Sticky, Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir-Fry



Say goodbye to bland stir-fry, this has it all: heat, sweetness, sourness, saltiness, awesomeness. Fo’ serious. I just kind of saw things in my cupboard and thought “yeah, let’s add it!”

Serves 4


350-400g beef (I used leftovers from Roast Dinner)
100g cashew nuts
2 red onions, sliced into half-rings
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped
2 small fresh chillis, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, julienned (oooh, get me. OK, fine, “thinly sliced”)
5-6 broccoli florets, cut in half
bowl of peas
2 tsp chinese 5 spice
2-3 pieces galangal
dash of Worcestershire sauce
dash soy sauce
squeeze lime juice

Serve with noodles


2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 small fresh chillis, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped
½ tsp muscovado sugar
squeeze of golden syrup


Mix up all the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Slice your beef into thin strips and slosh it around in the marinade. Stick in the fridge, while you chop up all your veg.

In a wok or casserole dish, toast the cashew nuts (no oil needed) over a high heat, stirring regularly to prevent them burning. Tip into a suitable receptacle to save for later. Heat a good splodge of sesame oil (or any other oil) then add the onions. Sweat the onions for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic and 5 spice. Keep on the heat for a few more minutes – this is where you can go one of two ways:

1. If, like me, your beef was pre-cooked add everything apart from the beef, cashews and peas. Stir constantly for 7-8 minutes before adding the beef and all the marinade from the fridge and continue to heat through, stirring as you go. If you find it sticking to the wok, add some water. 5 minutes before the end stick in the peas and cashews. Serve with noodles (I part-cooked mine before throwing in the wok).

2. If, unlike me, your beef was uncooked remove the onions and stir-fry the beef over a high heat until cooked through (approx. 3-5 minutes). Remove the meat and stick with the onions, reduced the heat to a simmer and replace in the wok with everything apart from the cashews and peas 5 minutes before the end stick in your peas, beef and cashews and heat through thoroughly.

Either way you will end up with an extremely tasty, relatively quick and easy Chinese treat. Better than a takeaway any day.


P.S. if you have them, add beansprouts – they’re-da-bomb.

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