Thursday , 22 February 2018

Spicy Pepper Beef Stir Fry

As I was setting up the new site design, I realized how long it’s been since I’ve featured a recipe using beef.  In fact, the last post was from August 29th and was this tasty Argentinian Steak with Chimichurri Spiked Vegetables.

I cook beef one to two times a month.  We’re not against beef dishes at all, but at home I’m keeping a tight grocery budget and when we eat out we both just tend to naturally gravitate toward pork meals notwithstanding the burger love, but a lady (unfortunately) cannot live by burgers alone.

The lack of beef recipes probably has more do with cost than anything.  Recently though, I ran into a great sale on beef top round which necessitated buying 5 pounds worth then dividing it into 12 oz and 1 lb packages to keep in the freezer (yay sales!).

In honor of this occasion (yes, I’m calling cooking beef an occasion) I really wanted to do a riff on the classic, i.e. meat and potatoes.

So 12 oz of beef was thinly sliced, another 12 oz of potatoes were julienned with a mandolin, and then sliced peppers, onions and Napa cabbage were tossed in to make a hearty one-dish meal.  Tying it all together is a slightly spicy, slightly sweet sauce.

Don’t be weirded out by the potatoes in a stir-fry thing.  One, potatoes are delicious and two, they actually take really well to stir-frying with keeps them crisp but tender.

Note though – I have an addiction to woks.  Seriously, I probably spend way too much time looking at various wok options.  I’d go to rehab but pssht, how can loving woks be wrong?  My every day is a 16 inch carbon steel and it can hold a decent amount of food.  If you’re not going to be using a wok, select a deep pan and preferably one that can take a higher heat level.

Spicy Pepper Beef Stir Fry

Servings: 4

Calories per serving: 408

Fat per serving: 10.3

Spicy Pepper Beef Stir Fry


    For the Potatoes
  • 12 oz peeled potatoes, cut into a fine julienne (a mandolin work great for this)
  • 1 Tbsp each: lite soy sauce and rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • For the Beef
  • 12 ounces top round, cut into thin 2 inch strips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp each: lite soy sauce, cornstarch and cold water
  • 1 tsp each: Shao Hsing rice wine and dark sesame oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Sauce
  • ¼ cup hoisin
  • 2 Tbsp each: ketchup, Shao Hsing rice wine
  • 1 Tbsp chili bean sauce (if you don’t have chili bean sauce you can use chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek instead)
  • For the Rest
  • 1 ½ Tbsp high heat oil – such as grapeseed or peanut
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (can reduce or omit for less heat)
  • 2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 (1 lb) napa cabbage, stems and leaves separated – stems, thinly sliced on the diagonal and leaves chopped (keep these separated after you cut them since the stems will be cooked first)


  1. For the Potatoes: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss well to coat. Set in fridge while you prepare all of the other ingredients.
  2. For the Beef: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Add beef and toss well to coat. Set in fridge while you prepare all of the other ingredients. You want the beef to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Combine all sauce ingredients (hoisin through chili bean sauce) in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Set aside.
  4. Drain potatoes and pat dry. Heat a wok over high heat until very hot. Swirl in ½ Tbsp oil and add the beef in a single layer. Let sear for 1 minute without touching. Stir fry for another minute until beef is browned but not completely cooked through, transfer to a bowl or plate.
  5. Heat wok again and swirl in remaining 1 Tbsp oil. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper for 10 – 20 seconds or until fragrant. Add in potatoes and continue to stir-fry for another 3 – 4 minutes or until potato has browned and crisped. Add in red bell peppers and napa cabbage stems and continue to stir fry another 1 – 3 minutes (depending on how crisp/tender you like the peppers and cabbage).
  6. Stir in reserved beef and any juice, napa cabbages leaves and sauce and continue to cook another minute or two until heated through and the sauce has coated everything. Serve and enjoy!


Note - the photo shows the recipe how I served it, with whole wheat spaghetti (don't judge). If you want to do it that way, just cook 3 oz of dry whole wheat spaghetti and pull 1.5 minute before al dente (so if it says al dente is 6 minutes, I'll pull at the 4.5 minute mark). Drain but don't rinse.

At the last step, stir in beef, napa cabbage and sauce and cook for 1 minute. Stir in cooked spaghetti and stir fry another minute or two until heated through and everything is coated.

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  1. What a delicious way to use that great buy on beef that you found! The ingredient list looks fantastic. I’m sure this is delicious.
    Susan recently posted..Lemon Capri TorteMy Profile

  2. I would never have thought to add potatoes to a stir fry, but I love the idea. I’m such a potato fanatic.
    Kristi Rimkus recently posted..Gluten Free? Not Gluten Free? These Pumpkin Bars Work for Everyone!My Profile

  3. this stir fry both looks and sounds MOUTHWATERING! such an awesomely delicious meal!
    Jenn and Seth recently posted..Frost Kissed Artichokes with Honey Dijon MayonnaiseMy Profile

  4. Great looking stir fry! I don’t believe I’ve ever had a potato in a stir fry, but i really like the idea. Sometimes when I’m red-braising beef (using a spicy chili bean sauce) I’ll add sweet potatoes at the end. So this is definitely something I should try. Lovely flavors, good looking dish. Good stuff – thanks.
    john@kitchenriffs recently posted..Red Beans and RiceMy Profile

    • I love red braised dishes, especially since they get better the next day! Actually, I think I’ve featured a recipe here (or I have one coming up) but sweet potatoes also work really well in stir fries if you wanted to go that route.

  5. Interesting Beef here is nearly similar in price with Pork sometimes even cheaper. That stir fry looks so yummy!
    Raymund recently posted..Pork and Mushroom Noodle Soup (Bun Moc)My Profile

    • I wish I lived in New Zealand then 🙂 Beef is way more expensive here, it’s crazy. I can get pork loin for $1.99/lb standard but even the “cheap” beef is usually $2.99/lb an up!

  6. Any chance you deliver? ;0). Seriously, your stir-fries are always so gorgeous and appetizing looking – full of health-building ingredients too. And the warming aspect… ah, I could use a little heat in the midst of this snow-filled Canadian winter! :). Beautiful recipe.

  7. This looks so tasty! And I like the noodles – nothing wrong with it, if it tastes good! Yum!

  8. No way, I thought adding potatoes in stir fry is MY thing! My husband makes fun of me, but seriously as a potato fan, I totally love it! Looks yum!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Almond CookiesMy Profile

  9. This looks so scrumptious! I haven’t made stir fry in a while so this recipe comes at the right time! And I love the potatoes in there; a very nice twist 🙂
    Dana @ Simply Romanesco recently posted..Deconstructed Stuffed Pepper StewMy Profile

  10. Your pictures really show how delicious this stir-fry is!! I was just thinking about what to make with a small sirloin that I have and this pops up. Looks like I have found my supper for tomorrow night. Thanks!
    mjskit recently posted..Shrimp and GritsMy Profile

  11. I never would have thought to use potato so this is awesome. Phooey! I use pasta in stir-fries all the time 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors recently posted..Meet Your Mate (& your Coffee’s) ~ Overflowing Cinnamon Braid Heart for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

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