January – Stir-fried Steak with Baby Bok Choy, Garlic, Ginger, Red Onion and Cannellini Beans

This recipe is a quick weeknight dinner idea. You could make this vegetarian by leaving out the steak (of course) and adding an extra can of cannelini beans or, even better, use edamami beans instead. The addition of the beans allows you to stretch the steak, making more servings.

Stir-fried Steak with Baby Bok Choy, Garlic, Ginger, Red Onion and Canellini beans

Steak and Bok Choy

Serves 3 – 4 

  • 12 oz of steak, cut into strips
  • About 4-6 baby bok choy – mine were on the large size so I used only 4
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3 thin slices of fresh ginger
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons of tamari or to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes


  1. Drain and rinse cannellini beans
  2. Cut off the end stems of Bok choy freeing up the leaves
  3. Cut the stems into slices and leave the leaves whole.
  4. Separately rinse the stems and leaves of bok choy, dirt hides in the stems where they attach to the base. I found a salad spinner helpful. Dry each but keep them separate.
  5. Chop the onion into medium dice and finely chop the garlic
  6. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and the pinch of crushed red pepper flakes with 1/4 Tsp salt in 1 Tbsp of water in a non-stick pan on medium heat until softened. Add more water if things get too dry but don’t add too much. The leaves and stems of the bok choy will release water.
  7. Add in bok choy stems, steak and 1 tablespoon of tamari, cook until the stems start to soften and steak looses it’s pink color, about 3 minutes
  8. Uncover and add the leaves of the bok choy and the beans, use tongs every minute while sautéing for another 3 minutes til tender but still crisp.
  9. Add the second tablespoon of tamari and toss.
  10. Remove the steak and vegetables to a serving dish, cook down any liquid until saucy and pour over the dish.

Note: a drizzle of roasted sesame oil would be delicious. Extra tamari at the table is a welcome addition.

I realize that many of the recipes over the next few weeks are on the comparatively bland side compared to my “usual” recipes. That is because they are designed to support a group who are following the Fast Metabolism Diet for 28 days. Don’t worry, the jacked up seasoning will be back. And, I may come back and “redo” some of these recipes.

But, meanwhile I think many people like simpler food without a lot of fancy ingredients. At the end of 28 days last May my taste buds had changed, I detected the sweetness of bok choy and the meatiness of the steak, my ability to taste more subtle flavors had become more acute. I didn’t need as much seasoning. Some folks are naturally that way and so these recipes will work for them as written. Feel free to use the recipes as a jumping off spot to your own creativity.

Serve with brown rice.

This is a phase 1 lunch or dinner for the Fast Metabolism Diet. In phase 1 serve it with with 1/2 cup of rice (the beans count as part of your starch). It is also a  phase 2 lunch or dinner prepared without the beans.

Steak and Bok Choy

Steak and Bok Choy

Beans and Stems Added

Steak and Bok Choy with Cannellini beans

I love your comments and ideas, please keep them coming.

6 thoughts on “January – Stir-fried Steak with Baby Bok Choy, Garlic, Ginger, Red Onion and Cannellini Beans

  1. Wishing you a belated Happy New Year all the way from Australia – although European-born I, like many others in the country, basically cook Asian/fusion. Thus it is delightful to see a healthy stir-fry recipe on your column . . . in busy times when I work alone from home this may be the choice four days out of seven! My ‘problem’ lies with your usage of ancillaries. Tamari is in everyone’s pantry but a very weak substitute to about 6-7 different soy sauces I use. And I would have loved to see oyster and fish sauces and a dozen more in the mix . . . for me this ‘stirfry’ somehow lacks in ‘attraction powers’! . . . perchance up north people’s taste buds are different . . .

    • Hello Eha, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. The recipes this month are designed to support a group of friends who are following the Fast Metabolism Diet for 28 days. The food/seasoning list is quite limited and does not include any soy, wheat, oil (for the first 4 days of the week), and sugar. Tamari is allowed, plus garlic and ginger. It’s a bit boring but only for 28 days. Oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil and others would definitely give it more flavor. And this recipe could take on an Italian mood if you sauté in olive oil, add more garlic, leave off the ginger and add a good sprinkling of parmesan. Maybe I will post an update after the diet is over. Thank you for your comment.

  2. While some people might think this is boring, when trying to keep to a particular diet you need every suggestion you can get. I think you have a meal that gets flavor from the garlic, ginger, onion and red pepper flakes. 🙂 Nicely done.

    • Hello Eha, there are lots of other recipes with more flavor on the blog and I welcome you. This is the first time I have done this type of diet on my blog, it won’t be a regular event.

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