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cumin beef stir fry on yellow plate with gold serving spoon

Cumin Beef Stir Fry

  • 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


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!



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


  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!


  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.

Keywords: cumin, beef, asian, cumin beef, stir fry, stir fry beef, asian dinner, asian recipes, beef recipes, flank steak