Yields 4 servings/Time 45 minutes

It’s not unlikely you’ve got some packages of stew meat still in your freezer, but who’s in the mood to make a hearty soup in this heat? This stir fry recipe uses beef stew meat, some pantry staples, lime, jalapeno, and ginger, and is done in 45 minutes. If you’ve got other vegetables in the fridge you’d like to use up, feel free to add them in when frying the onions. 

You will need:

1 pound beef chuck stew
1 medium-size yellow onion, ½ thinly sliced, ½ left whole
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 inch piece of ginger, grated, or 1 teaspoon dried ginger
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar, or any light vinegar
½ bunch chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 to 5 bay leaves
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3 tablespoons salt 


  • Cut beef stew into smaller chunks, about ½ inch per cube. Place stew in a large pot and cover with water until submerged. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, juice of one lime, the unsliced half of onion, and salt. Cover pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer, and cook about 30 minutes, until beef is tender.
  • Remove beef from cooking liquid and place uncovered in the fridge until it’s cold, about 30 minutes. (The more spread out the beef is, the quicker it will cool.)
  • Once the beef is cooled, toss in cornstarch, and shake excess off. Set it aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat cooking oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Cook sliced onion for 2 to 3 minutes until it starts to brown. Next, cook jalapenos for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Then, add the coated beef stew, frying it in the oil about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until brown and crispy.
  •  Add garlic and ginger, cook about 90 seconds, then add rice wine vinegar and juice of the second lime for another 2 minutes. Lower heat, then stir in soy sauce. The starch from the beef will combine with the liquid to thicken the sauce. If it gets too gluey, add a tablespoon or two of water.
  • Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice with chopped cilantro.