Kekap Manis is a sweet soy sauce. Along with the lime juice, it makes a nice combo of salty, sweet and sour. I like to cut my vegetables into matchstick shapes, but it takes longer to do it this way and isn’t necessary. Alternatively, you can use frozen stir fry veggies making this a very quick dish to prepare and cook. Use whatever vegetables you like, substitute the water chestnuts for unsalted cashews for a different flavour.
I usually buy topside beef in bulk and slice and portion the lot before freezing it, which saves a couple of minutes at dinner time. To get tender stir-fry meat, cut the meat against the grain, fry it quickly and briefly and in small batches at high heat until just browned (you don’t want it to stew in its juices and it will continue to cook once removed from the heat, so no need to overdo it), and don’t let it boil in the sauce when you add it back at the end of the cooking.
As far as the oil goes, use one that cooks well at high temperatures. I use macadamia nut oil because it is grown and cold pressed locally and I have a cheap supply. Rice bran oil also has a high smoke point and is good for stir-fry – just don’t use olive oil because it will burn.
The recipe below is for two people, about 100g of meat per person is good for a stir fry and just increase the vegetables and add a little more lime and Kekap Manis.
Beef Stir Fry with Kekap Manis and Lime
oil for stir-frying
200g of beef cut into strips
1/2 onion sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp minced ginger (optional)
1-2 chillies (optional)
1 carrot, 1 zucchini, 1/2 capsicum, a handful of snow peas cut into matchstick slices or however you like to cut them
a handful of broccoli florets
small tin of water chestnuts, drained
juice of half a lime
1/8 cup or so of Kekap Manis or to taste
- Heat wok until hot. When your wok starts to ‘smoke’ it will be hot enough. Add a little oil and then toss the beef quickly in two batches until just browned. Set aside.
- Add the onion and toss for a minute or two. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies and vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes.
- Add the water chestnuts, lime juice and Kekap Manis and toss for another couple of minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. Taste and add a little more lime juice or Kekap Manis as you prefer. Add in the beef and toss to heat through.
- Serve on rice or noodles.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.