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Ginger Scallion Beef

Ginger Scallion Beef is a delicious stir fry beef dish coated in a thick layer of savory and sweet sauce with umami flavors, tossed alongside ginger and scallions. Sirloin beef is sliced thinly across the grain so that it comes out tender and juicy after a quick high-heat cooking process.

This is simple and easy, but bold and yummy recipe with Cantonese origins, and can be found in lots of authentic Chinese restaurants all over the world.

A large plate of stir fry beef with ginger and scallions

Stir Fry Beef with Ginger and Spring Onions

Growing up, Ginger Scallion Beef Stir Fry is one of my and my family’s favorite dishes.

Dinner is typically served family style with lots of dishes in the middle of the dinner table to share, and all of my – my mom, dad, sister and I, love love love Ginger Scallion Beef.

When I moved to the U.S. and no longer have frequent access to my beloved ginger spring onion beef dish, I knew I had to make it myself if I want to enjoy it often. After many trial and errors over the years, this is the product of my efforts! And if I may say so – it is a GOOD product!

Ginger scallion beef is a popular Chinese dish typically enjoyed with fluffy steamed rice. It is cooked under 3 minutes once the wok is hot. Yes, it’s a quick and fast, but it is also delicious and has incredible flavors and textures.

Ginger scallion beef is cooked on high heat to created that yummy wok hay flavor (wok hei), but if you do not have a powerful burner on your stovetop, that is okay! Just crank up the heat as high as you can and use a skillet that can withstand high heat.

Besides having big and bold flavors, beef is also tender and juicy. This is achieved via a simple baking soda method where we let the beef sit in a mixture of water and baking soda liquid for 30 minutes prior to cooking.

This will be the longest part of the process, but the good news is, it is completely passive.

Ginger scallion beef is easy to make, taking just 10 minutes from start to finish once beef is marinated in the baking soda liquid.

A plate of ginger scallion beef with white rice on the side


Here are key ingredients you will need to make ginger scallion beef:

  • sirloin beef – slice them thinly against the grains so it’s easy to soften them up during the long marinating process. Sirloin tips or flank steaks are also good to use.
  • scallions – also known as green onions, they are sliced into 2-inch long slices and tossed into the sauce.
  • ginger root – avoid substituting with ginger powder for best flavor. Ginger brings a distinct flavor to this dish.
  • baking soda – this will tenderize the meat.
  • rice wine – the classic Chinese Shao Xing rice wine brings about the most authentic flavor to this dish. You can also substitute with dry sherry or cooking sherry.
  • sesame oil – used for both flavoring and cooking. Since sesame oil has a distinct nutty flavor, a little goes a long way. Use pure sesame oil, not toasted sesame oil, for this recipe.
  • soy sauce – avoid using a low-sodium variation, it lacks the depth of flavor.
  • oyster (flavored) sauce – offers an intense and complex umami, savory flavor. This is key in making ginger scallion beef taste delicious! Even if you don’t like oysters, oyster sauce doesn’t tastes anything like oysters. It’s a widely used ingredient in Chinese cooking and is a combination of sweet and savory with a lot of umami qualities.
  • corn starch – this is used as a thickening agent for the sauce.
  • sugar and salt – this will help balance out the flavors in the dish.
a bowl of sliced ginger and scallions

How to make Beef with Ginger and Scallions

This dish is a quick stir fry once you start cooking (> 10 minutes), but it does requires beef to sit in baking soda and water to be tenderized for at least 30 min. So plan accordingly!

Tenderize Beef

First, slice beef cross grain to break up the fiber so that each piece of beef is more tender and easier to bite into.

Next, gather your thinly sliced raw beef and place beef in a mixture of these two ingredients below into a large zip lock bag:

  • water,
  • baking soda – this will tenderize the meat; Baking soda has a medicinal smell/taste when used in large portion, therefore we are only adding that tiny amount that will make the beef tender.

This, my friend, is the magic trick to make the strips of beef come out silky smooth and tender, just like the ones served at Chinese restaurants. Avoid skipping this step if you want restaurant style stir fry ginger scallion beef!

A ziplock bag of strips of beef

Make sauce

While the beef sits in the baking soda and water mixture, we can make the sauce.

In a small mixing bowl, bring together all the sauce ingredients and mix well. Ingredients include oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, salt, white pepper, corn starch and water.

Cook ginger scallion beef

Next, let’s actually get the cooking part! You’re going to need a large wok for best results. If you do not have a wok, use a large non-stick skillet that can withstand high heat.

Typically, a gas stove will produce higher heat than an electric stove, but I have also done many a successful and delicious stir fry on an electric stove.

Heat up on the stovetop set on medium high to high heat. Then add vegetable oil.

When wok is heated, add ginger slices into the wok, and stir fry for a few seconds until ginger is fragrant. Avoid burning it.

Next, beef into wok. Sear beef, then stir fry beef until it is pretty much cooked. Beef cooks pretty quickly so this should take about 20-30 seconds.

Pour sauce into wok, then give it a quick stir. At this point, it’s is totally okay that some of the beef slices have pink in the center. In fact, that is a good thing! Because once the pink is gone, you should be removing the beef from the wok.

Add scallions, then stir some more. It’s called stir fry for a reason…i.e. lots of stirring!

Stir frying beef in wok, then adding sauce, then adding scallions

Ginger and scallions have incredible flavors and scents, and together they compliment each other so very well.

Just like macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, pita bread and hummus, Romeo and Juliet, I am convinced they should be inseparable.

Scallion ginger beef stir fry is done with very high heat in a very short amount of time. The key is to keep stirring and cooking it quickly. We want to avoid overcooking beef so that it will be tender and juicy.

When it is done, remove ginger scallion beef promptly from heat and serve over a bed of warm fluffy rice.

This is truly one of the those meals that is super easy yet absolutely yummy. I craved for it when I was 12, and I still crave for it today.

Lifting up a slice of beef from a plate of stir fry beef

Beautiful to the eyes too. Look at the sauce clinging, just so slightly, to the meat.

Excuse me now as I am going to stuff myself with some of this yummy food!

Tips and Tricks

Stir frying ginger scallion beef can be a bit of an art. Here are some tips and tricks for making this delicious recipe:

  • Choose beef cuts: use tender cuts of beef for this recipe such as sirloin, tri-tip, ribeye or top loin, since we are cooking this quickly. Be sure to cut it against the grain in uniform shape pieces. Slicing the meat thinly against the grain will result in an even more tender bite.
  • Tenderize beef: the baking soda and water combo helps to tenderize beef and is important to produce tender, silky beef just like the ones from Chinese restaurants.
  • Prep everything in advance: the stir fry process is quick, so keep ingredients needed at arm’s length once you start cooking. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to cook everything in the wok/skillet.
  • Wok must be hot: Ensure wok is heated properly before adding beef.
  • Do not overcook beef: beef slices cook quickly so stir frying should take only a few minutes. Overcooking will make beef tough.
  • Avoid overcrowding: there should be plenty of room to move the items around when stir frying. If wok or skillet is small, cook in batches if needed. Beef and spring onions must be constantly stirred and moved around so that it is cooked evenly.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have a wok. Can I still make stir fry?

Yes, you can use a large frying pan or skillet that can withstand high heat instead. The key is to keep the ingredients moving regularly to ensure they’re evenly cooked, and to cook it on higher heat and quickly.

How do I quickly tenderize beef for stir fry?

Place sliced raw beef in a zip lock bag and add a mixture of water and baking soda to beef. Massage bag so that all the slices of beef are coated in mixture, Let it sit for 30 minutes. Do this before stir frying beed.

What is the best oil to use in a stir fry?

Oils with a high smoke point like canola, vegetable, sunflower, or peanut oil are the best for stir frying. These oils can handle the high heat of stir frying without smoking or breaking down.

What should I serve with my Ginger Scallion Beef Stir Fry?

Stir fry typically pairs well with side dishes such as jasmine rice, brown rice, quinoa, or noodles. Additionally, a vegetable side could complement the rich flavors of the stir fry.

A bowl of stir fry beef tossed with spring onions and sliced ginger

Storage and Reheating

Storage: Leftover ginger scallion beef can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating: add a few drops of water to the dish before reheating microwave.

More stir fry?

Want to learn more about ALL the tips and tricks to making a GREAT stir fry? Check out my post 8 Tips to a Great Stir Fry! Learn everything you need to know about making stir fry right at your home!

Also check out these other stir fry favorites on Joyous Apron!

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

More Asian Recipes

Digging into a plate of stir fry beef with ginger slices and green onions

Stir Fry Beef with Ginger and Scallions

A delicious and easy beef stir fry! Tender strips of beef stir fried with ginger and scallions, wrapped in thick, sweet and savory soy-based sauce
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 232kcal
Author: MinShien


  • 1 lbs sirloin beef thinly sliced cross grain
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 stalks scallions 2-inch slices
  • ginger root 1-2 inches, peeled and thinly sliced


  • 2 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water


  • Cut sirloin beef cross grain into thin slices. Transfer beef into a zip lock bag
  • Mix water and baking soda together in a small bowl, then pour into zip lock bag. Let beef sit in the mixture for 30 minutes.
  • Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, salt, white pepper, corn starch into a bowl. Set aside.
  • Cut scallions into 2-inch sections. Remove skin from 2-inch ginger root, and thinly slice ginger root.
  • Add vegetable oil to wok. Heat wok on high heat.
  • When wok heats up (1-2 minutes), add ginger into wok and stir for 5-10 seconds until fragrant. Avoid burning.
  • Add beef to wok, cook for 30 seconds. Keep stirring well to ensure beef is evenly cook. Add sauce to beef, and stir for another 30-60 seconds. At this point, some of the beef should still have a slight pink center.
  • Add scallions into wok just before beef is completely cook – beef should still be slightly pink-ish or red-ish. Keep stirring and cook for another 30-60 seconds, or until beef is cooked. Beef cooks quickly! Avoid overcooking beef.
  • Once beef is cooked (no pink center), remove ginger scallion beef from wok promptly. Dish onto plate. Serve and enjoy!


  • This recipe is written based on using a non stick wok. If using non non-stick wok or pan, add more vegetable oil to prevent sticking. If using a non-stick frying pan, additional cook time may be needed as a pan might not heat up as much as a wok does. 
  • Other good cuts of beef to us: tri-tip, top loin, rib-eye
  • Beef will cook quickly so make sure to give it a good stir so that it is evenly cooked on all sides, then remove promptly. Avoid overcooking beef.


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 700mg | Potassium: 417mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    LOL; I like sharing food , too. When we order individual meals, we share each others’ to taste …. not only family, friends too ! And yes, I like your stir fry and will definitely make it for week dinner. Thank you so much !

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Agree – sharing food is the best! It’s the best way to try everything! 🙂 I hope you enjoy the beef stir fry – it is one of my all-time favorites.