Cumin Scented Stir-Fry Beef with Celery 5 Comments

Oct 22, 2008

I have a 90 mile round-trip commute. I hit the road around 6:15 am to beat the traffic. When I get home hours and hours later, I’m exhausted. The last thing I want to do is cook an elaborate meal. I want a meal that takes no time to create that isn’t bland or disappointing.

For me a stir-fry is the answer. In under 15 minutes I get to eat a delicious and flavorful dinner. The key is to slice the beef and vegetables very thin—as it cooks so much faster.

Follow the steps in the recipe closely, make note of the flavor and sauce combination. As once you have this perfected, you can mix and match any of the protein and vegetables you have in the fridge. To flavor the stir-fry we used cumin seeds, fresh ginger and red pepper flakes. The cumin seeds exude a fragrant aroma when the seeds hit the hot wok—while the celery adds a yummy crunch and lightness to the stir-fry. This recipe is worth thinking about for 90 miles and makes a perfect dinner for one after an exhausting day.

Cumin Scented Stir-Fry Beef with Celery (Image 2)
Cumin Scented Stir-Fry Beef with Celery (Image 3)


6 oz steak such as blade or flank (trim any fat)
3 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
½ teaspoon cornstarch, divided
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, or sherry (I used sherry as I didn’t have any rice wine)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
½ teaspoon minced ginger (use a micro plan to mince the ginger, it’s much easier then chopping the ginger)
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 celery ribs, sliced diagonally ¼ inch thick, leaves chopped and reserved separately



Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

5 minutes


Halve steak lengthwise if large. Slice across the grain into about ⅛ inch thick.

Toss beef with 1 teaspoon soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon cornstarch, and a pinch of salt.

Stir together rice wine or sherry, remaining 2 teaspoon soy sauce, and remaining ¼ teaspoon cornstarch.

Heat wok over high heat until smoking. (This will take about 10 minutes.) Pour 1 teaspoon oil down side of wok and swirl to coat. Add beef in 1 layer and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, less than 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.

Add remaining teaspoon oil to wok, then add ginger, garlic, cumin and red-pepper flakes and stir-fry 15 seconds. Add celery and stir-fry 1 minute, then add beef and juices and stir 15 seconds.

Stir rice-wine mixture, then pour into wok and stir-fry until sauce is bubbling, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in celery leaves.


Gourmet Magazine

Filed Under

Main Course and Beef

Spices Used

Cumin and Chili

Other Ingredients Used



This recipe looks fantastic! I am trying it tonight. I don't have a 50 minute commute, but it takes me 30 minutes to walk to work in Manhattan! Thanks for the fresh and spicy ideas!

Kirsten, over 5 years ago

I love stir fry for easy weeknight dinners.
That's a long commute! ouch!

Stacey Snacks, over 5 years ago

Wow what a great recipe easy peezy. This recipe is so easy my husband cooked it lol, the taste is lovely.

—Delilah, over 5 years ago


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
We would like to add it to the

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on "Add your site"

Best regards,


—vincent, over 5 years ago

yes, this dish is very common. I think of the taste cooked by my aunt.

police light, over 3 years ago

Add a Comment

: (optional)
:View information about this field