Chinese Stir-Fried Beef With Onions

Chinese Stir-Fried Beef With Onions

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Marinate: 15 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
470 Calories
27g Fat
21g Carbs
34g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 470
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Sodium 1291mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 570mg 12%
*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.)

This Chinese stir-fried beef with onions gets its distinctive flavor from two types of onions—yellow onions and green onions—for a satisfying dish. This easy, saucy stir-fried beef recipe comes together quickly in a wok for a hearty weeknight family dish that is fancy enough for guests.

The perfectly flavored beef and onions may be served with hot cooked rice or noodles. Add a simple Chinese cucumber salad or side vegetable for a well-rounded meal.

"The Chinese stir-fried beef was delicious with hot cooked rice. The flavors were excellent, and it was super-fast and easy to cook in a wok over high heat. Besides a little measuring, prep included slicing the meat and slicing/chopping the ginger, garlic, and onions. Easy-peasy! I used top sirloin in the dish." —Diana Rattray

Stir Fry Beef with Onions Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Beef:

  • 1 pound flank or top sirloin steak

For the Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry

  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry

For the Vegetables:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons peanut oil

  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

  • 2 medium green onions, thinly sliced

  • Cooked rice, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chinese Stir-Fried Beef With Onions ingredients

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Cut beef against the grain into 1/2-inch strips.

    Cut beef against the grain

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. In a large bowl, combine the light soy sauce, rice wine or dry sherry, sesame oil, black pepper, and cornstarch. Add the beef, coating completely, and marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

    beef in a bowl with a marinade

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. In a small bowl, combine the dark soy sauce, sugar, and Chinese rice wine or dry sherry. Set aside.

    combine the dark soy sauce, sugar, and dry sherry in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Heat wok and add 2 tablespoons oil, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.

    oil in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. When the oil is ready, add ginger and garlic. stir-fry briefly and add onions. Stir-fry until onions are crisp-tender.

    ginger, onions and garlic in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Remove the vegetables from the wok and set aside.

    onion mixture in a small bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok, if necessary. Add the beef, stir-frying until it changes color.

    beef cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Add the water at this point to make a gravy.

    add water to the beef in the wok to form a gravy

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Return the vegetables to the wok and mix well.

    onion mixture added to the beef mixture in the wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  11. Add the reserved dark soy sauce-wine mixture.

    sauce added to the beef mixture in the wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  12. Stir in the green onion. Stir-fry briefly to blend all the flavors.

    add green onions to the beef stir-fry in the wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  13. Serve hot with rice.

    Chinese Stir-Fried Beef With Onions on a plate

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Recipe Variations

  • For stir-fried beef with mushrooms, cook about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms with the onions.
  • Spice the stir-fry up with about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or some sambal, to taste.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover stir-fried beef in a shallow container within 2 hours and eat within 3 days. To reheat, warm in a saucepan over medium-low heat until hot.
  • For longer storage, freeze the stir-fried beef in an airtight container or zip-close freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

What Is the Difference Between Regular or Light Soy Sauce and Dark Soy Sauce?

Dark soy sauce is darker, thicker, and slightly sweeter and less salty than regular/light soy sauce. It flavors dishes and adds rich, dark color. Light soy sauce is light in color and salty, and it does not mean low sodium. If it is a Chinese brand of soy sauce, it is "light" soy sauce.