Cooking On A Budget: Sweet-And-Sour Beef with Vegetables

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sweet-And-Sour Beef with Vegetables

Yum


I believe I am in Asian mode lately. The Roasted Asian Chicken and Vegetables, a re-vamp of my Chinese Egg Rolls and the Firecracker Fried Shrimp are some of the most recent for me. There are recipes for sweet and sour chicken, but I have beef, so beef it is.

You can short cut with a store bought product for the sweet and sour sauce, or make my sweet and sour sauce following the link and scrolling down to the recipe. The store brand I picked up is House of Tsang, General Tsao Sweet and Sour. I found it to have a pleasant flavor which helped to pull this dish all together.
The beef was tender, juicy and flavorful and the sno peas with their crisp snap were as fresh sno peas should be, light and slightly sweet.
  • 1 lb. sirloin beef tips
  • 1 cup sliced porcini mushrooms
  • 1 small bunch bok choy - sliced
  • 1/4 lb. sno peas
  • 1 large bell pepper chopped (or a combination of colors)
  • 1/3 cup prepared sweet and sour sauce
  • + 2 tbsp. extra sweet and sour sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • oil (regular olive oil or canola is fine)
  • salt and black pepper to taste 


  1. Slice the beef against the grain into strips. Salt and pepper the beef and mix. Pour 1/3 cup sweet and sour sauce over the beef and mix well. Let this "marinate" for a bit in the refrigerator while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. In a wok with 2 tbsp. of oil stir fry the beef quickly for about 30 seconds or so and remove to a waiting bowl or plate. Do in batches as necessary.
  3. Next, add the vegetables to the wok along with cracked black pepper and salt and stir-fry the vegetables to a crisp-tender state.
  4. Make the slurry with the cornstarch and water.
  5. Add in the broth and when the liquid boils, whisk in the cornstarch mixture to thicken. Then taste and add up to two tablespoons more of the sweet and sour sauce.
  6. Add the beef back to the pan and cook for another minute or so.
  7. Taste. Adjust for any salt and pepper and add a tablespoon of the sweet and sour sauce if you feel you need to ramp up the flavor.
  8. Serve over white rice to make a complete meal.

The total cost of ingredients to pull this dish together came to $13.52. Feeds six people for $2.25 per person.  With a dinner like this and a recipe like this it's easy to change up the vegetables to suit your own taste and your own budget. You can change out the beef for chicken if that is what you have available.


Another great thing about this is, if you are a vegetarian you can omit the protein and just do vegetables and use vegetable stock to replace the chicken stock. Stir-fry is a great way to get your vegetables with all their nutrients still in tact and this recipe could be on your "diet" menu for the week. Something healthy, very little fat and making it at home, you control the sodium.

In my book this is a winner, winner, stir-fry dinner.
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