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My husband’s birthday was last week. I made him a special birthday dinner consisting of filet mignon and roasted brussels sprouts, just like our favorite steakhouse. I can’t wait to share the recipe with you guys later in June! In the meantime, I’m sharing a Hunan beef recipe, which is another one of his favorites.
Spicy food has really grown on me over the years, thanks to my husband. He looooves it. I grew up without much exposure to heat in food, but as it turns out, you learn to like it more as you eat it more. These days, I’m always excited to try something spicy! And, this Hunan beef has plenty of heat, so feel free to reduce the amount of Thai chile peppers if you’d like.
Chinese food has definitely been an acquired taste, too. Since I was never a fan of rice (even before low carb!), that aspect always turned me off. Fortunately, once I realized that Chinese could be plenty filling and delicious without the rice, I became a big fan.
Now, I’m thrilled whenever I get the chance to try a new Chinese dish. Especially because I’m instantly thinking about ways to make it healthier and low carb!
You can actually make a low carb stir fry very easily. Meat and veggies are already naturally low carb, so it’s just the sauces and marinades that need adjustments. The key is to find alternatives for the flour, cornstarch, and soy sauce often used in Chinese cooking. The method for getting around this will vary depending on the food you want to recreate.
For this Hunan beef recipe, I made a few easy swaps to make it paleo – and generally healthier, even if you’re not eating paleo. Arrowroot powder makes good substitute for cornstarch, and coconut aminos replace the soy sauce. I used sherry cooking wine in the marinade as well, but if paleo is not important to you, you can use the more traditional Shaoxing cooking wine instead.
The combination of the flavorful marinade and quick, high-heat cooking method makes the Hunan beef ultra tender. It’s just perfect served with some oven roasted broccoli! (I skipped the Parmesan from the broccoli recipe, since it doesn’t pair too well with the Chinese flavors.) I think I will try it with cauliflower rice next time – that’s the one kind of “rice” that I do like!
There are several good options for the type of wok to use when making this Hunan beef. I used this ceremic wok, mostly because I’ve had it for such a long time and didn’t want to purchase another one. I love that it’s light, versatile, and non-stick (without Teflon!), and it still got hot enough to sear the beef nicely.
Purists will recommend using a carbon steel wok or cast iron wok for their ability to maintain higher temperatures. This aspect is important for any stir fry. I would definitely consider those if I was shopping around for a wok.
No matter what kind of wok you use, you’ll be good to go as long as you get your wok ultra hot before adding the meat. Make sure you slice the beef ultra thinly against the grain, marinate it, and after that the actual cook time literally takes two minutes. Who needs takeout when you have an easy, fifteen-minute Hunan beef recipe?
Hunan Beef Recipe – 15 Minutes (Paleo, Low Carb, Gluten-free):
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Want more low carb, gluten-free stir-fry recipes? Try these: