Beef with Garlic Sauce is a classic dish that has found its way from the heart of Chinese cuisine into the menus of Chinese restaurants worldwide. This dish is celebrated for its bold flavors, combining tender slices of beef with a robust and aromatic garlic sauce. The sauce, a complex mixture of garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and various spices, perfectly complements the richness of the beef, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that is both invigorating and comforting. It is a testament to the culinary tradition of using simple ingredients to craft dishes with deep, layered flavors.

Beef With Garlic Sauce

The preparation of Beef with Garlic Sauce involves marinating the beef to ensure it is flavorful and tender. The marination process, often incorporating soy sauce, wine, and cornstarch, not only infuses the beef with flavor but also tenderizes it, ensuring that every bite is succulent and juicy. The stir-frying technique commonly used in its cooking allows the beef to retain its texture while absorbing the flavors of the garlic sauce, resulting in a dish that is both visually appealing and delicious.

This dish is versatile and can be customized to suit individual tastes, making it a favorite among those who appreciate the art of cooking and the joy of eating. Whether served over steaming rice or alongside vegetables, Beef with Garlic Sauce remains a delightful dish that promises a satisfying dining experience. Its popularity is a testament to the timeless appeal of traditional Chinese flavors and the skillful art of balancing taste and texture in cooking.

Prep time20 minutes (including marinating time)
Cook time10 minutes
CourseMain course
Servings4 persons

Kitchen Tools Needed

  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Wok or Large Skillet
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula
  • Garlic Press (optional)
  • Marinating Dish


Beef With Garlic Sauce

For the Beef Marinade

  • 1 lb beef flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the Garlic Sauce

  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced (optional)
  • 1 onion, sliced (optional)
  • Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish

How to make Beef With Garlic Sauce?

Marinate the Beef

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the thinly sliced beef with soy sauce, Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry), and cornstarch. Mix well to ensure the beef slices are evenly coated. Let the mixture marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Prepare the Garlic Sauce

  • In another bowl, whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry), sugar, and sesame oil. Set this garlic sauce mixture aside.

Cook the Beef

  • Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated beef slices in a single layer. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the beef is just cooked through. Remove the beef from the wok and set aside.

Sauté the Aromatics

  • In the same wok, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant, being careful not to burn them.

Combine with Vegetables (Optional)

  • If using bell pepper and onion, add them to the wok at this point. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the Beef and Garlic Sauce

  • Return the cooked beef to the wok. Pour the prepared garlic sauce over the beef and vegetables. Stir well to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly and coat the ingredients evenly.

Garnish and Serve

  • Once everything is well combined and heated through, turn off the heat. Garnish the dish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot over steamed rice or your choice of side.
Beef With Garlic Sauce

What To Serve With?

  • Steamed Jasmine Rice: The fragrance and subtle sweetness of jasmine rice make it a perfect canvas for the robust flavors of beef with garlic sauce.
  • Stir-Fried Vegetables: Choose a colorful mix of broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers, lightly stir-fried to retain their crunch, adding a refreshing contrast to the dish.
  • Fried Rice: Enhance your meal with a side of fried rice, incorporating eggs, peas, and carrots for additional texture and flavor.
  • Noodles: Whether it’s lo mein, udon, or rice noodles, they can be stir-fried with a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil to complement the main dish.
  • Chinese Greens: Bok choy or Chinese broccoli, steamed or blanched, and dressed with a hint of oyster sauce, offer a simple yet flavorful accompaniment.
  • Dumplings: Serve a side of steamed or pan-fried dumplings, such as potstickers, for a hearty addition to your meal.
  • Cucumber Salad: A light and refreshing cucumber salad, dressed with vinegar and a hint of sugar, can cleanse the palate and balance the richness of the beef.
  • Spring Rolls: Crispy vegetable spring rolls make for a delightful starter or side, adding a crunchy texture to the meal.
  • Soup: A clear or mildly flavored soup, such as egg drop or hot and sour soup, can start the meal on a soothing note, preparing the palate for the flavors to come.
  • Mango Pudding: For dessert, consider a light and fruity mango pudding to end the meal on a sweet and refreshing note, balancing the savory and garlicky flavors of the main course.

Making Ahead, Storage and Reheating

Making Ahead

Beef with Garlic Sauce can be prepped ahead to save time. Marinate the beef and prepare the garlic sauce a day in advance, storing them separately in the refrigerator. This not only allows the flavors to meld but also streamlines the cooking process. Vegetables, if using, can be sliced and kept chilled in airtight containers. This preparatory work ensures a quick and easy cooking process, ideal for a fast weeknight dinner.


Leftovers of Beef with Garlic Sauce should be stored with care to preserve their freshness and flavor. Place any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. It’s important to cool the dish to room temperature before storing to prevent condensation that can make the beef soggy. Avoid freezing, as the texture of the beef and vegetables may become less desirable upon thawing.


When reheating Beef with Garlic Sauce, the goal is to restore its original texture and flavors as much as possible. The best method is to use a stove over medium heat. Add the leftovers to a skillet or wok, and sprinkle a few tablespoons of water or broth to prevent drying out. Stir gently until the beef is heated through and the sauce simmers, about 5 minutes.

Microwaving is quicker but can unevenly heat the dish and alter the texture of the beef. To maintain the dish’s integrity, reheating on the stove is preferable, ensuring the beef remains tender and the sauce flavorful.

Beef With Garlic Sauce

Health Benefits

  • Protein-Rich: Beef is a great source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. It helps in maintaining muscle mass, which is crucial for overall health and metabolism.
  • Iron and Zinc: The beef in the dish provides valuable minerals such as iron, which is vital for forming red blood cells and preventing anemia. Zinc supports the immune system, wound healing, and DNA synthesis.
  • Garlic’s Medicinal Properties: Garlic, a key ingredient in the sauce, is renowned for its health benefits, including its ability to boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. It also has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Low in Carbohydrates: For those monitoring their carbohydrate intake, Beef with Garlic Sauce can be a suitable dish when served without rice or noodles, making it compatible with low-carb and ketogenic diets.
  • Healthy Fats: Depending on the cut of beef used, this dish can provide a good balance of saturated and monounsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.
  • Metabolism Boost: The combination of protein and the thermogenic properties of garlic can help increase metabolism, aiding in weight management when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
  • Rich in Vitamins: Beef is a source of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, which supports brain health and the nervous system. Garlic adds vitamins C and B6 to the mix, contributing to immune defense and energy metabolism.
  • Antimicrobial Effects: Garlic has natural antimicrobial properties, potentially aiding in fighting off certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi, contributing to overall health and well-being.
  • Improved Digestive Health: Garlic acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is essential for healthy digestion and may improve nutrient absorption.
  • Selenium Source: Beef is an excellent source of selenium, an essential trace mineral that plays a critical role in DNA synthesis, thyroid hormone metabolism, and protection from oxidative damage and infection.


  • Spicy Beef with Garlic Sauce: Add chili flakes, fresh sliced chili, or a tablespoon of chili paste to the garlic sauce for a fiery twist.
  • Vegetarian Option: Replace beef with tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian version. Press and marinate the tofu or tempeh as you would the beef to imbue it with flavor.
  • Additional Vegetables: Enhance the dish with a variety of vegetables such as snow peas, baby corn, mushrooms, or zucchini for added nutrition and color.
  • Cashew Beef: Stir in roasted cashews towards the end of cooking for a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor.
  • Szechuan Style: Incorporate Szechuan peppercorns into the sauce for a unique, numbing spice that is characteristic of Szechuan cuisine.
  • Sweet and Sour: Add pineapple chunks and a splash of vinegar to the sauce for a sweet and sour version of the dish.


  • For Beef: Chicken, pork, or shrimp can be used in place of beef for a different protein option that complements the garlic sauce well.
  • For Soy Sauce: Tamari or coconut aminos are great alternatives for those looking to reduce sodium or adhere to a gluten-free diet.
  • For Oyster Sauce: Use hoisin sauce or a vegan mushroom sauce for a similar depth of flavor, suitable for vegetarians and those with shellfish allergies.
  • For Chinese Rice Wine: Dry sherry or sake can be used as substitutes, or non-alcoholic options like apple juice mixed with a splash of vinegar to mimic the acidity and sweetness.
  • For Cornstarch: Arrowroot powder or tapioca starch can be used as thickening agents instead of cornstarch for those with corn allergies or preferences.
  • For Vegetable Oil: Sesame oil or peanut oil can be used for frying to add an extra layer of flavor to the dish.
  • For Chicken Broth: Vegetable broth or beef broth can be used depending on dietary restrictions or flavor preferences.
Beef With Garlic Sauce

Tips and Tricks

  • Slice Beef Thinly: To ensure the beef cooks quickly and remains tender, slice it thinly against the grain. This breaks down the muscle fibers and makes the meat more palatable.
  • Marinate for Flavor: Allowing the beef to marinate not only infuses it with flavor but also helps tenderize the meat. Even a short marination time of 15 minutes can make a significant difference.
  • Use Fresh Garlic: For the best flavor, use fresh garlic rather than garlic powder. A garlic press can make mincing garlic quick and easy, ensuring you get the potent flavor garlic is known for.
  • Control the Heat: High heat is key to stir-frying, ensuring the beef gets a nice sear without overcooking. However, when adding garlic, lower the heat slightly to prevent burning, which can impart a bitter taste.
  • Thicken the Sauce: Dissolve cornstarch in a little cold water before adding it to the sauce to prevent clumps. The sauce should be glossy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Vegetable Crunch: If adding vegetables, ensure they remain vibrant and slightly crunchy by not overcooking them. Quick stir-fry over high heat preserves their texture and nutrients.
  • Rest the Beef: After cooking, let the beef sit in the sauce for a few minutes before serving. This resting period allows the beef to soak up more flavor from the sauce.
  • Adjust to Taste: Taste the sauce before adding it to the beef, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Some prefer a sweeter sauce, while others might like it more savory or spicy.
  • Garnish Wisely: A sprinkle of green onions or sesame seeds before serving can add a fresh, aromatic touch to the dish, enhancing both its flavor and presentation.
  • Serve Immediately: For the best texture and flavor, serve the dish immediately after cooking. The sauce thickens as it cools, and the beef can lose its tender texture if left to sit too long.

Beef Recipe You Are Going To Love

The Best Bone-In Filet Mignon Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s

Absolutely! While a wok is traditional for stir-frying, any large skillet will work. The key is to have a pan that can handle high heat and give you enough space to stir-fry the beef and vegetables without overcrowding.

The basic recipe for Beef with Garlic Sauce isn’t typically spicy, focusing instead on the savory and slightly sweet flavors of the garlic sauce. However, it’s easy to adjust the spice level to your liking by adding chili flakes, fresh chilies, or a spoonful of chili paste.

Flank steak is often recommended for its flavor and tenderness when sliced thinly against the grain. However, sirloin or tenderloin can also be excellent choices for making Beef with Garlic Sauce, as they are both tender and flavorful cuts.

To make this dish gluten-free, ensure that you use tamari or a certified gluten-free soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce. Also, check that your oyster sauce and any other added sauces are gluten-free. Substitute cornstarch with a gluten-free alternative if necessary.

Yes, you can prepare parts of the dish ahead of time, such as marinating the beef or preparing the garlic sauce. However, for the best taste and texture, it’s recommended to stir-fry the beef and assemble the dish just before serving. Leftovers can be stored and reheated, but fresh preparation is ideal for the perfect texture and flavor.

Beef With Garlic Sauce


Beef with Garlic Sauce stands as a testament to the richness and versatility of Asian cuisine, particularly its ability to create deep, harmonious flavors from simple ingredients. The dish, with its tender beef slices drenched in a savory, aromatic garlic sauce, showcases the perfect balance of flavors—umami from the soy and oyster sauces, sweetness from a touch of sugar, and a vibrant kick from fresh garlic and ginger.

It’s a culinary experience that pleases the palate and warms the soul, embodying the essence of home-cooked comfort food with a gourmet flair. Whether served for a quiet family dinner or as part of a festive gathering, Beef with Garlic Sauce remains a beloved classic, promising a delightful and satisfying meal that keeps people coming back for more. Its adaptability to various dietary preferences and ease of preparation further solidify its place in the repertoire of cherished recipes.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *