Honey soy beef stir fry is a yummy dinner that is really quick to prepare, and perfect for when you want dinner ready, fast.
Stir fry dinners are those perfect saviours for the weeknight meal. Always tasty and reasonably healthy, you get a satisfying mixture of rice, veggies and protein. This delicious honey soy beef stir fry recipe is no exception.
Should you marinate beef for stir fry?
Should you? Probably, yes. But will you? If you’re just googling this at 6.45pm and you want dinner ready in half an hour, then probably, no. And that’s FINE. Great emphasis is placed on marinating beef, and while that’s one way to do it, in this recipe we’re letting the beef shine, “just as it is” (because beef is delicious all on its own), and then covering it with a deliciously sticky honey soy sauce at the end. I actually prefer this way, because it means we can just sear the beef quickly, and then remove it from the pan, then return it with the sauce. This means the beef will stay lovely and tender.
How do you make stir fry beef more tender?
Repeat after me - QUICK SEAR. To make stir fry beef more tender, you really want to cook it very quickly at a high temperature, then get it out of that pan until the end. You want a lovely colour on the outside, but NOT all the way through. To do this, heat your pan to medium high / high, then add beef in a single layer in your pan. Adding it bit by bit will mean you don’t reduce the heat of your pan too much, and the beef will sear nicely. Let it sit for about a minute without turning it - this is an important part of getting a good sear, then you can stir fry for the next minute, or until it is lightly brown all over. Then take it out.
Taking it out of the pan will mean we have plenty of time to cook our vegetables, to caramelise our sauce, and then we can just add the perfectly cooked beef back into the pan when it’s ready.
By cooking the beef in the pan first, that means lovely beef flavours will infuse into our honey soy sauce. It's what makes this Honey Soy Beef Stir Fry so delicious.
What does soy sauce do to beef?
Soy sauce does two wonderful things to the beef in this Honey Soy Beef Stir Fry:
- The salt in soy sauce makes the beef more tender.
- The soy umami flavour of soy sauce makes the beef taste meatier, it really brings out that flavour in the beef.
One of my favourite soy sauces is Pearl River Bridge soy sauce - it's available in Australia at supermarkets.
What is honey soy sauce made of?
In our honey soy stir fry sauce we’ve included...
- Soy sauce and Honey - you want equal parts of these. The honey will caramelise and make the sauce sticky
- Worcestershire sauce - perhaps not traditionally seen in a honey soy sauce, the Worcestershire sauce gives an extra boost of Umami meatiness.
- Dijon mustard - for bitterness - plays the same role wasabi would.
- Shaoxing wine - just a dash gives that authentic chinese flavour.
Top tip for Honey Soy Beef Stir Fry
I’ve used carrots in this Honey Soy Beef Stir Fry recipe because they are naturally sweeter and complement the soy sauce, and because they are part of the weekly meal plan, but you can use any vegetables you have in your vegetable drawer that you want to use up.
Also if you want your sauce thicker, whisk through a small amount of cornflour (1 tsp) when combining.
- Alternative proteins - Option to use pork or chicken strips instead of beef.
- Vegetarian - Use mushrooms instead of beef - a combination of mushrooms would work well.
- Dairy Free - This recipe is dairy free.
- Gluten Free - Swap soy sauce for Tamari.
Kid-Friendly Variations of Honey Soy Beef Stir Fry
- Option to skip Ginger and Dijon mustard
- Skip sesame seeds
- Serve plain rice with beef and carrots on the side.
Equipment for Honey Soy Beef Stir Fry
You will need a Stovetop, microwave, and frying pan.
More Sticky Beef Recipes
Honey Soy Beef Stir Fry
- Frying pan
- 3 cm fresh ginger piece
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine Chinese cooking wine
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 4 carrots
- ½ bunch green onion
- 500 g steak
- 1.5 tablespoon Sesame oil
- 450 g microwave rice
- 1.5 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Peel ginger and garlic and finely grate into a medium bowl.3 cm fresh ginger, 2 cloves garlic
- Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, Shaoxing wine, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside.¼ cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine, ¼ cup honey, 1 pinch salt and pepper
- Peel and cut carrots on the diagonal in 3 mm slices. Place into a microwave dish, cover with water and microwave for 5 mins, then drain. Trim green onion and slice into 2 cm wide pieces.4 carrots, ½ bunch green onion
- Slice steak into ½ cm strips, against the grain.500 g steak
- Place a frying pan on medium high heat, add sesame oil and once hot, add beef. Cook for 1 minute without turning to allow it to sear on one side, then stir fry for 1-2 minutes, then remove beef to a plate.1.5 tablespoon Sesame oil
- Add the drained carrots, green onion and sauce to the pan and stir until the sauce thickens, then return beef to coat. Meanwhile, microwave the rice.450 g microwave rice
- Serve honey soy beef on a bed of rice, and sprinkle over sesame seeds.1.5 tablespoon sesame seeds