Sunday, March 6, 2022

Beef Stir-Fry with a Citrus Kick

My stir-fry will tantalise your taste buds, delivering a citrus kick to Aussie beef, crisp veggies, and fresh herbs. This meal has everything. Generally when I cook a stir-fry, it is because I am short on time. I cook the meat in the wok, whether it is beef, chicken or pork, remove it while I add the vegetables, ginger and garlic, add the meat back into the pan with some soy sauce and perhaps another Asian sauce, stir fry it until the vegetables are ready and that's it. It's always tasty, but now that I have made this recipe using lime juice in addition to soy sauce and fish sauce, and marinating the beef, there's no going back for me to a simple stir-fry. And when I buy my limes for a stir-fry, I might just buy a couple of extra for Gin and Tonics for us to enjoy as an aperitif before I start cooking. It doesn't get much better than that.

Sometimes it's Mr. HRK that cooks the stir-fry in the wok, outside in our BBQ area on the patio while I prepare everything in readiness. This time, because a little bit more of an effort was required, and I was still cooking in my beautiful daughter's kitchen, I prepared and cooked this meal. We were all thrilled with the result. 

We are home now, and the temperatures up here in North Queensland are soaring to 37 deg. C. some days. We are running our air-conditioner almost 24/7, however if we turn it off for a few hours in the morning and keep the house closed up, it stays beautifully cool. We can't ever remember the humidity or the temperatures being so continuously high here in Mackay, and with no real rain forecast for us, although it must be coming. However, south Eastern Queensland and now Northern New South Wales have been absolutely hammered by the recent rain event and have suffered significant devastation, and those poor people affected are now cleaning out their flooded homes and salvaging what belongings they can. The badly affected have lost almost everything. The Australian Army is spreading themselves thin trying to help those in need to clean up, as are available and well meaning residents and volunteers not as badly affected. It is all very sobering. I fear that these extreme weather events will be exacerbated as a consequence of the developing climate change scenario.

This recipe is my twist on one that I saw in a recent Coles monthly supermarket recipe book, originating from our very own Aussie chef Curtis Stone, who was wanting to move back to Australia from Covid stricken Los Angeles. I'm not sure if he has or not. These catalogues tend to promote the supermarket's  own home brand product, which isn't necessary to produce a a great result, and the photographs are always nice and inspiring. This recipe is perfect to cook during the Australian Summer, although it is no longer Summer, but the beginning of Autumn. Bring on the Autumn temperatures, please.

Recipe serves 4


Preparation 15 minutes + 15 minutes marinating time. Cooking time: only 10 minutes because it's a quick stir fry.

400g - 500g rump steak, Scotch fillet, or even Sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain into 6 mm thick strips (marinating the meat will give very tender results). I used Rump steak.

2 tbs fish sauce

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs vegetable oil divided

1/4 tsp cornflour

1 red capsicum, seeded and thinly sliced

200g green beans, trimmed and halved diagonally

1/2 cup (70 g) thinly sliced shallots

1 tbs finely chopped garlic

1 tbs finely chopped ginger

1 cup coriander leaves, divided

1 cup mint leaves

1 lime juiced, divided

1 tbs sugar

Steamed rice to serve


  • Prepare the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl by whisking it until the sugar dissolves. Place the sliced beef in another medium sized bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce mixture and mix the sauce into the meat. Set the bowl of meat aside for 15 minutes to absorb the flavours. I marinated mine for 2 hours, covered the bowl and stored it in the refrigerator, until ready to use, as I had the time to do that. 
  • Whisk the cornflour into the remaining soy sauce mixture and cover.
  • Remove the beef from the bowl and pat it dry with a paper towel. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil to a large hot frying pan,  and add the beef, spreading it over the base of the pan in a single layer. Without stirring the beef or touching it, cook for 2 minutes until well browned. You can see why the pan needed to be hot to begin with. 
  • Stir fry the beef, and continue to stir and fry it for 40 seconds until cooked through. 
  • Transfer the beef now to a plate with a rim to catch the juices.
  • You are now ready to cook the vegetables. 
  • Add the remaining oil, (1 tablespoon), and the capsicum and beans and cook for 2 minutes until the vegetables soften slightly. Stir and fry the vegetables. You want them still quite crisp. Stir in the shallot, garlic and ginger,
  • Add the remaining soy sauce mixture, and the beef and the juices to the pan with the vegetables. Stir and fry for 1 minute until the beef is just heated through, the vegetables are tender, and the sauce has thickened slightly. 
  • Take your frypan from the stove and stir in half the coriander leaves, the mint leaves, and half the lime juice. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to add the lime juice and at least one of the herbs.
  • To serve divide the rice among the serving bowls. Top the rice with the beef stir fry, and drizzle with the remaining lime juice and for presentation, sprinkle with the remaining mint and coriander leaves.
  • Serve with extra lime wedges if you have them
Cook's Notes:
  • Please believe me, the lime juice adds a delicious zing and kick to this beef stir fry.
  • If you are having trouble finding fresh produce in the supermarkets or markets at the moment because of recent weather events, frozen beans added toward the end of cooking will be fine.
  • The quality of the beef will be much better if you buy it whole and slice it yourself. For a stir fry buy the steak or fillet as a whole piece, and slice it yourself, or buy from a reputable butcher and ask them to slice it for you. I have never had great results with beef that I have  purchased already sliced from a supermarket, which is being sold as stir-fry beef. 
  • Using coriander and mint leaves will produce superior flavours, however the first time I made this I only had mint on hand, and it still tasted amazingly good.
  • Please don't skimp on the lime juice, it's a game changer.
  • Whilst I love to generally cook brown rice or even cracked bulgur wheat whenever I can as a side for health reasons, with a stir fry like this one, white rice is the perfect accompaniment.
  • Marinating the beef for up to 2 hours before cooking, ensures very tender meat for a stir fry and is packed with flavour.
  • 400g of beef might be enough for you if you aren't big eaters, but I used 500g. 
  • If you are time poor, 15 minutes marinating the beef will be ok, however if you have plenty of time, marinate the beef for up to 2 hours before cooking for maximum flavour and tenderness.

We are being careful with what we eat at the moment, with low calorie meals being the preferred choice during the week. Stir-frys are a perfect option for healthy eating. Here's the breakdown per serve for you if you are interested:

Per serve:----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Calories: 309/ 1292 KJ, Protein 28g (56%),Fat 16g (23%),Sodium 1763mg (88%),Carb 12g (4%),Sugar 10g (11%),Dietary fibre 6g (20%)

Warmest wishes,



  1. This looks so colourful and I love the final touch of fresh mint leaves.

    1. I love using mint in cooking, it brings freshness, colour, and heaps of flavour. Thanks Angie.

  2. I love the colorful photos of your stir fry. Eating a rainbow is so healthy and tasty. Pinned!

    1. Carol I love how you see the beauty in everything, yes I guess it is like eating a rainbow, Thanks for your nice comment.

  3. I have to say that it looks extremely appetizing. I don't eat meat, but would love the rest of this stir-fry.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, with a couple more vegetables perhaps, this stir fry could hold it's own without meat. I will try that as well one day.

  4. What a beautiful, colorful, and flavorful stir fry! We love a good story and I love your use of coriander and mint! Stay cool, Pauline… I hope when the rains come you don’t have flooding as they have in NSW.

    1. Thanks David, we live on the side of a hill, so any flooding should drain away quickly. The floods down south are dreadful. I just love coriander and mint in cooking, we can grow them both in Winter here in the tropics, but sadly not in Summer.Take care.

  5. This looks like a really good dinner. Hopefully your heat wave will break soon. I was surprised to read that Curtis Stone wanted to come home - I suppose the Aussie Government would have made an exception for him. I thought his wife was American? And that is why they were living in LA. But I could be confused.

    1. Thanks for your comment Tandy. I think I read that Curtis Stones wife is an actress, but he has restaurants in Los Angeles as well, which were probably hit hard during the height of the pandemic. He still maintains a strong presence in Australia even though he is still living in LA. This is a delicious dinner.

  6. lots of fab flavours there pauline. yes i think a hit of citrus is good in so many dishes, and i always have a lemon or two in the crisper.

    1. Thanks Sherry, this was one of the best beef stir fry meals I have ever made. Love the citrus in it.


(c)2014-2024 Copyright on articles and photographs by Hope Pauline McNee.
Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I love hearing from you.
If you would like to receive follow up comments, simply click the "Notify me" link to the right of the "Publish" and "preview" buttons.
Comments containing personal or commercial links will not be published.