continue to toss or stir fry the beef several minutes until no longer pink.
- Remove beef and place in bowl with vegetables.
- Stir sauce, since cornstarch will settle to the bottom, and add to wok/skillet. Stir constantly until sauce turns clear and thickens, about 1 minute.
- Return vegetables and beef to wok/skillet and mix into sauce. Reheat for about a minute.
- Pour beef and vegetables into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired.
- Serve with whole wheat pasta or brown rice, which can be prepared while you slice and dice the meat and vegetables.
Makes 4 servings.
Per 2-cup serving (does not include pasta or rice nutritional information): 287 calories; 11.2g total fat (3.8g saturated, 1.1g polyunsaturated, 4.8g monounsaturated); 243mg sodium; 101mg cholesterol; 8.3g carbohydrate; 3.1g fiber; 1.1g sugars; 38g protein; 790mg potassium.