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Beef with Garlic Sauce

A stir-fried mix of beef and vegetables is very easy to make. However, the key to making this a great dish is a good brown garlic-ginger sauce. For years, I enjoyed the complex flavors of this type of sauce in restaurants and wanted to duplicate it at home. I tried a lot of recipes and then started experimenting because the ginger flavor was never right. This recipe has a good balance of garlic and ginger and reminds me of a similar dish at my favorite Chinese restaurant. I’ll share with you the type of ginger and other tips I discovered when making this dish.

Use a Hot Wok

  1. Cook in a wok. Unlike traditional skillets, a wok has very high sides that heat up. When cooking, you can pull meat and vegetables up on the sides for a larger cooking surface.
  2. Use a very hot wok. For me, this was tricky because once I heated a wok too hot and started a grease fire! I learned to have a big lid very close by – just in case!
  3. Sear the meat quickly and don’t overcook it.

Use a Wok on a Grill

  1. Try cooking with a wok on a grill. I have a wok for cooking on a hot charcoal grill. This method has produced the best results because the temperature is very high and sears the meat. I recommend using a charcoal grill rather than a gas grill because charcoal will get much hotter.
  2. Cook the meat and vegetables in small batches. Even though a charcoal grill will get the wok very hot, it is still necessary to cook in small batches. Inside, where you might not be able to get the wok as hot, cooking small batches helps to keep the pan from cooling too much and having to recover its heat.

Use a Paste Ginger

  1. I used to buy fresh ginger and peel and grate it, but surprisingly it didn’t add that much flavor to this dish. I just couldn’t taste the ginger and the restaurant dishes had an intense ginger flavor that the garlic didn’t smother. Then I tried fresh paste ginger (shown below) and it made the biggest difference in the taste of this dish!
  2. Use a lot of ginger! This recipe adds enough ginger to match the garlic flavor so you can taste both flavors.

Time Savers

  1. Use pre-minced garlic from a jar. It is not quite as strong as fresh garlic, but it works fine in this dish.
  2. Cut up the vegetables ahead of time and store them in individual plastic bags or containers. Sometimes I cut them the day before.

Reheating

Leftovers from this recipe save well in the refrigerator. To reheat, stir in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Variations

Substitute chicken for beef in this recipe or use both chicken and beef.

Print Recipe
Beef with Garlic Sauce
Stir-fried beef with vegetables and a brown garlic-ginger sauce
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Brown Garlic Sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Brown Garlic Sauce
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Brown Garlic Sauce
  1. Mix the sauce by adding the soy sauce, chicken stock, wine, sugar, sesame oil, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir.
  2. In a small bowl add the cornstarch and water and stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Then pour it into the sauce and stir.
  3. In a small bowl add the ginger and garlic and set aside.
Beef and Vegetables
  1. Slice beef and place in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Chop and slice the vegetables and set aside.
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into a wok or large skillet and heat on high until almost smoking. Add a small amount of beef and stir until cooked, a minute or two. Remove cooked beef to a platter. Repeat until all the beef is cooked, adding cooking oil as needed and moving the beef to a platter as soon as it is cooked.
  4. Add more cooking oil if needed and add the vegetables, in two batches if needed. Stir until cooked about 3 or 4 minutes.
  5. Add the ginger and garlic to the vegetables and stir for 5-10 seconds. Place the beef back in the pan.
  6. Stir the brown sauce and then pour over the vegetables and stir until sauce starts to thicken and is heated. This will only take a few seconds.
  7. Remove from the heat and serve with rice.
Recipe Notes

The key to this dish is having a very hot wok or skillet to cook the ingredients.

Add only a small amount of beef at a time so that it can sear. It is better to cook it in small batches.  Be sure to bring the pan back to a hot temperature before cooking a new batch.  Add cooking oil as needed.

Unless using a big wok, it is better to cook the vegetables in batches too.

You can use beef stock in this recipe instead of chicken stock.  I usually have chicken stock on hand instead of beef stock and found that it works just as well in this recipe.

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