Beef Marinade for a Chinese Stir-Fry

Stir fry

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Prep: 2 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 2 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
64 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 64
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1928mg 84%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 23mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You might think of stir-fries as a quick-cooking method over very high heat, but there is actually another step before the ingredients hit the wok. The best Chinese stir-fries begin with a marinade, allowing the meat, chicken, or seafood to absorb a bit of flavor before it is cooked with the vegetables. You will notice most stir-fry recipe ingredient lists can be broken down into a marinade, a sauce, and the meat and vegetables. If you have this marinade under your belt, you can toss together an authentic Chinese stir-fry in no time—perfect for a busy weeknight.

This easy marinade recipe is great with a beef stir-fry and works well with 3/4 to 1 pound of sirloin or ​round beef, cut into thin slices. The combination of oyster sauce and sugar goes nicely with several recipes.


  • 3/4 to 1 pound of sirloin or ​round beef, cut into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar (or soft brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Get a bowl and place the thinly sliced beef.

  3. Add the ingredients, one at a time.

  4. Gently mix to combine and let marinate for 15 minutes, or as the recipe instructs.


  • This marinade will definitely make for a better stir-fry, but if you don't cut the beef properly, the meat could ruin the dish. There are a few tips when slicing beef for stir-fry. First, when cutting the beef, it is important to slice it across the grain, which helps tenderize it. To determine which direction the grain is, look at the top of the piece of meat and see if the muscle fibers are running vertically or horizontally. Then cut perpendicular to that line.
  • Second, you want to be sure to slice the meat thinly and into uniform-size pieces. This can be challenging if the beef is room temperature, so you might want to pop it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes first. This will make it much easier to create thin pieces of beef that are all the same size.
  • Once you have your beef marinating, you can prep the rest of the recipe's ingredients. When you are all set and ready to cook, remove the meat and discard the marinade.