Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

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This Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is made with tender lean beef, crispy green cabbage, and a delicious sweet and spicy stir fry sauce. Ready in just 15 minutes.

268 CAL 12g CARBS 8g FAT 36g PROTEIN

This quick and easy Beef and Cabbage Stir-fry with a delicious homemade stir-fry sauce is your new favorite quick stir-fry recipe. 

Whenever I need dinner in a rush, I immediately turn to stir-fries. Why? Well, not only do they cook up fast, but they are also a great way to squeeze in lots of extra vegetables, something I love to do whenever possible.

Lately, I have been loving Korean flavors in particular. These flavors typically include a combination of savory, sweet, and spicy elements. With that in mind, I made a marinade/stir-fry sauce for this dish out of soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, green onions, and a touch of Sriracha. It is a little bit like the bulgogi sauce in these Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls.

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I take this marinade/sauce and first marinate the steak in it, then I use the marinade to create the sauce, which also helps the cabbage cook more quickly.

Cabbage and beef stir fry on a plate with shredded cabbage, thinly sliced beef, and a ginger and garlic stir fry sauce.

Tips for Making Beef Stir Fry

  • Remember, that when you're cooking a stir-fry you want really high heat, but you also don't want the steak (or other meat) to boil in the liquid. So make sure to really drain off the excess marinade from the meat first. Then, as it cooks, continue to drain off the extra liquid. This ensures the steak takes on a nice browning on the outside and stays tender on the inside.,/li>
  • Make sure to bring your meat up to room temperature before cooking (about 20 minutes). If you put meat on that's right out of the fridge it will cool your wok/skillet off immediately and it won't get that nice sear on the outside of the meat.
  • If you are cooking up a lot of vegetables (more than just cabbage), you'll want to sear the meat, then remove it and set it aside while you cook the veggies. Then, add the meat back at the end to finish cooking for a couple minutes before serving.
  • Cook vegetables from toughest/biggest first (like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers), then add in faster-cooking/smaller veggies next (like cabbage, mushrooms, asparagus) so that the bigger veggies have time to cook and you don't overcook the smaller ones.

How do you cut steak for stir-fries?

Slice the steak thin against the grain when making strips of beef for stir-fries. This will create the most tender steak. You can either marinate the steak whole, then cut it before cooking, or cut it into strips, and then marinade it before cooking. Both options work but the steak can absorb even more flavor if cut before marinating.

One trick for cutting steak into very thin slices is placing it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before slicing. This hardens the meat and makes it easier to slice.

What to serve with beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

  • If fried rice is a favorite, consider serving this alongside some cauliflower fried rice or this healthier fried rice.
  • Steamed white or brown rice also work great for serving with stir fry. For an easier option, grab some precooked or frozen rice to cut down on prep time.
  • Consider adding a fried egg on top of this story fry and serve it over a bed of rice.
  • Any type of noodles work well with this dish, consider rice noodles or soba noodles. 

How to use leftover cabbage?

Cabbage is often overlooked as a veggie and I'm here to change that! There are so many different ways to include cabbage in your dishes. Some examples include:

  • Eating it all by itself or as a side like in this Crispy Roasted Cabbage dish.
  • Or you can grill it in larger pieces alongside whatever else you're grilling.
  • Add cabbage to a vegetable soup or minestrone for extra fiber and bulk.
  • Make a spicy slaw to put atop burgers, sloppy joes, tacos, and more.
  • Stuff them with meat and roll them up like an eggroll, then boil in some chicken broth and tomato sauce, or bake.
  • Use cabbage leaves as the wrapper for cooked beef or chicken instead of lettuce.
  • Try your hand at making your own sauerkraut or kimchi.

What are the health benefits of eating cabbage?

Cabbage is really good for you. I recommend adding it to your veggie rotation whenever possible.

First off, cabbage is really low in calories. Also, it's high in tons of vitamins like K, C, B6, and A. In addition, cabbage has 1 gram of protein and 2 grams of fiber per serving, folate, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, and iron.

Cabbage has been shown to help fight inflammation, and the vitamin C it contains helps your body make collagen, absorb iron, and protect the body from free radicals.

Beef stir fry with shredded cabbage, garlic, ginger, and green onions with soy sauce on a plate.

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The Recipe
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Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

268 CAL 12g CARBS 8g FAT 36g PROTEIN
PREP TIME: 1 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 1 Hours, 15 Min
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  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha
  • 1.67 lbs. lean sirloin steak for stir-fries
  • 4 cups cabbage, chopped or shredded

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Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, green onions, ginger, brown sugar, garlic, and Sriracha. Marinate the steak in this mixture for at least 1 hour. When ready to cook, remove the beef and let excess marinade drip off. Save the marinade.

Raw sliced beef with marinade in a bowl with green onions.

Heat up a wok or skillet over high heat. When hot, cook the steak for about 3-4 minutes until cooked through.

Beef being stir fried in a hot skillet.

Remove the steak and add the cabbage and steak marinade. Bring to a boil and cook until marinade is mostly evaporated and cabbage is tender. Add back the steak and serve.

Stir fried beef and cabbage in a hot skillet.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.25 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 268
Calories from Fat 74
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 89mg
Sodium 556mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 7g
Protein 36g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry
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D Rocks
June 14, 2023 - 16:33
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It was so delicious! Everyone really loved it, will definitely make again. Added some thinly sliced strips of bell pepper and a sprinkle of some red pepper to flakes…so good
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May 7, 2023 - 05:28
There isn't a chili sauce listed in the ingredients but the directions indicate to add chili
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September 19, 2023 - 10:53
Sorry for the confusion! I was referring to the Sriracha, which is an Asian chili sauce.
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Kalah Byman
December 9, 2021 - 10:33
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This recipe is superb. I made it even easier by using leftover steak and a big bag of coleslaw. So so good!!
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Kathrine Yeager
July 19, 2020 - 14:36
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Cyn Troxell-pawling
November 6, 2016 - 14:17
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Yummy! Added some red pepper flakes and some additional cabbage to make it a larger portion. Loved it, and so did my picky husband. Had enough for lunch leftovers, and it was even better the next day. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
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Rosana Halprine
September 13, 2016 - 16:50
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Made this dish last night for dinner. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Tasted so much like the bulgogi we used to get at our local Korean restaurant way back when we lived in California. The only thing I would change would be to add more cabbage. Seemed to have lots of steak but not nearly enough cabbage for us. Oh, I did not have sesame oil on hand so I used peanut oil instead. Still tasted fantastic!!
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