Beef Stir Fry with Lime and Kekap Manis

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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 adults and two young kids, about 100g of meat per adult is good for stir fry. Increase the vegetables and add a little more lime and Kekap Manis to feed more people.

Yield: 4

Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

beef and vegetable stir fry

This quick and easy mid-week meal stretches a little bit of meat to feed many. Lots of vegetables as well as a tin of water chestnuts for extra fibre and something a little different.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 300g 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, cut into sticks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into sticks
  • 1/2 capsicum, cut into sticks
  • a handful of snow peas
  • a handful of broccoli florets, cut into small florets
  • small tin of water chestnuts, drained
  • juice of half a lime
  • 3 Tbps. Kekap Manis or to taste
  • 200g rice or hokkein noodles


  1. Heat wok or frypan until hot.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the onion and toss for a minute or two. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies and vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Taste and add a little more lime juice or Kekap Manis as you prefer. Add in the beef and toss to heat through.
  6. Serve on rice or noodles.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 470Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 30g

Nutritional information is calculated automatically using the Nutritionix database. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, serving size or the source of nutrition data. We strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Cool, I’ve never used Kekap Manis before, so i’ll have to find this at the grocery store now!