If you’re one that struggles to work vegetables into your diet (isn’t that pretty much all of us?) you’re going to love this Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s full of vegetables and absolutely addictive. And the best part? It uses vegetables that are super inexpensive so you can know that you’re doing your body and your wallet good. Winning!
Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry
I happened have a half pound of beef in my freezer leftover from my Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos, so I used that as the meat component for the stir fry. Honestly, I think pork or even ground turkey would work just as well or better, and will most likely be less expensive than beef. You can use a whole pound of meat if you like extra protein, but I found that the half pound I had gave me just the right ratio of meat to cabbage.
I also added some shredded carrot and sliced green onion for color. There are so many other fun things you can put in your beef and cabbage stir fry, though, like sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced red bell pepper, water chestnuts, or even some snow peas. But hey, I like to keep it simple and even in this very basic form I would have to say that, yes, this stir fry is addictive!
Make it even FASTER!
You can totally take a short cut here and buy a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix to replace the 1/2 head of green cabbage and carrots listed below. Sometimes that’s a more economical purchase and saves you from having a half head of cabbage left over. :)
Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry
STIR FRY SAUCE
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.18)
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.33)
- 1 Tbsp sriracha* ( $0.05)
- 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar ( $0.02)
- 1/2 head green cabbage ($1.78)
- 2 carrots ($0.22)
- 3 green onions ($0.17)
- 1/2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil ($0.02)
- 1/2 lb. lean ground beef ($3.90)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger ( $0.13)
- Pinch of salt and pepper ($0.05)
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds ($0.08)
- 1 Tbsp sriracha ($0.05)
- Prepare the stir fry sauce first. In a small bowl stir together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sriracha, and brown sugar. Set the sauce aside.
- Shred the vegetables so they are ready to go when you need them. Cut one small cabbage in half, remove the core, and then finely shred the leaves of one half the cabbage (4-6 cups once shredded, save the other half for another recipe). Peel two carrots, then use a cheese grater to shred them (1 cup shredded). Slice three green onions. Mince two cloves of garlic. Peel a knob of ginger using either a vegetable peeler or by scraping with the side of a spoon, then grate it using a small-holed cheese grater.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the cooking oil, ground beef, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the beef until browned (about five minutes).
- Add the cabbage and carrots to the skillet and continue to stir and cook until the cabbage is slightly wilted (or fully wilted, if you prefer). Stir in the prepared sauce and the green onions. Top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve.
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.
I have to eat this one with chopsticks just to slow myself down. 😅
How to Make Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos
Prepare the easy stir fry sauce first, so it’s ready to go when you need it. In a small bowl stir together 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (it has a dark amber color and VERY nutty flavor, not always labeled as “toasted”), 1 Tbsp sriracha, and 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar. This makes a medium-spicy stir fry, so if you’re sensitive to heat, start with 1 tsp sriracha.
Next, shred the vegetables. Cut one small cabbage in half, remove the core, then slice half of it into fine shreds (save the other half of the cabbage for another recipe). You’ll need about 4-6 cups of shredded cabbage. Peel and shred two carrots (about one cup). I used a large-holed cheese grater to shred the carrots. Slice three green onions. You’ll also want to mince two cloves of garlic and grate about 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger (I use a small-holed cheese grater for this). More info on working with ginger can be found here.
Heat a LARGE skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil (something like canola, corn, vegetable, safflower, peanut, etc.), 1/2 lb. ground beef, the minced garlic, grated ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the beef until fully browned.
Add the shredded cabbage and carrots to the skillet and continue to cook and stir until the cabbage has wilted slightly. I like my cabbage to still have a little crunch, so I only cooked it until it was partially wilted. If you like the cabbage fully cooked and soft, just cook it a bit longer.
Pour on the prepared stir fry sauce…
… and toss in the sliced green onions. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
Garnish the Beef and Cabbage stir fry with a little drizzle of sriracha and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. I particularly liked the sesame seeds for the texture they added to the dish!
And that’s it! This Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is probably one of the easiest dishes I’ve ever made. :)