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Beef, Tomato and Pepper Stir Fry

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This easy Beef, Tomato and Peppers Stir-fry dish took a shorter time to cook than to type up the recipe on this blog post. Yes, that’s how fast this beef and vegetables entrée was to whip up.

I made a last minute decision to stir fry this the other night for dinner. We were having leftovers of hefty, warm arroz caldo ( a Filipino rice porridge with boiled chicken), but there was a large slab of beef flank steak staring at me from the refrigerator, a holdover from another day’s meal. Quickly, my thoughts went back to a good stir fry dish I made a while ago from Pat’s “The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook”. Off I went to the bookshelves to retrieve this favorite cookbook. I swiftly scanned the ingredient list and I knew I had everything here and now in my kitchen to whip this up. Once the stir fry started in the skillet, I couldn’t hold back how scrumptious the aroma of the sizzling beef strips were with the blend of rice wine and soy sauce incorporated in it. Then when I added the onions, celery and bell pepper strips, the flavors got so interesting, it elicited demanding questions of “when do we eat?” I was right. This was a good dish to do at the last minute. 

Beef, Tomato and Peppers Stir-fry

If you only have a few minutes to make dinner, this is the dish your family will enjoy. I made this quick Beef, Tomato and Pepper Stir-fry as a last minute decision and I was glad I did. This was a recipe I picked up from “The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook” by Pat Tanumihardja. The ingredients were easy to gather from the basic staples I already had in my refrigerator. The whole process of slicing and stir frying took  less than 30 minutes, but the result was a mouth-watering beef and vegetables combination of salty, zesty flavors. What I made here serves 2  if served with rice.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Beef Tomato Peppers Stir Fry
Servings: 2 people
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • 1 pound beef flank steak
  • 1 Tablespoon haoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, divided in half for stir fry
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 whole medium yellow or white onion sliced
  • 1 whole medium red bell pepper seeded, sliced in strips
  • 2 stalks celery trimmed, sliced
  • 2 whole medium ripe tomatoes each cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch for slurry
  • 3 Tablespoons water for dissolving the cornstarch
  • 2 stalks scallion greens, chopped, for garnish
  • for serving: steamed rice


  • Slice the beef along the grain, in long 2-inch strips. (The author suggested to handle the beef partially frozen for easier cutting. If beef is fresh, place in the freezer for about 30 minutes).
  • In a medium bowl, marinate the beef with the rice wine, oyster sauce, sugar and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Cover the bowl and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes, or up to 12 hours.
  • Preheat a large wok or skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Add the 1 tablespoon of the oil. In 1 to 2 minutes, the oil will heat up. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant, for about 30 seconds. After flavoring the oil, remove the garlic. Add the onions and stir for 1 minute. Then add the bell pepper strips and celery. Stir fry these till crisp for about 2 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Using the same wok, swirl in the remaining oil and continue to heat over high heat. Divide the marinated meat into 4 batches. Stir-fry one batch for about 2 minutes, then set aside on a plate. Repeat the same process of stir frying in batches with the rest of the beef.
  • Return the cooked vegetables to the wok, continuing with the high heat. Add the cooked meat. Mix everything quickly for about 1 minute. You will notice little bubbles form in the liquid part of the mixture. Separately mix the slurry of cornstarch and water in a small bowl to blend. Add the cornstarch slurry to the wok, making sure to coat the meat and vegetables well. Add the tomatoes and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Continue tossing together for 1 minute till all ingredients are incorporated with the slurry and are shiny. Adjust the seasonings according to taste preferred. Garnish with scallions. Serve hot with boiled jasmine white rice.
  • RECIPE NOTES: The original recipe suggested the use of 2 teaspoons Chinese salted black beans. You can find these canned, from the Asian markets. The beans add a special salty flavor to the dish. Feel free to use if desired.
  • Cook's Comments: The oyster sauce used in this recipe is a common ingredient for Chinese and Asian dishes. This bottled sauce is available from Asian markets and contains soy sauce, oyster extracts, cornstarch, sugar and salt. It gives a thick, rich salty and sweet flavor base to stir fry dishes.
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  1. My husband always joke with me that Japanese people love corn starch/potato starch because we make it more thick sauce than typical Chinese sauce (which is kind of true). Now I see your stir fried being more creamy (how do you call this texture besides thick?) over the rice, I know it’s totally my style. 😀 Looks delicious!!!

    1. Hi Nami! So nice of you to take the time to come and comment on this beef stir fry from Pat’s
      “The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook”. Yes, you are right, the sauce was nice and thick from the cornstarch slurry and isn’t that how we love it? Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    1. Thanks, Karen! It’s always a treat when readers visit the blog and leave the nicest comments like you did. This stir-fry dish was so easy, so quick to cook and very delish — hope you get to try it!

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