This quick and easy soy free stir fry recipe is perfect for the whole family. It can be made in as little as 30 minutes, if you choose not to marinade the beef or marinade it the night before. Not only soy free, but also gluten, dairy, and top 8 allergens free. Vegan option available.
We love this because it is an easy and quick mid week dinner. It is also something that reheats well. Getting loads of veggies into the kids is never a bad thing. We vary this stir fry up by changing the vegetables we toss in and using different starches to accompany the stir fry. Looking to use up veg from the fridge? This soy free stir fry sauce is the recipe for you.
We have organised our ingredients into a four different sections:
The Big Stuff
The vegetables and beef we use as the main ingredients in the stir fry.
Used to flavour the veggies and as the base of the sauce.
Used to strictly marinade the beef or meat in the recipe. The ingredients are a bit different from the sauce.
Use to help the stir fry not stick to the wok and to thicken the sauce.
All The Goods To Make This Soy Free Stir Fry Recipe
- Orange Pepper
- Green Beans
- Celery Ribs
- Baby Corn
- Broccoli or Cauliflour or Cabbage
- Stir Fry Beef
- Coconut Aminos
- Mirin (optional)
- Canola Oil
- Rice Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Mushroom Water (see below)
- Cornstarch, or other starch Tapioca or arrowroot
Ingredient Tips For Beef Stir Fry
Cut all the veggies into easy to eat chunks. Bite sized pieces are the best. Usually around ¾ of an inch diced (squares). Nothing so small it will turn to mush when cooked. For this recipe the vegetables should still be a touch crunchy after cooking.
Choosing a stir fry cut at the store will save time in prep but those cuts tend to need marinating. The meat can be marinated overnight, to make this a really quick dish to make the day of eating it. Stir Fry beef is a tougher cut of meat but is much cheaper and generally what we use as cooking for allergies can be expensive. It is an easy place to save by marinating the meat.
If you do not want to marinade or don’t have time to, we suggest using a more tender cut of meat that doesn’t need marinating. An Alberta grade A tenderloin or striploin are great examples of meat that is tender and doesn’t need marinating. If you do not marinade the meat, still make the marinade for the sauce.
If we have a packet of rouladen meat left over we will often just use that for this recipe.
Mirin (Japanese Cooking Wine)
Mirin is optional. It is a sweet rice based Japanese cooking wine. Make sure the kind you get is top 8 free, and gluten free. Usually found in the asian cooking aisles of most supermarkets in Canada. It has a lower alcohol content than sake but if you are cooking for kids, are pregnant or avoiding alcohol it can easily be omitted without any issues. If you substitute it with Sake use ½ the amount in the recipe.
Use fresh ginger not powdered as the fresh will give the most flavour to the soy free beef stir fry dish. It is easy to remove the skin by scraping with a spoon. Then either grate it on a fine grater or mince it to use it.
We use Canola oil as it is safe for us. Any neutral oil can be used for this recipe, even sesame if it is safe for you. You want to use a high smoke point oil though as the wok will get really hot.
We use a lot of rice vinegar in our meals. It is safe for us and we get wheat and gluten free varieties. It is easy to add that vinegar tang with rice vinegar. There are usually two kinds of rice vinegars in the store, seasoned and unseasoned. Choose the unseasoned as it is more diverse and you can use it to make seasoned should you need it. Seasoned has sugar, salt or MSG and sometimes corn syrup added to it, whereas unseasoned doesn’t.
If you cannot have rice vinegar or do not have it, apple cider vinegar can be used in its place in this recipe.
What is Mushroom Water?
Mushroom water is the water used to rehydrate dried mushrooms. It makes an excellent replacement for fish sauce in many recipes. Adding flavour without any of the allergens to this soy free beef stir fry recipe.
1 tablespoon of dried mushrooms submerged in ½ cup of boiling water is perfect in this recipe. To save time use the kettle to boil the water, pour the boiling water over dried mushrooms in a heat safe bowl or cup, like pyrex. Let the mushrooms sit in the water for at least 10-15 minutes.
If we are making a large batch we will also do it on the stove top. 1 ½ cup of water to 2 tablespoons of dried mushrooms and let the mix simmer for 15-20 mins or until reduced by one third. Let the liquid cool and then strain the mushrooms out with a fine mesh sieve. Put the mushroom water in a sealing jar in the fridge. In the fridge the mushroom water will keep for 4 days. To freeze, use an ice cube tray and dispense up to 2 tablespoon in the cube moulds. Remove the cubes from the tray and in the freezer the cubes will keep for 2 months stored in an airtight container.
If you do not have mushroom water you can use vegetable stock or mushroom stock.
You will need a knife and cutting board, a few bowls in various sizes small, medium and large. A wok with a lid and a silicone flipper are essential to this recipe. When using a wok make sure it is seasoned first, especially if it is cast iron. In houses where there are various diets and some are restrictions and others aren’t and the wok is cast iron or another material that can absorb allergens designate one wok for allergen free cooking only to avoid cross contact with allergens.
Directions and Tips
- Cut up all the veggies and meat.
- Make the marinade and sauce.
- Add the marinade to the meat and let it rest in the fridge. Marinating overnight will give the best results but it can be used sooner.
- Soak the veggies in the sauce while the meat marinades. For up to 2 hours. This step can be skipped if pressed for time.
- Make the cornstarch and water mix in a small bowl and whisk or stir well to make sure there aren't any lumps.
- Heat oil in the wok on medium high heat. Add the beef (save the marinade to add with the sauce). Stir the beef around to make sure it is all evenly cooking and not raw.
- Add the veggies, marinade and sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Move the veggies and meat to the side so you can see the soy free stir fry sauce and add the cornstarch to this liquid. Stir it really well to distribute it throughout the dish and all the sauce.
- Cover the wok with a lid that fits well and won't let out the steam. This steam will be cooking the veg and keeping the sauce from getting too thick.
- Remove the lid and stir well.
- Serve with rice or rice noodles.
To make this a quick dinner
The two easiest and quickest ways to make this a meal in under 30 minutes is to buy a cut if meat that doesn’t need marinading or to marinade the meat the night before. Check out the Ingredients section on beef (above) for more info on how to cut out the marinading on this soy free beef stir fry.
Different Key Vegetables
You can add other veggies like water chestnuts (they are not a nut but part of the league family), Kale, Bok Choy, Mushrooms, snap or snow peas, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflour depending on what you have in your fridge. Some vegetables may let out more water when cooking, like mushrooms so you may need to add extra cornstarch to thicken the soy free stir fry sauce.
Bamboo shoots are great but they do come with a warning with recent studies regarding bamboo shoots and allergy sensitive people. It is related to maize and wheat and anyone with allergies should consult their doctor and registered dietician before adding it to their diet.
Here is an article with a bit more info.
If you cannot have cornstarch there are many other starches that will thicken this sauce. Arrowroot and Tapioca will both work in the same amounts as cornstarch. Be sure to mix them with water before adding to the sauce so the soy free stir fry sauce is lump free.
Spicing the Beef Stir Fry Up
Adding in chilis will bring the spice level up in this soy free stir fry recipe. For this recipe You could use about 1 tablespoon finely chopped chilis, your favourite ones. Alternatively, if sambal oelek is safe for you you could add it to the sauce and marinade. Start with small additions and work up to ½-1 teaspoon total.
Using Other Meats
Any meat cut into strips will work. Chicken, lamb, pork, venison, or bison are a few examples of other meat that will work well in this soy free beef stir fry recipe. Tougher leaner meats like bison and venison will need to be marinated for at least 3 hours. Ensure the meat is up to the safe cooking temperatures before eating based on their meat varieties. More info on safe cooking temperatures can be found in this article.
Going Meat Free (Vegan Option)
Instead of using meat in this recipe replace the beef with either portobello mushrooms that have been sliced into ¾ of an inch by 2 inch slices. Marinate for 30 mins in the marinade recipe. A bit more of the cornstarch and water slurry mix may be needed to thicken the sauce.
Marinate chickpeas in the marinade for 30 mins up to overnight. Cook them for 3-5 mins in the marinade, rather than alone and then add in the sauce and marinade.
Storage and Reheating Instructions for Our Soy Free Stir Fry Recipe
Any reheated foods should not be stored again for later. Always follow safe food handling when storing foods and store at a safe temperature and allow food to cool before storing. Storing in a sealed container is the best way to store this Beef Stir Fry recipe.
The Soy Free Beef Stir Fry will keep for 48 hours in the fridge.
This recipe will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
If the stir fry is frozen, thaw before reheating. Always reheat food to a safe food temperature before consuming.
In a frying pan with a well fitting lid put 2 tablespoons of water in the pan for each portion of stir fry added to it. Over medium heat heat the pan and food while covered by a lid. Let it steam for 5 mins adding water, if needed. Remove the lid and stir well to cook off any remaining excess water. About 2-3 mins. There should still be sauce in the pan but it should not be the consistency of water. Check to see it is cooked through, if not cook a bit longer stirring to not burn onto the bottom of the pan.
In a microwave safe bowl, place one portion of Soy Free Stir Fry. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the food. Microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Stir well and check it has cooked through, if not cook an additional 25 seconds. Stir and check again. Always stir microwaved food and eat with caution as there may be hot spots. It may need to cool a bit before eating to avoid burns.
What To Serve With This Soy Free Stir Fry Recipe
This Soy Free Stir Fry is best served with cooked rice or rice noodles. We usually use either brown or white rice but there are many other kinds of rice that will work such as basmati, jasmine, or wild rice. We do not recommend sushi or risotto rice.
If rice isn’t safe for you, serve the Soy Free Stir Fry Sauce on cooked quinoa or with cauliflower rice instead.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Cutting board
- The Big Stuff:
- 1 Orange Pepper medium diced
- 1 C Green Beans cut in bite sized pieces
- 2 Carrots cut in half and sliced into medium thin slices
- 1 Small Onion medium diced
- 2 Large Celery Ribs sliced into medium thin slices
- 1- 14 oz 398 mL can of Baby Corn pieces
- 1 C Broccoli/Cauliflour cut in bite sized pieces OR Green Cabbage Sliced thin
- ½ Lbs Stir Fry Beef cut in ¾ inch X 2 inch strips
- 2 Tbsps Coconut Aminos
- 2 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 Tbsps Mushroom Water see notes
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon Canola Oil or other neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar unseasoned
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 5 cloves of Garlic Minced finely
- 1 inch of fresh Ginger finely minced
- ½ C Coconut Aminos
- 3 Tbsps Rice Wine vinegar unseasoned
- 3 Tbsps Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsps Canola oil or other neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Mirin optional
- ⅓ C mushroom water
- 2 Tbsps Cornstarch or other starch Tapioca or arrowroot
- 2 Tbsps Water
- 1 tablespoon Canola oil or other neutral oil
- If not already sliced, cut the beef.
- Mix all the Marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl and stir with a spoon.
- Add Beef to the marinade and let sit for 30 minutes - overnight in the fridge.
- Cut all the veggies into bite sized pieces, if not already cut.
- Mix the sauce ingredients together in a large bowl and stir well. Add the veggies to the sauce in the large bowl. Let sit in the fridge for 30 min.
- In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and water, stir well to form a slurry, set aside.
- Over medium/high heat heat 1 tablespoon Canola or neutral oil in a large wok.
- When hot add beef. Reserve the marinade. Cook the beef for 3-5 minutes, stirring and flipping until all the beef is mostly cooked.
- Pour in the marinade and the vegetables and sauce to the beef in the wok. Stir well.
- Let cook for 3 mins, stirring well.
- Move the veggies and beef to one side so you can see the sauce at the bottom of the wok.
- Get the reserved cornstarch slurry and stir well. Pour into the sauce at the bottom of the wok.
- Stir the sauce to mix the cornstarch in. Stir into all the veggies and beef well.
- Turn the heat up to high. Cover the wok with a well fitting lid. Let cook for 5-8 mins.
- Remove the lid and stir well. The sauce should have thickened and will be sticking to the beef and veggies but there will still be extra sauce at the bottom of the wok.
- Serve over cooked rice or rice noodles.
- To make mushroom water put 1 tablespoon of dried mushrooms in ½ C boiling water and soak for 10-15 mins. I usually make it first and let it sit while I cut up the veggies. Then add it to the sauce and marinade. Boiling water from the kettle is fine to use.
- You can add other veggies like water chestnuts (they are not a nut but part of the league family), Kale, Bok Choy, Mushrooms, asparagus
- Bamboo shoots are great but they do come with a warning with recent studies regarding bamboo shoots and allergy sensitive people.
- If you want to slice your own beef you can, a cheaper cut is great if you are marinating it to tenderise it. If you do not want to marinade choose a nicer cut of meat. We often use extra rouladen meat, it is nice and thin and is perfect when marinaded.
- Tapioca or Arrowroot starch can be used in place of cornstarch.