You’ll love this homemade Cumin Beef that’s loaded with flavor and so easy to make. Thinly-sliced, tender steak stir fried with onion, garlic, chilies, scallions, and more with umami-packed flavor and cumin-scented abundance. This dish is perfect to serve alongside rice and/or veggies for a decadent, better than take-out meal!

cumin beef stir fry on yellow plate with gold serving spoon

There’s that odd pivot from winter to spring season where you’re like, huh. Or is it just me? I mean, y’all, we go from soups and stews to all things lemon and bright. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it- it’s just that I need a minute ya know. Listen, this is really me subtly coming back after not publishing a new recipe in a lil’ bit, ha. Today’s new recipe is all about flavorrr and utter deliciousness.

Cumin Beef Stir Fry 😋

Yessss, this is the one! We’ve got delicious, well-marinated beef stir fried with loads of aromatics and spices. Cumin spice is at the forefront of this recipe which delivers a nutty-warmth, savory, and earthy flavor. This cumin beef stir fry is super easy to make and has all that take-out glitz, but it’s homemade! Pair with your favorite sides to make a complete meal that you will LOVE.

I sure do enjoy a good, powerhouse main entree like these braised lamb shanks or my jamaican curry chicken recipe, delish. And asian-inspired eats like this filipino adobo and these miso ginger soy salmon rice bowls >> whew 🙌🏾

cumin beef on top of rice in yellow bowls

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Beef: We just can’t make cumin beef stir fry without dat beef. I use *flank steak* for this recipe and highly recommend it. A good alternative is sirloin or any other type of tender steak cut. Ahem, emphasis on *tender* steak cut.
  • Shaoxing wine: This type of Chinese rice wine is used for cooking and adds an authentic flavor and lots of depth to the overall taste. You can find it online or at your local Chinese market. Although, I recognize that this ingredient may not be easily accessible. As such, you can use dry sherry or plain rice wine.
  • Cumin & salt/pepper: The main spice, ground cumin, and salt/pepper.
  • Cornstarch: This helps the beef to get a nice, golden brown crisp on the exterior while also contributing to a glossy sheen and thicken the stir fry sauce. Other options like potato, arrowroot, and tapioca starches are great for gluten-free and/or other dietary needs.

⬆️ That’s everything you need to marinate and get the beef prepared. Now, let’s get into what you’ll need to complete this cumin beef stir fry…

  • Oil: Gotta have some oil to stir fry. I recommend any high-heat oil like olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, corn oil, or grapeseed oil.
  • Additional aromatics & flavor agents: Onion, garlic, fresh chilies (totally optional), ground cumin, Szechuan peppercorns, brown sugar, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine, and scallions.

How To Make Cumin Beef Stir Fry:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Prep beef. Slice the steak into thin, bite-sized strips. Place the steak into a large bowl and add the shaoxing wine (or dry sherry/rice wine), ground cumin, salt/pepper- to taste, and cornstarch. Toss all ingredients well to fully combine. Then set the steak aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cook beef. In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. When hot, working in batches, add the beef. Cook beef until golden brown and slightly crispy. Then transfer the cooked beef to a clean plate and set aside. Repeat the process until all beef is seared, adding more oil in between batches if your pan is dry.
  3. Build the stir fry. With all seared beef set aside, if needed, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into the pan. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly caramelized. Then add in the garlic, red chilies (if using), ground cumin, and Szechuan peppercorns. Continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant and the spices toast up nicely. Then add the brown sugar and ginger, stirring well into the mixture.
  4. Add beef & finish off stir fry. Return the beef into the pan, and add soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine, and scallions, stir-frying the mixture until well combined and deeply fragrant. Continue cooking until the sauce has thickened and creates a glaze over the beef.
  5. Serve. Remove from heat. If you’d like, add rice of choice into shallow bowls and top with cumin beef stir fry or serve alongside steamed veggies for a completely satisfying meal, as desired. Enjoy!
cumin beef stir fry in large black wok with gold serving spoon on the side

Ingredient Spotlight Spices: Cumin & Szechuan Peppercorns!

Yes indeed, cumin. This spice is a staple in many different cuisines around the world. Ground cumin, what we’re using here, comes from freshly roasted whole cumin seeds. Cumin is grown in South America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, China, Africa, and a few other places.

Cumin has a warm, nutty, savory, pungent, and slightly bitter taste on its own. When used in cooking, it becomes more earthy and aromatic, giving this cumin beef stir fry major flavor. This is one of my holy grail spices 🫶🏾! In addition to that, this recipe calls for Szechuan (Sichuan) peppercorns, too.

These are actually not true “peppercorns” at all, but rather berries of the prickly ash tree (citrus shrub). They have a fruity aroma with a tingly, numbing sensation in your mouth. This peppercorn is big in Sichuan-style food.

closeup of cumin beef stir fry on yellow plate

Cumin Beef Stir Fry Recipe Highlights

Let’s dive into the main components that make this recipe sing:

  • FLAVOR OVERLOAD: This here ain’t your average stir fry, peeps. There is so much big, bold depth of flavor all over this cumin beef stir fry. Matter of fact, it’s beaming with goodness from all the aromatics, spices, garlic, ginger, and umami-packed deliciousness as well…we love to see it.
  • EASY, EASY, EASY: Don’t let that recipe ingredient list intimidate you in the least because this entire recipe is super straightforward and simple, I promise you. The main steps include prepping the beef, searing the beef, and then assembling the stir fry. Badda bing, badda boom.
  • WEEKNIGHT GOALS: I know your schedule is busy and you have many things going on. But you still want a banging, home-cooked meal, yes? Right. Go on and whip up this recipe in under 1 hour and delight in this dish.
  • TAKEOUT FAKEOUT: I enjoy myself some takeout now and again, I do. However, homemade will always be better, idc idc fight me! This cumin beef stir fry has all the restaurant-flair you’ll love and then some. 🤌🏾
cumin beef on top of white rice in small yellow bowl with gold spoon

Who needs take-out when ya got this Cumin Beef Stir Fry to make at home! So much mind-blowing flavor, gah. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

Other delicious recipes to try:

Print
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
cumin beef stir fry on yellow plate with gold serving spoon

Cumin Beef Stir Fry

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired
Save Recipe

Description

You’ll love this homemade Cumin Beef that’s loaded with flavor and so easy to make. Thinly-sliced, tender steak stir fried with onion, garlic, chilies, scallions, and more with umami-packed flavor and cumin-scented abundance. This dish is perfect to serve alongside rice and/or veggies for a decadent, better than take-out meal!


Ingredients

Scale

For the beef:

  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or any dry sherry or rice wine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (see notes for gluten-free needs)

For the stir fry:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium-sized white onion, sliced into half moons
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 fresh red chilies, deseeded & chopped- optional
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, ground
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 6 scallions, green parts only, chopped

For serving cumin beef stir fry:

  • white or brown rice, steamed broccoli/other veggies- as desired

Instructions

  1. Prep & marinate beef. Place the steak onto a cutting board, using a sharp knife, slice the steak across the grain into thin, bite-sized strips that are about 3-4 inches long. Place the steak into a large bowl (or inside a large plastic baggie). Add the shaoxing wine (or dry sherry/rice wine), ground cumin, salt/pepper- to taste, and cornstarch. Toss all ingredients well to fully combine. Then set the steak aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cook beef. In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, working in batches, add the beef- don’t overcrowd pan. Cook the beef, searing well until the beef is golden brown and slightly crispy, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the cooked beef to a clean plate and set aside. Repeat the process until all beef is seared, adding more oil in between batches if your pan is dry.
  3. Build the stir fry. With all seared beef set aside, if needed, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into the pan. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly caramelized, about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the garlic, red chilies (if using), ground cumin, and ground Szechuan peppercorns. Continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant and the spices toast up nicely, about 2 minutes. Then add the brown sugar and ginger, stirring well into the mixture.
  4. Add beef & finish off stir fry. Return the beef into the pan along with any residual juices that have collected, and add soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine, and scallions, stir-frying the mixture until well combined and deeply fragrant. Continue cooking until the sauce has thickened and creates a glaze over the beef, about 2-3 minutes or so.
  5. Serve. Remove from heat. If you’d like, add rice of choice into shallow bowls and top with cumin beef stir fry or serve alongside steamed veggies for a completely satisfying meal, as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Gluten-free needs? Other alternative options for gluten-free needs include potatoarrowroot and tapioca starch- or any gluten-free baking flour as a 1:1 ratio.
  2. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.