Five Spice Beef and Pepper Stir Fry

This is a recipe from Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals 2.  I’ve made this before and it’s a really delicious meal.  As usual, it took me longer than thirty minutes, but not actually too much longer than that.

What I like about this meal is how there’s not actually a lot of ingredients, but it tastes like there are.  Unlike a lot of RR’s recipes, there’s not a thousand things to do while you’re cooking.  You don’t have to chop something while something bubbles, etc.  I chopped everything before I started cooking so I could concentrate on just cooking.  Of course, then the neighbor whose kid hit my sister’s car with his power wheels Escalade showed up to discuss the accident (long story), but other than that it was just me, a little loud music on the iPod, and some faux-Chinese food.

This does taste like something you might get from a Chinese takeout place, minus the MSG.  It’s served over white rice and it’s really delicious.  I think my dark soy sauce (Tamari) might have aged out because it needed a little more salt.  But other than that, it tasted perfect, almost a little cinnamon-y (which means it cames out right).

Five Spice Beef & Pepper Stir Fry

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp wok oil or any clear oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and cored, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used 3 because mine were pathetically small)
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef (sirloin), cut into bite sized pieces (I used beef round because that’s what the store was selling as pre-cut for stir fry.  Yes, I know, I totally caved on the pre-cut stuff for this, but I totally did not have the energy to deal with cutting raw last night.  The toddler hadn’t napped for two days)
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp Tamari (dark soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • ground pepper to taste

Boil water and prepare rice according to package directions (you can also use jasmine rice for this recipe, but I had regular white rice so that’s what I used).

Warm beef broth over low heat in a small pot.

Heat a wok shaped skillet or pan over high heat and add the oil.  Once the oil is hot, add the beef and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Remove beef from pan (or move to the side if your pan is big enough.  Mine wasn’t, so I removed it from the pan).


Add peppers and onions to pan and stir fry for 2 minutes.

Add the meat back in and stir.  Add sherry and stir fry for an additional minute or until the liquid is absorbed, the add the soy sauce (I used more than 2 tbsp, but it still wasn’t salty enough for me.  Dark soy sauce has a different flavor from regular soy sauce, so you may need to adjust the soy sauce ratio at the end when you taste everything).

In a separate bowl, dissolve cornstarch into a ladleful of beef broth.  Once cornstarch is dissolved, add the remainder of the warmed beef broth to the stir fry pan, then add the cornstarch and beef broth.  Your cornstarch/beef broth mixture will thicken up the sauce considerably.  Add the chinese five spice powder and the black pepper.  Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat.

Serve stir fry over the white rice.  RR suggests garnishing with scallions and smoked almonds.  I’ve never done the almonds garnish – doesn’t appeal to me – but the scallions garnish looks pretty (I didn’t do it this time).


About Kristin

I never thought I would love to cook. I did everything I could to avoid learning to cook. But somewhere along the line, cooking became less of a chore and more of a way to relax and be creative. Not everything I make is a smashing success, but I've had more successes than failures. After months of trading recipes with my friends through Facebook and email, I've decided to collect all my favorites here and also document my attempts at new adventures in cooking, too.
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