Craving takeout, but don’t want all the extra calories, sodium, or guilt? Then learn how to make this Garlic Beef and Ramen Stir Fry at home with a fraction of the guilt, as well as cost!
Better than takeout, fast and easier to make than you think, and packed full of amazing flavors! If you’re a stir-fry or ramen lover, then this is about to become your go-to Chinese takeout meal.
We all get them, do we not? You have a busy and stressful day at work and all you want to do when you get home is crawl into some comfortable pajamas and relax. But dinner awaits, so no lounging for you.
This is about the point where you debate making a bottle of Chardonnay your dinner option or ordering takeout. Am I right? Been there! Just because I’m a food blogger doesn’t mean I always love to cook. And it certainly doesn’t mean I never order takeout. My husband can attest to my recent take-out pizza habit. Thankfully, those cravings are gone and I am slowly getting back into healthier habits.
But alas, the cravings still come about every so often! That is why recipes like this Garlic Beef and Ramen Stir Fry are essential. They come together quickly and easily, while also being more cost-friendly and with less guilt for the indulgence.
And I promise you – it tastes just as good, if not better than takeout.
GARLIC BEEF AND RAMEN STIR FRY INGREDIENTS:
Full recipe with directions can be found via the printable recipe card below. Scroll down! 🙂
Grab one of those super cheap packets of ramen noodles at the store – those are the secret, delicious weapon to this incredible dish! You won’t need the seasoning packet, so toss it. Too much salt anyway!
- Top round beef
- Sauces: low-sodium soy sauce, hoisin sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Oils: vegetable oil, sesame oil
- Seasonings: lightly dried ginger, Chinese 5 spice blend, red pepper flakes, salt
- Veggies: minced garlic, bell pepper, snap peas, mushrooms, shredded carrots
- Ramen noodles
- Unsalted beef stock
- Light brown sugar
- Cornstarch + water
And we can’t forget the green onions and sesame seeds to garnish!
RECIPE TIPS AND SWAPS
- STOCK: You can also use beef broth. I prefer to use low-sodium or unsalted broths, as I like to control how much sodium goes into a dish. Season with salt to your taste preference, but also keep in mind how salty it will already be if you use regular soy sauce and regular broth or stock.
- BEEF: You can use pre-cut beef strips for this recipe. I use top round beef, but you can also use flank steak, or sirloin. Make sure to cut across the grain and not with the grain.
- RAMEN: Looking for a low-carb version? Swap the ramen out for zucchini noodles or serve this over cauliflower rice! You can also use angel hair pasta or white/brown rice.
- VEGETABLES: These are interchangeable. Don’t be afraid to use what you have on hand; peas, sliced carrots, broccoli, boy choy, etc. Fresh or frozen will work!
- MEAT: If you are not a fan of beef, you can swap the beef out for chicken, shrimp, pork or even use tofu to make this vegetarian-friendly.
PREPPING THE BEEF
When it comes to having juicy, tender and flavorful strips of beef – it’s all in how you prepare and cook it! Use these methods for the best garlic beef. Promise it will not turn out dry and chewy!
- As mentioned above, slice against the grain. When you look at the steak, you will see thin white lines running across it. Slice perpendicular to those lines. This will help keep the beef super tender rather than chewy and tough.
- Marinade the meat. We all know that marinating meat not only helps to tenderize it, but also give it an abundance of flavor. Allow the beef some time to mingle with the ingredients a bit. The wait is worth it.
- Don’t cook for too long! The longer you cook, the more it will toughen up. Beef, especially cut into strips, will cook quickly. Keep in mind, you will add the beef back to the pan at the end to re-warm, which means it will cook some more.
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TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS GARLIC BEEF AND RAMEN STIR FRY
- Glass Measuring Cups – work great for combing sauces or marinades to pour into the pan or over meats to marinade.
- Herb Scissors – life changer in the kitchen and one of my favorite tools! I will never hand chop herbs again! Used this to chop the scallions (green onions).
- Stainless Steel Tongs – great for stirring and flipping meats as they cook or for tossing the ramen in the sauce.
- Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set – I used the large one to toss the beef strips in the marinade. Left it on the counter to sit for 30 minutes.
- Ramen Noodles – these are a favorite in this house. They are cheap and can be found just about anywhere!
The next time you’re craving Chinese take-out, be sure to give this recipe a try! Tender, flavorful strips of beef, vegetables sautéed to tender, crispy perfection, all tossed with ramen in a delicious stir fry sauce that is bursting at the seams with flavor.
MORE AMAZING AND EASY RECIPES TO TRY
- Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Sweet Sriracha Chicken Bowls
- Honey Garlic Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Garlic Butter Steak and Potatoes
- California Roll Sushi Bowls
Garlic Beef and Ramen Stir Fry
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles, (seasoning packets discarded)
- 1 lb top round beef, (thinly sliced - against the grain)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tbsp lightly dried ginger
- 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice blend
- 1 red bell pepper, (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 lb snap peas, (ends removed, if needed)
- 1/2 lb mushrooms, (sliced)
- 2/3 cup shredded carrots, (or sliced)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup unsalted beef stock, (or regular *SEE NOTES BELOW)
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, (more or less- to taste)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, (optional )
- 1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tsp water, (thickener)
- Combine ingredients for the marinade into a large bowl. Add the beef strips and toss to coat. Set aside to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes. You can skip this step, but marinading helps to add so much flavor!
- While the meat is marinating, prep the vegetables and sauté. Place a large nonstick pan (or wok) over medium-high heat with vegetable oil. Sauté the vegetables until they reach a tender, yet still crisp, texture - approximately 4-6 minutes. Time will depend on how well done you like your vegetables. If you prefer softer - cook longer. When cooked, transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- To the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once heated, add the strips of beef (discard the marinade). Cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Turn and allow to sear for another 30-60 seconds. Transfer to the plate with the vegetables and re-cover to keep warm.
- To a large glass measuring cup, combine ingredients for the sauce and mix well. Combine the cornstarch and water together separately and then whisk into the measuring cup. Pour the sauce into the same pan over medium heat.
- Cook and continuously stir for 6-8 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced by approximately one-third.
- While the sauce is cooking, cook the ramen noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Discard the seasoning packets.
- Once you have fully drained the noodles, add them to the pan with the reduced sauce and toss with tongs to coat. Allow the noodles to cook in the sauce for 1 minute before adding the sautéed vegetables and beef back to the pan to rewarm for 2-3 minutes.
- Toss the ingredients to thoroughly coat. Garnish with sesame seeds, chopped green onions (scallions) and some red pepper flakes.