chinese/chinese take out/mains/meat/recipes

Honey Garlic Beef Recipe

Posted January 26, 2016 by Stephanie
Honey Garlic Beef Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Honey Garlic Beef Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

It’s no secret that I’m a honey garlic fan. I almost feel like I can make honey garlic sauce and dip everything into it. My favorite growing up was honey garlic pork. Even though I was the pickiest kid on the block, I couldn’t resist the sweet and savory combo of honey and meat. Honey garlic is definitely a nostalgic thing for me but I still love it now and I’m pretty sure I’ll love it forever.

Honey Garlic Beef Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

There are so many ways of making honey garlic [insert protein of choice]. The technique I used here is called Chinese velveting. It’s a bit of a funny name, but essentially what you’re doing is making the meat tender and velvety by coating it in egg whites and cornstarch. When I was a kid, my mom would always let me use my hands to velvet the meat before cooking – I thought it was absurdly fun and she probably liked it because it kept me still for a minute or two.

It’s an extra step that’s done with most stir fries and before deep-frying. Some people skip out on it, but the cornstarch and egg whites makes things crispy. It sort of creates a seal so the meat inside juicy, tender, and, well, velvety.

Honey Garlic Beef Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

This was a super simple meal to whip up. Yes, you do have to deep fry the steak bites, but I find that every once in a while I get a deep-fry craving that I just need to satisfy. I served the honey garlic beef with some cucumber spears and rice and it made for a satisfying hearty meal. Totally hit the spot!

PS – I’m in Minneapolis right now and it snowed and I’m so happy! I’m here for a cold minute and if you want to follow along, check out my snapchat (iamafoodblog) for updates.

Honey Garlic Beef Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

 Honey Garlic Beef Recipe
serves 2


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 lb steak of choice*, cut into bit sized pieces
  • oil for deep frying (I like grapeseed or rice bran)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • toasted sesame seeds, if desired
  • thinly sliced green onions, if desired

Preheat the oven to 250°F.

In a large bowl, whisk to together the egg whites and cornstarch until light and frothy. Add the steak pieces, coat and let sit while you heat up your oil.

Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Heat an inch of oil in a high-sided, heavy bottomed pot or skillet over medium high heat until oil reaches 350°F.

Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to carefully drop the steak pieces into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes, flipping if needed. Drain the steak bites on your prepared rack and keep warm in the oven.

In a non-stick pan, heat up a touch of oil and cook the garlic on medium heat until slightly golden, but not browned, 1-2 minutes. Add the honey, soy sauce and ground pepper. Turn the heat up to high so the honey-soy mixture bubbles, thickens and turns into caramel-sticky goodness.

Toss the steak bites with the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions, if using. Enjoy immediately with rice or grain of choice.

Note: I used chuck, but feel free to use a tender cut of meat. The beef doesn’t cook for too long, so sirloin or rump would be good choices.

Honey Garlic Beef Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

23 Comments

  1. Hmmm I love anything that has been velveted! The slight crispiness but at the same time the meat is soft and saucy, YUM! Have to try this recipe.

  2. Elyse says:

    I totally get “deep fry” cravings too! I deep fried my Christmas turkey in 2015 so a few steak bites seems totally do-able! So trying this recipe.

  3. I love that the technique is called velveting!!! so accurate and descriptive!

  4. hunkydork says:

    Sounds great, will try it with pork

  5. Heather says:

    Mmm I love honey garlic. I’ve never tried this technique before but anything that’s going to get my deep fried meat extra crispy sounds great to me!

  6. I’ve never tried velveting before. Well, I know what I’m doing tomorrow! This recipe looks delicious!

  7. This looks wonderful! I love that technique for tenderizing the meat. I would never have thought of that! Enjoy MN and all of it’s snowiness! :)

  8. Have fun in minneapolis! Chinese velveting – that’s a new term but so tactile and imagery-provoking, and I love it!!!

  9. Joy says:

    This looks heavenly!

  10. Cindy says:

    This looks delicious! I’m totally putting it on the “to-make” list soon! Crispy fried meat coated in salty-sweet sauce things are my weakness!

  11. Alan says:

    Why Chuck? Doesn’t it get a bit chewy? I reckon rump would be good – think I’ll give this one a go

    PS – your photography is consistently awesome, keep it up!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      you could definitely use a more tender piece of beef and it would be even more delicious. i used chuck because it was what i had on hand. plus it’s a little more authentic, most chinese restaurants don’t use the highest quality of meat >_<

  12. foodiedaddy says:

    Thx u so much for this amazing recipe, garlic and honey are always a good mix.

  13. Drew says:

    What’s the cornstarch to egg white ratio? And the honey to soy sauce ratio?

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      the egg white to cornstarch ratio is 4:1 (one egg white is about 2 tablespoons)
      the honey to soy is 2:1

      hope that helps

  14. Dave says:

    Yum! Your lemongrass pork meatball/ quinoa bowl has been a go-to of mine for a while now…looking forward to trying out the honey garlic beef. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Chris Glenn says:

    I’m intrigued, where did you get your collection of very unusual cast Iron pans? I’ve never seen an Octagonal cast iron pan before! The staub oval cast iron pan is pretty unusual as well, can’t help but wonder if you are a ‘collector?” I have one 9″ square cast iron pan I found at a second hand store that I use for making cornbread. Anyway, thanks for sharing both recipes and all the others you have posted!
    Chris

    1. Stephanie says:

      hey chris,
      i love cast iron! i don’t think i’d call myself a collector, but i do love unique pieces! the pan you’re talking about is a finex and i love it a lot, it’s machined, so it’s super smooth on the inside :)

  16. Tony Bartlett says:

    Please tell me, are the cucumbers in the photo above pickled or just straight. If pickled, where can I get the recipe

  17. Sandy says:

    This was linked on MSN news feed and I am so happy they added your recipe to easy weeknight dinners collection! I now know what I am making for dinner. I have never tried “velveting” before. I always dipped my chicken and pork in a tempura batter. I like this method so much better. Seems much cleaner, less heavy and it tenderizes the meat! Win, Win, and Win! Thank you so much for sharing this technique and recipe. I am now a subscriber!

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