Ginger Beef and Asparagus Stir-Fry

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Asian stir-fries are easy to pull off, as long as you have prepared all of the ingredients before you get cooking. And with a minimum of ingredients to chop and slice, as with this ginger-scented dish of beef and asparagus, you will have dinner on the table in much less time than it takes to have Chinese food delivered.

You don’t really need a wok for stir-frying. A very large skillet, about 12 inches in diameter to hold all of the ingredients without crowding, works very well. The secret to successful stir-frying is to thoroughly heat the skillet over high heat before adding the oil and food, a step that helps the ingredients cook evenly and quickly.

4 servings

Cooking Methodstir-frying



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationlactose-free, low carb, peanut free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturejuicy, meaty, savory, umami


  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • ½ pound asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh ginger (use the large holes of a box grater)
  • 1 pound “stir-fry-cut” boneless top round beef
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Hot cooked rice, for serving


  1. Prep: Trim and discard seeds and ribs from bell pepper; cut into 2-inch strips about ¼ inch wide. Snap off and discard woody stems from asparagus; cut spears on diagonal into 1-inch lengths.

  2. Heat very large empty skillet over high heat until skillet is very hot, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Add ginger and stir-fry until softened, about 15 seconds. Add red pepper and asparagus and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer vegetables to platter.

  3. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet until very hot. Add beef and stir-fry until beef loses raw look, about 3 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet.

  4. Mix 1 cup water and soy sauce in small bowl, sprinkle cornstarch on top, and whisk to dissolve cornstarch. Pour into skillet, mix well, and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, spooned over rice.

  5. Variation

  6. Boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips about 2 inches long and ¼ inch wide, can stand in for the beef. Stir-fry the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes, before returning the vegetables to the skillet.



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