You are gonna LOVE this “better than take-out” Flank Steak Stir Fry Recipe. Crisp textures from the veggies and tender chunks of meat give this dish a variety of texture and flavor. The spicy garlic sauce is kissed with a bit of sweetness and adds gusto to the recipe. All of this will explode when it hits your taste buds. It's a mouthful of deliciousness, to say the least.
When it comes to eating, I have a terrible time resisting pretty much any Chinese food. Their plates are brimming with an assortment of sauces and meats, any veggie you could think of, noodles, rice, etc. When one of these dishes is placed in front of me, it becomes my kryptonite and I have no defense against it.
It's funny because I HATED, literally detested Chinese food when I was young. I didn't even try it again until somewhere between age 20-25. At that point, something came alive in my taste buds and all of sudden my palate matured into a true foodie for Chinese food. Now, I can't get enough of it. So, learning to cook stir fry at home has helped me to not spend a fortune eating out. And, the bonus, it's a healthier way to eat.
Why I love this Flank Steak Stir Fry Recipe
- It's honestly one of the quickest and easiest dishes you can throw together. Once the prepping of ingredients is completed, it literally will be in and out of the pan in 25 minutes.
- The prep work can be done ahead of time and everything stored in the refrigerator. Chopping the veggies, halving the mushrooms, slicing the flank steak and combining the sauce can all be made ahead of time.
- The easy clean-up of this "one-skillet meal" makes life so much simpler. Other than rice or noodles that you can add to the dish, everything is combined into one skillet. Now that's what I call a PERFECT meal!
- Flank Steak Stir Fry with crispy vegetables makes for a healthy dinner option. Flank steak is very lean, the crispy fresh vegetables are full of nutrients, and the sauce is much healthier than the kind you get in any restaurant.
- I don't spend a fortune eating Chinese food out anymore. This stir fry recipe makes a huge batch at a fraction of the cost of eating out. And the leftovers are even more flavorful and better the second day.
How do I choose the right meat for this stir fry?
A few reasons why I chose Flank Steak.
- It's a leaner, healthier cut of beef. Flank steak has fewer calories and more protein than a ribeye or porterhouse.
- It won't break the bank. Flank steak is a better economical choice than say sirloin.
- Flank Steak has a rich beefy flavor that adds nicely to this dish.
This Stir Fry Recipe is not limited to beef. Strips of chicken or pork would be wonderful with this recipe as well. Another great option would be to throw in shrimp. The beauty of stir fry is found in whatever you have in your freezer. It has many options when it comes to the type of meat you have on hand.
How do I slice Flank Steak for a stir fry recipe?
Flank steak can be a little tough if you don't prepare it correctly. As you can see from the photo above, it has a lot of tough fibers running through it. Slicing it thin and cutting against the grain gives a more tender result. This way the fibers are shorter and easier to chew.
I originally cut these strips probably a half an inch thick (again against the grain), but next time I will go ¼ an inch. They could've been a little thinner and would've resulted in more tender pieces of meat. Leave them in long strips (notice the photo above) or do what I did and cut each strip into smaller pieces, about 1 inch long.
Linger's Expert Advice: When slicing the meat, it helps tremendously if you place it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Being partially frozen makes it easier to get the slices thin and you won’t end up tearing the meat apart. Also, make sure your knife is really sharp.
How do I cook Flank Steak for stir fry?
Begin with really high heat and get the skillet nice and hot before adding your oil. Give it a good 30 seconds before you put the meat in. You're looking to sear the steak quickly.
Be careful to not pile your meat on top of each other otherwise, it will steam the meat instead of searing it. Situate the pieces in a single layer and cook one side for 1 ½ - 2 minutes before turning the pieces over. Cook for another minute and then stir it and cook for another minute.
One thing you want to do is avoid overcooking any type of meat especially flank steak. The result of cooking it too long is tough rubbery pieces of meat. My recommendation is to cook these small strips over medium-high heat until they are about 70% cooked through. Then remove them from the skillet and set them aside to add back into the pan at the end.
Linger's Expert Advice: If you don't have a wok, don't go out and purchase one. You can achieve the same results with a heavy skillet that is wide and flat. A large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet works great, which is what I used for this recipe.
What type of veggies do I use in a flank steak stir fry recipe?
There is no right answer to this question. Again the beauty of a stir fry is that you can use whatever you have on hand in your refrigerator. I had mushrooms, red bell peppers, sweet onions and a package of snow peas.
Other suggestions for Vegetables:
- Bok Choy
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Water Chestnuts (these are not actually a nut)
- Mung Bean Sprouts
In what order do I cook the Veggies?
It's important to cook hard, firmer vegetables first, then add the more delicate ones at the end. For instance onions, broccoli and carrots should be cooked before asparagus, zucchini or snow peas. Otherwise, you will end up with some that are soft or mushy. One of the best parts of stir fry is to have crispy vegetables that crunch when you bite into them.
How and when do I cook the Mushrooms?
- Mushrooms are the first thing that goes into the skillet after the meat.
- There's no need to wash your mushrooms. Wipe off any dirt with a wet paper towel. Then cut off any tough ends of the stems which appear dry, woody and fibrous.
- I like large chunks of mushrooms in this stir fry, so I halved all of them instead of slicing. There's no right way though. Slice them if that's what you prefer. I would make the slices somewhat thick though as they tend to shrink when they are cooked.
- Use a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet. Any large heavy skillet will do. The wide bottom though is better. You don't want the mushrooms piled on each other. A single layer helps them brown better and the liquid to evaporate quicker.
- To begin, the heat needs to be on HIGH. Whenever you are cooking with a high temperature, you want to use an oil that has a high smoke point, for instance, avocado oil is great for this. Another one is coconut oil. For this recipe, you don't need a lot of oil for each batch. Start with 1-2 tablespoons in the hot skillet and let it come to almost smoking before adding the mushrooms.
- To sauté whole or halved mushrooms turn down the heat to medium-high. It will take about 5-7 minutes for them to release their moisture and the evaporation to take place. In the meantime, the mushrooms will begin to brown and tenderize.
Linger's Expert Advice: I've read all different ways of "when" and "how" to cook mushrooms for stir fry. I like to put them in the skillet first. I want them to sweat off their moisture before adding other vegetables. Otherwise, the rest of the vegetables will just steam because of the liquid released from the mushrooms. I want sautéed, not steamed, vegetables.
When do I add the remaining vegetables to this Flank Steak Stir Fry Recipe?
Sliced red bell peppers and sweet onions go into the skillet next alongside the already sautéed mushrooms.
The whole point when cooking for a stir fry is to cook all the ingredients quickly and at a high temperature. Because everything is cooked fast, you want to have all the ingredients ready at your fingertips when they need to go into the skillet. That's why I suggest chopping everything before you ever start the cooking process.
Linger's Expert Advice: Because this is such a quick dish to prepare, it's best to have all the ingredients prepped beforehand. All the cutting and chopping can be done a day in advance and stored in separate ziplock bags in the refrigerator. Pull them out when you are ready to roll with the recipe.
The last vegetable in this Flank Steak Stir Fry recipe to go into the skillet is the snow peas. They are the most fragile and tender of all of these vegetables. If added at the end, they will add a nice crunch to the recipe. And of course, they contribute a gorgeous green dimension as well. Look how fresh, crisp and delicious this dish has become.
The sauce makes this stir fry so incredibly delicious.
The sauce, in my opinion, is the most important part of this stir fry and is what brings everything together into a glorious meal. You will want to combine all its ingredients before you start cooking the flank steak.
An easy way to make the sauce is to combine everything (even the cornstarch) into a mason jar with a lid and shake until all the cornstarch is dissolved. Or whisk all the ingredients in a large measuring cup. Immediately when the vegetables are done cooking, pour in the sauce and continue cooking at medium-high heat.
Brown Rice - the Finishing Touch
I always choose "brown" rice because it's a much better health choice than white. Brown after the milling process still contains all the parts of the grain, including germ and fiber of the bran which are the most nutritional parts. Check out this site - organicauthority.com - for additional information on the difference between brown and white rice.
When you're planning for this stir fry dish, remember that it takes about 40-50 minutes to cook brown rice. Therefore, you'll want to put it on in advance so that it is ready when the stir fry comes off the stove. It'd be such a bummer to still be waiting on the rice when everything else is done.
A Keto Variation: Substitute the honey for 4 tablespoons of Xylosweet or Monk Fruit Sweetener. Thicken it with one teaspoon of xantham gum instead of the cornstarch. And serve it with cauliflower rice. I made this for my husband who is on the Keto Diet and you could not tell the difference from the regular recipe. Total of 8 net carbs per serving.
Now, wasn't that quick and easy? You can literally be sitting down to eat within 25 minutes of starting this flank steak stir fry. And you didn't even have to get in your car and drive for carry-out. It's healthy, delicious and AFFORDABLE! I think you're gonna love this dish.
Give it a try tonight and if you do, please leave me a comment down below. I would love to hear what you think.
If you enjoy cooking with flank steak, you have to click on this recipe - Beef Satay with a Spicy Peanut Sauce. It's perfect for an appetizer or the main dish on your dinner table. The peanut sauce is fantastic!Print
Better Than Take-Out Flank Steak Stir Fry Recipe
You are gonna LOVE this “better than take-out” Beef Stir Fry. Crisp textures from the veggies and tender chunks of meat give this dish a variety of texture and flavor. The spicy garlic sauce is kissed with a bit of sweetness and adds gusto to the recipe. All of this will explode when it hits your taste buds.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes (prep ahead)
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 cups 1x
- Category: Stir Fry
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 1 ½ pounds Flank Steak
- 3 tablespoons Avocado Oil
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- 16 ounces Baby Bell Mushrooms
- 1 ½ large Red Bell Pepper, thick slices
- 1 ½ large Sweet Onion, thick slices
- 8-ounce package Snow Peas
- 8 cups Brown Rice, cooked (substitute cauliflower rice for Keto)
For the Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 4 teaspoons Chili Garlic (I used Huy Fong)
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- 4 tablespoons Raw Honey (substitute Xylosweet for Keto)
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, grated
- 4 tablespoons Dry White Wine
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (substitute 1 tsp of xantham gum for Keto)
- Slice the flank steak against the grain in ¼-inch wide strips. Cut each of the strips into 1 or 2-inch length pieces.
- Trim the mushroom stems if they are dry, woody or fibrous and cut the mushrooms in half.
- Slice both the red bell pepper and the sweet onion into large slices.
- Combine all the ingredients of the stir fry sauce into a large measuring bowl and whisk until the cornstarch has all dissolved.
- Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet (I use a cast iron skillet) over high heat until nice and hot. Add one tablespoon of avocado oil and let heat for 30 seconds. Add the flank steak in a single layer in the bottom of the skillet. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn the heat down to medium-high. Sear for 1 ½ - 2 minutes until nice and brown on one side. Turn the pieces over and cook for another 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking for 1 more minute. The meat should be about 80% done.
- Remove the meat from the skillet onto a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Turn the heat to high again and heat until nice and hot. Add 1 tablespoon Avocado oil and swirl in the pan. Heat for 30 seconds.
- Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently until browned and all their moisture has been evaporated.
- Pour in 1 more tablespoon of Avocado oil and add the red bell pepper slices and the sweet onion slices along with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Sauté for 5-8 minutes until the onions and red peppers are tender but still somewhat crispy. Add the snow peas and stir until all is combined.
- Add the flank steak meat back into the skillets.
- Turn the heat to high and pour in the stir fry sauce and bring to a low boil and continue boiling and stirring until the sauce thickens about 3 minutes.
- Serve immediately with brown rice.
- Strips of chicken or pork would be wonderful with this recipe as well. Another great option would be to throw in shrimp.
- Flank Steak has a lot of tough fibers running through it. Slicing it thin and cutting against the grain gives a more tender result. This way the fibers are shorter and easier to chew.
- When slicing the meat, it helps tremendously if you place it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Being partially frozen makes it easier to get the slices thin and you won’t end up tearing the meat apart. Also, make sure your knife is really sharp.
- Begin with really high heat and get the skillet nice and hot before adding your oil. Swirl the oil and give it a good 30 seconds before you put the meat or vegetables in.
- Be careful to not pile your meat on top of each other otherwise, it will steam the meat instead of searing it. Situate the pieces in a single layer.
- One thing you want to do is avoid overcooking any type of meat especially flank steak. The result in cooking it too long is tough rubbery pieces of meat.
- It's important to cook hard, firmer vegetables first, then add the more delicate ones at the end.
- I like to put mushrooms in the skillet first. I want them to sweat off their moisture before adding other vegetables.
- Because this is such a quick dish to prepare, it's best to have all the ingredients prepped beforehand. All the cutting and chopping can be done a day in advance and stored in separate ziplock bags in the refrigerator.
- Combine the sauce by adding all the ingredients into a mason jar with a lid and shake until all the cornstarch is dissolved.
- The brown rice takes about 40-50 minutes to cook, therefore, you'll want to put it on in advance so that it is ready when the stir fry comes off the stove.
- A Keto Variation: Substitute the honey for 4 tablespoons of Xylosweet or Monk Fruit Sweetener. Thicken it with one teaspoon of xantham gum instead of the cornstarch. And serve it with cauliflower rice. Total of 8 net carbs per serving.
- Serving Size: 1 cup stir fry with 1 cup brown rice
- Calories: 546
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 1905 mg
- Fat: 16 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 68 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 31 g
- Cholesterol: 56 mg
Keywords: Steak Stir Fry, Steak Stir Fry Recipe, Beef Stir Fry with Rice