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Tangerine Beef Stir Fry

We eat out very rarely. But if it’s a special occasion, or if someone’s parents are in town and treating us all to dinner, the Sweetie Pie really likes to go to a local Chinese place. He always spends lots of time reading the menu, wavering between this dish or that one, and then–every single time–he ends up ordering the orange beef. He saw this recipe when the magazine came in the mail and he said, “Ooh, yum!” What else could I do? The dish had to be made.

I made quite a few ingredient changes. First, I used tangelos instead of tangerines. Whenever I’m using citrus zest in a dish, I prefer that it be organic. I couldn’t find organic tangerines, so I chose tangelos instead. I think this may have worked out better anyway, because the quantity of juice in a tangelo is much more than in a tangerine. Less reaming=happy mama.

Some of my substitutions were a matter of preference (using honey instead of sugar; reducing the quantity of scallions and red-pepper, to make it more child-friendly).

Other substitutions were allergen related. I can’t have corn, so I always use potato starch in place of corn starch. You could also use tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder, or any other thickener that suits your diet.

I substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce. I’ve written before about the various things I use in place of soy sauce. Either of them would be appropriate here, but I chose the coconut aminos because I thought the sweetness would go well with the tangerine flavor.

Finally, a reminder to check your vinegar for this recipe. If you’re gluten-intolerant, vinegar is a sneaky source of potential gluten. Only buy vinegar that is certified gluten-free.

I recommend serving this up with a substantial green veggie. I used steamed broccoli, which was great. You could also use steamed snow peas or snap peas.

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Tangerine Beef Stir Fry

Serve with some substantial veg that could be mixed into the sauce if desired–broccoli works well. <br>Recipe changes: reduced scallion, reduced red pepper, cornstarch replaced with potato starch, soy sauce replaced with coconut aminos, sugar replaced with agave syrup

Source: Everyday Foods (adapted)

Course: Main (Beef)

Cuisine: Asian

Main Ingredient: Beef



  • 3 pound organic beef sirloin, sliced very thinly against the grain
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 6 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
  • 12 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 wide strips tangerine zest
  • 6 Tbs fresh tangerine juice
  • 2 Tbs potato or tapioca starch
  • 12 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 Tbs soy-less sauce
  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar gluten free
  • 4 tsp honey or agave
  • 4 Tbs cooking oil
  • rice, for serving


  1. Thinly slice two of the scallions. Cut the remaining scallions into thirds, discarding the white part.
  2. In a bowl, combine the beef, thinly sliced scallion, ginger, zest, potato starch, and salt; toss to coat. In a separate bowl, combine juice, soy-less sauce, vinegar, honey, and 2 Tbs water.
  3. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat until hot. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add beef mixture and remaining scallions and cook, stirring constantly, until beef is browned, about 5 minutes. Add tangerine-juice mixture; cook, stirring, until sauce is bubbling and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve over rice.

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