Compared to baking, cooking is an imprecise exercise. A simple beef stir fry in particular benefits from a free-form technique and a willingness to experiment, so while I have provided measurements for the ingredients I used in this particular combination… feel free to play fast and loose with flavors and adapt this recipe to whatever you have on hand.
This is definitely a “until it looks right, until it tastes right” situation. I’ve been experimenting with a plant-strong diet. I have to say, I like it.
Although meat is great for a quick, large, delicious dose of calories I’ve been making friends with the rainbow of options in the produce section and this recipe is a testament to that: heavy on the veggies, just enough meat to provide flavor.
One note about fish sauce: while it can smell pretty ripe straight out of the bottle, it adds a punch of umami to the finished dish like nothing else. However, not all fish sauces are created equal; some of them contain additives like fructose and hydrolyzed wheat protein. To keep this recipe Whole30, opt for this brand. The sum of just two ingredients, wild black anchovies and salt, it’s “first press extra virgin” and free of added water, MSG or preservatives.
While we’re on the topic of fish sauce, it’s one of the essentials of Asian-inspired grain-free cooking. The two others are coconut aminos and sesame oil. Buy all three, keep them stocked in your pantry, and you can whip up endless combinations of stir fry without worrying about how to nail the right flavor combination.
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Red pepper
- Yellow pepper
- Bean sprouts
- Fresh ginger
- Green onions
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Chili flakes
- Sesame seeds
- To make the meat, combine the coconut aminos, fish sauce and tomato paste in a small skillet over medium heat.
- Add the ground beef, mix thoroughly and cook for 10 minutes (breaking up large chunks as it browns) then remove from heat.
- Make the vegetables by adding the sesame oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Thinly slice the red cabbage, and add to the large skillet. Thinly slice the 1/2 onion, and add to the cabbage, stirring to prevent scorching. Thinly slice the 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 yellow pepper and add to the rest of the vegetables. Stir.
- Separate the head of broccoli into small florets (I saved the thick stem for another use) and add to the skillet. Add two handfuls of snow peas, and stir the vegetable mixture. The cabbage and onions should be soft by this point, the peppers slightly less so, and the broccoli and snow peas crisp but bright green.
- Cook time from this point on is personal preference, based on how soft you prefer your stir fry. Once the vegetables are done to your liking, sprinkle in the cooked ground beef and stir thoroughly. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and top with sesame seeds and chili flakes.