Better Than Takeaway Chinese Beef & Onion Stir Fry

Close up of Chinese beef and onion with jasmine rice.

I’ve been doing that thing recently where I’ve been cooking loads of super quick, super delicious stir fries made with store cupboard ingredients but I’ve not actually been sharing any of them with you. That changes today with this easy, speedy 20-minute recipe for a Chinese Beef & Onion Stir Fry that is tones tastier and healthier than anything you could find at the takeaway.

If you’ve got one of those thin steaks better suited for stir fries rather than grilling in the freezer (one of the only meats that you can still defrost mid-afternoon if you forgot to think about dinner around breakfast time) and you like cooking Chinese food therefore you’re likely to have oyster sauce and Shaoxing rice wine (though you can just use dry sherry instead – the Woks of Life, a brilliant Chinese recipe blog that this stir fry started it’s life on before I tweaked it 6 or 7 times has a great Shaoxing substitutions guide) to hand, you’ve probably got everything you need to make this Chinese Beef & Onion Stir Fry. If jasmine rice is not your thing, toss in some egg noodles when you add the sauce instead.

Beef and onion stir fry with rice.
Close up of a steak and onion stir fry.

This is the Saturday night dish you want to make if you’d rather be watching a movie, but you fancy a takeaway, and you want to skip the washing up involved in my Better Than Takeaway Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe (even though it does only take 40 minutes to make if you do want to give it a go!)

As with any stir fry preparation is key: you really can’t go wrong if you measure everything out first and keep it right at hand even before you start heating up the wok. Then, all you have to do is stack the dishwasher afterwards!

Close up of rice with beef and onions.
You Might Need (ad)
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Beef and onion stir fry with rice.

Chinese Beef & Onion Stir Fry

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese


This easy Chinese Beef and Onion Stir Fry is delicious served over fluffy jasmine rice – a quicker, healthier version of the Chinese takeaway classic that can be ready in just 20 minutes!


  • 200g (7 oz) steak (roughly 1 small steak)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp light oil
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 large brown onions (see note)
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced, to serve
  • cooked jasmine rice, to serve


  1. Thinly slice the steak and combine with the 1 tsp of oyster sauce and oil, the cornflour and 1/2 tbsp of cold water. Set aside.
  2. To make the stir fry sauce, combine the remaining ouster sauce with the soy sauce, ketchup, shaoxing rice wine and 2 tbsp of cold water. Set aside.
  3. Peel the onions and slice into wedges. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a wok or a large frying pan and cook the onions, stirring often for 5-6 minutes until slightly charred and mostly softened.
  4. Push the onions to one side of the pan and add the steak, cooking for a couple more minutes until just cooked through.
  5. Mix everything together and add the stir fry sauce. Cook for a further minute or two until you have a thick, sticky sauce.
  6. Serve immediately over jasmine rice and sprinkled with thinly sliced spring onions.


I tend to buy sacks of cheap brown onions that can be a little on the small side: in this instance I use three.