When I need to throw a meal together with random fridge things, I often turn to a simple stir-fry, so I finally turned it into a recipe! It’s a basic formula where you can plug in any meat or veggie, making it a great way to clean out the fridge or pull together a quick meal. The key to a stir-fry is using a very high heat so everything cooks quickly.

Essentially, you cook veggies, then sliced meat, then combine it all together in a simple stir-fry sauce. Having veggies pre-chopped and a starch to serve it with at the ready is key for making this come together in just minutes! You can serve it over rice, rice noodles, roasted potatoes, in a tortilla, or on its own for a lighter option.

Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes


  • 1 lb skirt, flank, or sirloin steak, or boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari, divided
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger (optional)
  • 5-6 cups quick cooking veggies, cut into 1-inch pieces or thinly sliced*
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white/light green parts separated from dark green (optional)
  • Cooked starch of choice, for serving***
  • Sesame seeds, for topping
  • Sliced avocado (optional)
  • *Asparagus, snap peas, snow peas, bok choy, leafy greens, cabbage, fennel, celery, carrots, etc…
  • *You want the veggies to be all the same size so they cook at the same rate. If using veggies like cabbage, carrot, or fennel that take a bit longer to cook, make sure to slice them very thinly so they cook at the same rate as the asparagus. 
  • ***Rice, rice noodles, roasted potatoes, tortilla, etc…
  • Note: ~ sometimes I will just make this without the meat and just use more veggies. Whisk a bit of cornstarch into the sauce and top with two fried eggs.


  • In a medium bowl, add the meat, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon oil and use your hands to toss to coat.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ¼ cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sesame oil, sweetener, and ginger (if using).
  • In a large skillet over high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Once the pan is very hot and oil is shimmering, add the veggies, white/light green scallions (if using), and a pinch of salt (you should hear a lot of sizzling). Stir everything together, then let it cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the veggies have softened (they’ll cook more later). Transfer to a bowl or plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the hot skillet and swirl to coat. Add the meat, spread out evenly, and let it cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes or until almost all the way cooked through and nicely browned. Add the veggies back in and give the meat a stir with a spatula to release it from the pan and mix everything together. Pour in the sauce, give it a stir, and let it simmer for about 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  • Serve over your starch of choice. Top with the green scallions (if using), sesame seeds, and avocado (if using).

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Cook starch of choice
  • Thinly slice 1 lb meat
  • Thinly slice 1 bunch scallions
  • Chop or thinly slice 5-6 cups worth of veggies
  • Mix together the sauce


  • To make vegetarian, use tofu (torn into pieces or thinly sliced). I would use ½ or ⅔ of a block. Follow the recipe as is, just make sure you get that tofu nice and browned. Or read the recipe note to make without protein and top with fried eggs.
  • Cornstarch helps to thicken the sauce. You could try substituting with arrowroot or tapioca starch. 


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Warm up leftovers in the microwave until warmed through. Or heat it up in a covered skillet on the stove – add some olive oil to the skillet to crisp things up a bit. You can turn it into a fried rice and heat rice up with in in the skillet – you may want to add an extra splash of soy sauce. Top with all the toppings!
  • Turn it into a stir-fry taco and top with avocado and sriracha.
  • Top with kimchi and/or put a fried egg on it.

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