If taste is what you are looking for alongside not slaving away all day in the kitchen then my Korean beef stir-fry recipe will tick all those boxes. Packed with tons of umami, light on the wallet and easy on the eye your dinner guests or lucky family members will have you whipping this up on the regular!
Why I Love This Recipe
- different to your everyday stir-fry
- fancy but simple
When it comes to dinner any night of the week it's a toss-up of speed v's flavour for a lot of people. Well, in my opinion, this recipe offers the best of both worlds. From start to finish (including the minimum marinade time) it takes about 30-40 minutes. It has the look of something you would get at your local Asian takeaway and tastes better! Using ingredients like gochujang and oyster sauce may seem a little out there but these days they are available in most grocery stores and they have long shelf/fridge lives. Meaning, you can whip up this tasty Korean beef stir-fry over and over again 😉
Gochujang Stir-Fry Marinade
What brings this Korean beef stir-fry dish up a few notches and makes it stand out from the everyday stir-fry you are used to cooking is the depth of flavour you get from marinating the beef in gochujang.
Pronounced koh-choo-jan(g) where the g at the end is silent - this Korean chilli paste is savoury, sweet and spicy all in one! It is a fermented chilli paste made from chilli powder or flakes, rice, fermented soybean and barley malt powder. It is very popular in Korean dishes and more and more these days you will find it in fusion dishes too. In fact, I myself have used it to make a delicious gochujang aioli used on Korean beef burgers and Korean style steak tacos!
In this Korean beef stir-fry recipe, I have used a marinade of soy, gochujang, ginger, cornflour & oil to marinade the stir-fry beef. To do this, simply mix the ingredients together in a bowl and add your stir-fry beef to it. Leave marinate for 10 minutes up to 2 hours. The beef will tenderize and take on more flavour the longer you leave to marinate but honestly for a quick mid-week meal 10 minutes does the trick!
Prepping The Vegetables
When cooking any form of stir-fry it's about quick cooking. You want the meat and vegetables to cook quickly at high heat so they get a nice sear on the outside and retain their texture too. Therefore when prepping the vegetables you need to make even cuts. No point in having one piece the size of your thumb and the next the size of a pin. I'm sure you can figure out what will happen during the cooking process 😉
The best advice for this is to use a sharp knife so you can get even cuts and work with what you are comfortable with. No point trying to get pin-sized pieces and cutting the tips of your fingers off doing so 😉 Once prepped leave your vegetables in the fridge to be fresh and ready to go
The thing that brings it all together!!! Once again we are using a few different and fun ingredients. They all have long shelf/fridge lives so don't worry about wondering when you will use a whole jar of kecap manis because it will keep and more importantly you are going to want to whip up this Korean beef stir-fry over and over again 😉
Simply, grab all your ingredients - pop them in a bowl (or jar) and whisk em up! The sauce will thicken in the pan due to the addition of cornflour in the gochujang stir-fry marinade.
It's that simple!
Tips, Tricks & FAQ's
Prepare. The best way to be successful in the kitchen is through organisation and being prepared. Have you ever watched a pressure test on Masterchef? Read the recipe, have a clean working area and have all your ingredients to hand. This will be the key to success when making the dish for the first time. Once you have made it a few times and know the recipe you will find ways to make it easier/quicker for you!
Most shops/butchers will have "stirfry" beef available which often comes from the knuckle & top side in my local grocery store. If you are cutting the beef yourself you are looking for cuts that cook hard and fast. You can be fancy and use eye fillet or go a little cheaper and use skirt, flank or even rib-eye. Slice the beef evenly and nice thin strips so they cook quickly too.
Noodles or rice are the 2 things I think of when I think of a stir-fry. For my Korean beef stir-fry, I went with rice but you could also bulk up the vegetables and have it as is!
I recommend 30 minutes as the optimal time but even 10 minutes will work. The longer you leave more tender cuts to marinate the more the texture breaks down in the meat so I personally don't recommend it for longer than 2 hours. Truth be told though, it won't make you sick or anything so if you want to get home and quickly cook the stirfry then by all means sort it out in the morning time!
Gochujang has a very specific taste so you won't get an exact substitute. You are looking for a balance of sweet, salty and spicy. Some people say sriracha works in a pinch, others use a Thai style chilli paste or even a mixture of tomato paste, honey and chilli flakes. If you just want the spicy kick then any spicy chilli paste will do.
So I have recently teamed up with Drew from Bovino Co. Drew is a fellow Queenslander who only lives about 5km from me. Top bloke with some even better products under his belt.
It started (and he is still involved in) exporting Australian beef to Asia but like any good Aussie, he wants to see the best Australian meat in front of fellow Australians. It's about consistency, quality and providing top customer service too. In our current climate, the ability to get top quality meat to your door is a must. Bovino Co provides you with the opportunity to have freshly vacuumed packed meat that will keep for weeks in the fridge direct to your door. Products such as scotch steak, oyster blade, beef mince, short ribs, lamb chops and seasonal sausages are some of what's available. In the case of this recipe, stir fry beef are just some of the delicious items available.
Being a lover of wine he has aligned himself with small wine producers that you can't find in every shop as part of the package so Friday night (or any night at this stage!) is complete!
There are many more recipes on the way so my advice is to sign up for his monthly box delivery, follow along to see what delights I will be cooking with them.
Alternative Stir-Fry Recipes
Inspired by my Korean beef stir-fry dish and need more stir-fry in your life? Check out these recipes on my page and other fellow foodies pages too!
Peanut Butter Chicken Stir-Fry by Yours Truly
Lemongrass Chilli Green Beans Stir-Fry by Sammy Do of 'The Devil Wears Salad'
20 Minute Hoisin Pork Stir-Fry by Sally Aleckson of 'Eight Forest Lane'
Szechuan Style Beef by Kim Morris of 'My Sugar Free Kitchen'
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 400 g stir-fry beef
- 1 red onion
- 1 capsicum
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp gochujang
- 1 inch ginger - grated
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp soy
- 4 tbsp kecap manis
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 inch ginger - grated
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 cup rice
- sesame seeds
- 1 spring onion - finely sliced
- measuring/weighing utensils
- Chef Knives
- Chopping board
- mixing bowl x 2 – small and medium sized
- wooden spoon/spatula
- Mix the marinade ingredients together and toss the beef in the marinade for 10 mins + set aside
- Finely slice the carrots, onion, garlic & capsicum
- Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside
- Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet
- In a large saucepan/wok on high heat fry the vegetables with 1 tbsp oil for 1-2 minutes
- Add the stirfry beef and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes
- Add the sauce and cook for a further minute
- Finish with sesame seeds and sliced spring onions and serve with rice
- start by having your wok VERY hot, to begin with to speed up the cooking time and not to have your vegetables/meat soggy!
- the stirfry only takes about 5-6 minutes to cook so start to cook it when the rice has about 6-7 minutes to go on cooking time • the beef can be marinated the morning of before going to work to speed up the cooking time at dinner
- the thinner the veg is sliced the quicker they will cook so bare this in mind for the overall cooking time
- to add a little less spice to the dish reduce the amount of gochujang in the marinade OR add some red chilli flakes if you like it spicier!