Homemade Ginger Beef!

I made this! Myself! From scratch! For real!

I’m sad to say it doesn’t look anywhere near as good as the first batch – this one is a bit paler and pouffier (like its creator) due to my excitement-triggered belief I could improve upon it, and make it even crispier. Next time I’ll go back to the version below. I still had to photograph it, as the light died and we had ten minutes to finish eating and get to gymnastics. Mike said it was better than take-out.

In the past I’ve been inclined to leave this sort of thing to the experts, but gave it a shot earlier this week for CBC in anticipation of the Chinese new year. If I can make ginger beef from scratch at 6:30 in the morning, you can do it too. (Preferably at 6:30 pm.)


Ginger Beef

Recipe link


February 3, 2011

If you can find thinly sliced beef for rouladen or bolgogi beef, it's an easy start. Adapted from the Best of Bridge.

  • Makes: Serves 6.


1 lb. sirloin steak or any other cut you like (I used eye of round)

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup cornstarch

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. wine (red or white - optional)

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

pinch red chili flakes

1/4 cup grated fresh ginger

4-5 garlic cloves, crushed

canola oil, for cooking

1 small red pepper, sliced

1 large carrot, coarsely grated

2 green onions, chopped


1Thinly slice the beef into strips a few inches long and about 1/4-inch wide. Toss with egg in a medium bowl. Stir together the cornstarch and water and add to the beef; toss to blend well.

2In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, wine, sesame oil and chili flakes. Stir in half the ginger and garlic.

3In a wok or heavy pot, heat about an inch of oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Drop the strips of beef into the oil using a fork, chopsticks or tongs, keeping them from clumping together and cooking in batches so the beef doesn't crowd the pot. Once golden and crisp, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or sheet. Pour the oil out into a jar (or start with a fresh pan or wok with a new drizzle of oil) and add the pepper, carrots, green onion and remaining ginger and garlic to the pan. Cook for a minute or two, then pour the sauce overtop and heat through. Put the beef in a shallow bowl, pour the sauce over top and serve immediately.

Makes: Serves 6.

About Julie

35 comments on “Homemade Ginger Beef!

  1. Heather
    February 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! I live in Toronto where they do not sell ginger beef! Can you imagine? I’m participating in Veguary, but come March, I am making this.

  2. molly
    February 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Hilarious!! We just made ginger beef for dinner last night. Oh, it is good…

  3. Laurie from Burnaby
    February 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I make it with chicken instead of beef. Very good.

  4. kickpleat
    February 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    That looks so good! I’ll def try to make up a batch for the CNY. I like the idea of doing it with chicken too.

  5. Sue. D
    February 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Oh man I am STARVED for ginger beef! You’ve thrown a rope for a drowning woman, thank-you, thank-you!

  6. rose
    February 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I was cringing as I read the recipe since I LOVE ginger beef and most Chinese food. 3/4 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, an inch of oil for frying? Whoa! Is that what we’re getting in the dishes we order out? No wonder it tastes so good! Sadly, I’m going to have to pass on this one. Love your blog…..


  7. JulieVR
    February 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Rose – I know, the sugar made me cringe, too! Mike asked if I could make it sweeter next time, and I told him there was a half cup of sugar in it already – makes you wonder how much goes into the take-out stuff! As for the oil, it’s good old canola – and it’s almost all still left in the pot after frying!

  8. ladyloo
    February 4, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Thank you for this! Chinese restaurants don’t have ginger beef down here, and I crave it all the time!

  9. bellini
    February 4, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I have tried this in many a Chinese restaurant. The best I ever tried was at The Yum Yum Tree in Calgary which I am not even sure if it still exists. A little spicy, crispy and delicious!!Now I can try it at home:D

  10. Lisa
    February 4, 2011 at 7:07 am

    YUM! Thank you Julie-we’ll try it this weekend.

  11. Sue (London, ON)
    February 4, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Funny, I made a beef stir fry with ginger this week that was so delicious. I used leftover roast beef and the recipe included corn, which I thought odd but man was it good! This sounds really good too, I’ll have to give it a try soon. Thanks Julie!

  12. Debbie
    February 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I excitedly told Hubs about this last night as we were tucking into our take-away version. “Julie made ginger beef for the Eyeopener!”

  13. sharon
    February 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    OT: to the Twitter:

    “pssst: @sugarpiebakery sells salted caramel-made with butter, cream, sugar & maldon salt. I ate mine with a spoon!”

    This is what former FDA commish David Kessler’s “The end of overeating” deals with. How the food industry lab jockeys labour long and hard to come up with the most multifactoral combo of the foods we are hard wired to crave: fat, salt, sugar, crunch or chewy, and puts them altogether to create grooves in our brains that function as addiction. Or the windrows on your street.

  14. Erica B.
    February 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Sharon it’s salted caramel not evil incarnate.

  15. sharon
    February 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Erica, have a look at Kessler’s book. If you liked Food Inc. you’ll see Kessler has taken it further on that line. I don’t think the caramel is evil incarnate, but the food industry’s marketing is.

    My interest in food includes nutrition, culture, marketing and psychology. I don’t think I’m unique among those posting here.

  16. Dana
    February 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    THIS IS FANTASTIC! I LOVE ginger beef but I never want to order it for fear of what is in it (but that doesn’t stop me). Thanks, I’ll try it this weekend. You’re the best!

  17. Erica B.
    February 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I’ve read Kessler and I think most people reading along here know that a steady diet of mass produced junk food will lead to health problems. Frankly the FDA has had it’s own credibility problems but that’s not on topic here.

    Sugar Pie Bakery is the antithesis of the “industry” Kessler refers to so to suggest homemade caramel is anything like the product of a “food industry lab jockey” is just ridiculous.

  18. sharon
    February 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I’m a former journalist. This is a story. Are you up for it Julie?

  19. JulieVR
    February 4, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Sorry – what’s the story?

  20. Brad
    February 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Awesome on a plate! Thanks Julie!

  21. Kris
    February 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

    mmm, love ginger beef! I think I have all the ingedients to make this this wknd!

  22. Michelle
    February 5, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Nice work Julie! I am going to try it!

  23. Judy
    February 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Made the dish tonight and loved the flavors which were well balanced. I think this was better then many restaurants…..One question
    I found that I needed way more water to mix all the cornstarch into something less then a brick!
    Is the 3/4 cup of cornstarch a misprint by any chance??


  24. JulieVR
    February 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Judy – funny, I needed to add a bit of cornstarch as it was a bit runny after adding it to the beef, which had produced juice in the bottom of the bowl overnight (I had to make it really early in the morning and thought I’d get a head start by slicing the beef) – I only made a half batch though! anyway, that’s what the original recipe says – 3/4 cup – I’d say mix the cornstarch and water until you have something the thickness of heavy cream.

  25. Lisa
    February 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Julie, this is an awesome recipe…we all loved it! Great accompaniment to the half time Superbowl show. (which was…well….odd) But dinner was excellent. Thank you!

  26. Judy
    February 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks Julie
    Now I know what consistency to shoot for!
    PS Left overs were great tonight.

  27. Lisa
    February 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Julie, you have to check this out, I’ve been in hysterics all night:


  28. Cory
    February 7, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Awesome recipe Julie! I have been craving this Ginger beef ever since I lived in Calgary in the early 90’s. I have ordered ginger beef in various Chinese restaurants in the East since then and have never found that style again until now. I made 1 1/2 recipes for my wife and 4 kids last night and the pan was literally licked clean. I call it my new signature dish. Thanks for this.

    Cory (Nova Scotia)

  29. kristin
    March 7, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Great recipe! I’m kicking myself now for not having the red pepper flakes. Mine was just sweet, no spice. I’m definitely going to make this again with the spice. Otherwise it looked and tasted like the real thing!

  30. Ivan
    January 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Great blog. First time I’ve ever been here. Bookmarked. :)

    I lived in Calgary for 23 years and since leaving, Calgary style ginger beef is something I really miss. Can’t get good GB where I am now. The best I can find is barely comparable. The sauce is sweet and VERY bright red. Kinda slimy too. And the beef isn’t crunchy in the least. Sad really but then, I’ve had the best. “Cherry Inn” off 64th Ave and 4th St NE. Calgary GB perfection. What I’d give…..

  31. Catgirl
    November 24, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    This was so good! Made it to spec other than a bit spicier!

  32. military Spouse Information
    March 18, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Excellent blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get feed-back from other
    experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me
    know. Appreciate it!

  33. Char
    May 6, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I made this tonight but cut back the oil. This recipe is way better than anything I have ever had in a restaurant! Thank you for a great recipe!

  34. Ron van Vugt
    November 19, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Zorba’s disco in the Esso building 1981ish was my first GB and the best I’ve had. Can’t believe I’ve never made it . It was good, family loved it. Just going to cut the beef a bit bigger. Always enjoy the CBC radio moments on the way to work Julie.

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