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Paleo Beef Stir Fry is a nutritious and easy one-pan stir-fry that features an easy homemade Teriyaki Sauce. I share a cut of steak that’s economical for families on a budget. Plus, you can add lots of extra veggies to save more money and because they’re healthy!
Serve on top of cauliflower rice for a perfect thrifty and delicious meal. This recipe is Paleo, Keto, AIP, Whole30, Gluten-free and GAPS-friendly.
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Which steak to use for stir fry
For any beef stir fry, there are several good steak options: top sirloin, filet or skirt steak are three favorites.
I’m going to tell you a quick bit about … skirt steak! It’s an economical way to buy steak, and it’s delicious.
Skirt steaks are well-suited to Mexican fajita-type preparations and stir fries: flash-in-the-pan, high heat cooking.
What do skirt steaks look like — and how to cut them
Skirt steak comes wrapped up like a spool of ribbon, or a cinnamon roll. (See photos and the cutting process below in the recipe.)
Of the cut, Wikipedia says, “Both the inside and outside skirt steak are the trimmed, boneless portion of the diaphragm muscle attached to the 6th through 12th ribs on the underside of the short plate.”
To prepare skirt steak, for optimum tenderness, you simply cut the roll in half and then flop one half to its flat side on a cutting board.
Then, by slicing thinly, so you’re creating rainbow shapes, the meat is cut against its grain, rendering it more tender — a very smart butchering to enjoy more of the animal’s meat in the best possible way.
The result is an enjoyable cut known for its flavor. Some pieces tend to be very tender and others are chewier. We love it.
Which sauce to use in Paleo Beef Stir Fry with Easy Teriyaki Sauce
The sauce for this stir fry can be made the night you make the recipe (really fast).
Or, if you do an Ancestral diet, you can ferment it overnight for more flavor and healthfulness (more on this below).
Here’s the recipe: Paleo Cultured Teriyaki Sauce.
Optional: how to make Cultured Teriyaki Sauce
Cultured Teriyaki Sauce is a true ancestral food. It ferments overnight to become healthier and more flavorful.
But it only takes sitting out on the counter overnight (one night!) to culture.
You just need to plan one day in advance to make this recipe. The sauce recipe itself is made in the blender and takes about 10 minutes total.
Once you have the sauce made, Paleo Beef Stir Fry with vegetables is super fast to make!
Making the sauce is fun, well worth it, and you’ll have some leftover for another dinner! (Find the Cultured Teriyaki Sauce recipe HERE.)
Which vegetables to use in Paleo Beef Stir Fry
The vegetables you choose will be based on your dietary needs or your personal preferences. For example, I photographed this dish with red bell peppers, which are great for Paleo, Keto and Whole30. But omit them for AIP and VAD.
According to diet, I’ve given recommendations within the recipe card below. Also, see below. Slice or chop small:
For Paleo and Whole30 — bok choy or other cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow onion, red bell pepper, peeled and cored cucumber, snow peas or asparagus
Keto and Low Carb — bok choy or other cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, peeled and cored cucumber or asparagus
For AIP — bok choy or other cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow onion, peeled and cored cucumber or asparagus
VAD — mushrooms (except shiitake), celery, peeled and cored cucumber, romaine lettuce, peeled zucchini or asparagus
How to cook Paleo Beef Stir Fry with Easy Teriyaki Sauce
How do you cook steak in a stir fry?
Cook over high heat, tossing the meat to cook it evenly and quickly. Do not overcook, about 5 to 8 minutes maximum, until most of the pink is gone. (It cooks a bit more once the sauce is added.)
That’s why skirt steak is so well suited to a stir fry. Stir fries are always cooked quickly over high heat.
PRO TIP: Cook stir fries in 2 to 3 batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. First cook the veggies, then cook the meat. Add the veggies back to the pan with the sauce, until it thickens a bit. Then serve. Don’t overcook.
If you try to cook all of the ingredients at once, the pan will be too small, and the vegetables and meat will STEAM. We don’t want that. We want the charred flavor of high heat cooking. 🙂
Here’s how to make the recipe:
- Make the sauce right before you make the stir fry — or the day before if you want it cultured (or for convenience).
- Slice the meat, according the recipe directions and photos. If you don’t use skirt steak, just cut your steak of choice (top sirloin is also a good choice) as thinly as you like, about 1/4″ thick or thinner.
- Slice veggies into strips or slices. Which veggies you use is based on your diet: bell peppers, onions, bok choy or cabbage, asparagus and mushrooms are all good choices.
- Heat large empty skillet over high heat. Add toasted sesame oil. Then add sliced veggies and sea salt.
- Sauté over high heat 8 to 10 minutes, until wilted and charred in spots, but still bright and crisp. Remove the veggies with a slotted spoon.
- Add sliced skirt steak to pan with sea salt. Cook over high heat, tossing the meat to cook it evenly and quickly. Do not overcook, about 5 to 8 minutes, until most of the pink is gone.
- Add the veggies back in. Add Paleo Teriyaki Sauce.
- Simmer very briefly and serve, topped with raw green onions’ greens. Serve with cauliflower rice or white rice.
Paleo Beef Stir Fry with Easy Teriyaki Sauce
- large skillet or wok
- 1-½ pounds skirt steak sliced (as seen in photos below) or other preferred steak, such as top sirloin
- 1 red bell pepper sliced (omit for AIP and VAD; see other veggie options below instead)
- Extra Veggies, sliced: bok choy or other cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow onion (not for Keto), asparagus; for VAD, use mushrooms, celery, peeled and cored cucumber, asparagus, peeled zucchini
- 1 bunch green onions , chopped (omit the whites for Keto; for VAD, omit)
- ½ cup Easy Teriyaki Sauce or more, see link for recipe
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil toasted (for AIP, use avocado or coconut oil)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt divided
- Slice steak into strips. If using skirt steak, cut it in half, so you have two half circles (see photo below).
- Flip each half flat side down and cut thin slices, creating a rainbow cross-section of meat. Slice the whole first half in the same way. Continue with the second half of the roll, until all the meat is thinly sliced. Set aside.
- Heat large empty skillet over high heat. Add toasted sesame oil. Then add veggies in two batches: sliced red bell pepper and onions or other optional choices: bok choy, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms etc.
- Add ½ teaspoon sea salt.
- Sauté over high heat 8 to 10 minutes, until wilted and charred in spots, but not burned or over-cooked. Reduce heat to medium-high if needed. Remove the veggies with a slotted spoon and add the second batch of veggies. Repeat motions from first batch.
- Remove the veggies with a slotted spoon. Add sliced skirt steak to pan with ½ teaspoon sea salt.
- Cook over high heat, tossing the meat to cook it evenly and quickly. Do not overcook, about 5 to 8 minutes, until most of the pink is gone.
- Add the veggies back in.
- Add Cultured Teriyaki Sauce, to taste, about ½ cup to start, then more if desired.
- Simmer briefly, no longer than 5 minutes, and serve, topped with raw green onions' greens.
- Serve with cauliflower rice, Basmati rice, salad etc.