Tender Beef in Minutes


When time is short but cravings for a hearty beef dish are high, turn to our quick and easy recipe for tender beef in minutes. With just a handful of ingredients and simple instructions, you can enjoy a flavorful and satisfying meal in no time. In this article, we’ll show you how to transform thinly sliced beef into a mouthwatering dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights or anytime you need a delicious meal in a hurry.


  • Beef: 500g/1 pound, thinly sliced
  • Tenderizing Agent: 1 tsp baking soda
  • Vegetables: 1 onion (sliced), 1/2 red bell pepper (sliced), 1/2 green bell pepper (sliced)
  • Butter: 1 tbsp
  • For the Sauce: 1 big clove garlic (minced) or 2 small cloves, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp chili sauce


  1. Tenderize the Beef:
    • Place thinly sliced beef in a bowl and sprinkle 1 tsp of baking soda evenly over it.
    • Gently massage the baking soda into the beef, ensuring each piece is coated.
    • Let it sit for about 5 minutes to tenderize the meat.
  2. Prepare the Sauce:
    • In a separate bowl, combine minced garlic, salt, sugar, black pepper, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and chili sauce.
    • Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated to create a flavorful sauce.
  3. Rinse the Beef:
    • After 5 minutes, rinse the beef thoroughly under cold water to remove the baking soda.
    • Pat the beef dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  4. Cook the Vegetables:
    • Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    • Add sliced onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper to the skillet.
    • Sauté for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly softened but still crisp.
    • Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
  5. Cook the Beef:
    • In the same skillet, increase the heat to high.
    • Add the beef slices, spreading them out in a single layer.
    • Let them sear without moving for about 1 minute, then stir-fry quickly until just cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Combine and Serve:
    • Return the cooked vegetables to the skillet with the beef.
    • Pour the prepared sauce over the beef and vegetables.
    • Stir well to combine and cook for an additional minute until everything is heated through and coated in the sauce.

Serving and Storage Tips:


  1. Serve the tender beef immediately after cooking for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs such as parsley or cilantro for a pop of color and freshness.
  3. Pair the beef with steamed rice, noodles, or a side of crusty bread to complete the meal.
  4. For added freshness, squeeze a wedge of lemon or lime over the beef just before serving to brighten the flavors.


  1. If you have leftovers, allow the beef to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container.
  2. Store the leftover beef in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  3. When reheating, gently warm the beef in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave until heated through.
  4. Avoid freezing the cooked beef as it may affect the texture and flavor of the dish. It’s best enjoyed fresh.
Variations of Recipe:

1. Teriyaki Beef Stir-Fry:

  • Instead of the prepared sauce, use a homemade or store-bought teriyaki sauce for a sweet and savory twist.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts to the stir-fry for extra texture and flavor.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions before serving for an Asian-inspired touch.

2. Spicy Beef with Peppers:

  • Increase the amount of chili sauce in the sauce mixture to add an extra kick of heat to the dish.
  • Swap the bell peppers for spicier varieties such as poblano or jalapeño peppers for a fiery flavor.
  • Serve the spicy beef over a bed of steamed rice or noodles to help balance the heat.

3. Garlic Butter Beef Skillet:

  • Replace the chili sauce in the sauce mixture with minced garlic for a rich and aromatic flavor profile.
  • Sauté thinly sliced garlic in the skillet with the beef for an extra punch of garlic flavor.
  • Finish the dish by stirring in a tablespoon of butter just before serving for a luscious and indulgent touch.

4. Honey Soy Beef with Broccoli:

  • Add a tablespoon of honey to the sauce mixture for a touch of sweetness that complements the savory flavors.
  • Steam or blanch broccoli florets separately, then toss them with the cooked beef and sauce mixture before serving.
  • Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the dish for a nutty crunch and added visual appeal.

5. Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Hoisin Sauce:

  • Substitute hoisin sauce for the chili sauce in the sauce mixture for a rich and slightly sweet flavor.
  • Use a variety of colorful vegetables such as carrots, snap peas, and baby corn for a vibrant and nutritious stir-fry.
  • Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro before serving for an authentic touch.


1. Can I use a different cut of beef for this recipe?

  • Yes, you can use other cuts such as flank steak or sirloin steak. Just ensure to slice them thinly for quick cooking.

2. What does the baking soda do to the beef?

  • Baking soda helps tenderize the beef by breaking down tough muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender texture.

3. Can I marinate the beef in the sauce mixture instead of cooking it separately?

  • While marinating the beef in the sauce mixture can infuse it with flavor, it may also result in a softer texture due to the acidic ingredients. For best results, it’s recommended to cook the beef separately and then combine it with the sauce.

4. Can I substitute other vegetables for the ones listed in the recipe?

  • Absolutely! Feel free to use any vegetables you have on hand or prefer. Bell peppers, onions, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas are all great options.

5. How do I adjust the spiciness of the dish?

  • You can control the level of spiciness by adjusting the amount of chili sauce or red pepper flakes in the sauce mixture. Start with a small amount and add more according to your preference.

6. Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

  • Yes, simply use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari in place of regular soy sauce to make the dish gluten-free.

7. Can I prepare the sauce ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

8. How do I know when the beef is cooked through?

  • The beef should be cooked through when it is no longer pink and has reached your desired level of doneness. Avoid overcooking to prevent the beef from becoming tough.

9. Can I make this recipe spicy for kids?

  • If you’re serving the dish to kids or anyone who prefers a milder flavor, simply reduce or omit the spicy ingredients such as chili sauce or red pepper flakes.

10. Can I freeze leftovers?

  • While it’s best to enjoy the dish fresh, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.


With our simple recipe for tender beef in minutes, you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or feeding a hungry family, this flavorful dish is sure to become a favorite go-to recipe for busy days.

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