Quick beef, broccoli and basil stir-fry

A delicious meal that’s ready in just 15 minutes!

Any time I can pull a meal together in under a half an hour, I feel like a champion. Sure, there are days – especially on the weekend – when I enjoy spending hours preparing a multi-course meal. But life is hectic sometimes, so I love to have an arsenal of recipes that taste great and come together very quickly. I’ve added this one to our regular rotation because it’s fast, flavourful, nutritious and makes great leftovers too.


  • 1 pound (454 g) flank steak or sirloin steak, sliced thinly against the grain
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) canola or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) cornstarch
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) small broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fish sauce (optional but delicious)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2.5 to 5 mL) sambal oelek or sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (250 mL) packed fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked rice, for serving


  • In a large bowl, toss the sliced beef with 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of the oil. Sprinkle the cornstarch over top and toss again.
  • Heat a wok or a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 5 teaspoons (25 mL) of the oil to the pan, then add the coated beef. Sear it in the hot oil, stirring and flipping as needed, until the beef is mostly browned but still rare in the middle (2 – 3 minutes).
  • Transfer the seared beef to a clean bowl.
  • Add remaining oil to the wok or pan. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the broccoli and red pepper. Stir to combine with onions and garlic, then sprinkle water over top. Cover the pan and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is just tender when stems are pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, make the sauce by combining the tamari, fish sauce, sugar, sambal oelek and black pepper.
  • Return the beef to the pan and drizzle the sauce over top. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the basil to the pan and stir just until it is beginning to wilt (about 1 minute).
  • Serve the beef and broccoli over hot cooked rice.

Serves 4.



Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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