Sweet & Sour Beef

I don’t make Asian food that often at home, but I really do love it. I recently had a real craving for sweet and sour something– whether it be seafood, beef or chicken. Many of the recipes I found used ketchup for the sauce (which I’m not a huge fan of when it comes to cooking with it) and other prepared sauces for the ‘sweet and sour’ part. Instead, I tested my own version of a homemade sweet and sour combination that worked really well, particularly with a high quality Halal meat like the Billy Doe Meats.

The ingredients I used are fairly simple and can be found in just about any grocery store international aisle: cane sugar, pineapple vinegar (or any fruity vinegar- apple cider vinegar is particularly good here), tomato sauce, sesame oil or toasted sesame oil (or a combination of the two). 

up close

I also used some greens from my garden: kale, spinach, celery and Swiss chard. You can use just one of these, if you like. 


If I had to choose just one, it would be kale- it’s thicker than spinach and tends to hold onto the meat a little better, if that’s all the greens you’re using.


But the Swiss chard does add some nice color when using the stems. 

Swiss Chard + Kale

I also added carrots- shredded, but also the leftover chunky parts, as nothing is wasted.  Garlic, too. Of course.

shaved carrots

After everything is chopped, the larger parts plus the onion and garlic get sautéd in the sesame oil. You can use a wok or Dutch oven to do this. 


I added ground ginger for added spice because I didn’t have fresh on hand. Either one works and freshly chopped is always preferable- to me, anyway. 

add spice

Use high heat once those ingredients are in the pot. 


Add the beef cubes. These looked fabulous. 

add meat

And the tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar and corn starch. 

add meat 2

Then the greens and shredded carrots, basically the thin stuff. 


Now we’re seeing more color, which is always nice when you’re about to eat the dish soon after cooking it. Makes it so much more appealing. 

begin to saute

 Then you’ll need to cover it, reduce the heat and let the beef cook. The greens will actually add moisture to the meat, making it nice and soft after about 25 minutes. I like to serve it over rice or noodles, but I could it all by itself, too. 

final - sweet and sour beef


Sweet and Sour Beef
A quick and easy way to make your own sweet and sour dish from scratch, without any boxed sauces or spice mixes. You can easily swap chicken or fish for the beef in this dish, although cooking times may vary.
  1. 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil + more for finishing
  2. 1 pound Angus beef stew cubes or strips (Crescent brand is dhabiha halal and grass fed)
  3. 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  4. 2 tablespoons scallions, diced
  5. 4 tablespoons garlic, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons ginger powder or fresh minced ginger
  7. 2 teaspoons sea salt + more, if desired
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  9. 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon pineapple vinegar or any fruit-derived vinegar
  10. 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  11. 1 tablespoon corn starch
  12. 1 cup kale, chopped
  13. 1/2 cup Swiss chard stems and leaves, chopped (reserve leaves for end of recipe)
  14. 1/2 cup spinach stems and leaves, chopped
  15. 1 stalk celery, stem and leaves, chopped
  16. 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  17. 2 carrots, shredded (plus the leftover chunky parts)
  1. Heat the sesame oil in a large Dutch oven or wok, watching carefully as not to burn it.
  2. Add the red onion, scallions and the chopped stems of the Swiss chard, spinach, celery and carrot chunks, sautéing until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Stir often so as not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the beef cubes and gently brown on each side.
  4. Pour in the vinegar, then add the sugar and cornstarch. Stir swiftly so that the mixture begins to thicken. Add the tomato sauce and combine it thoroughly. Add more sesame oil at any point in which the ingredients seem to dry out.
  5. Add the leaves of the Swiss chard, Spinach and kale. Stir to combine then reduce the heat and cover the pan.
  6. Let cook on low, for about 25 minutes, or until meat has softened and is cooked thoroughly.Finish with a few drops of toasted sesame oil, if desired.
  7. Serve immediately over steamed rice or Asian noodles.
Yvonne Maffei https://myhalalkitchen.com/

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  1. Assalaamu aliykum! Well i love fish fried rice i would definitely cook it in a wok! Cooking in a wok is much better than a regular frying pan because the heat distribution is much better! Especially when cooking a fried rice everything has to be cooked just right so yes i would cook it in a wok with lots of love 🙂

  2. I understand the terms and I follow Crescent of Twitter (cezovski9) and on Facebook (Carolsue Anderson)
    My favorite recipe is Pad Thai which would be great to make in a wok!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  3. My favorite Asian dish is my Chicken Chop Suey, which I love to make. I would definitely cook it in a wok if given the chance. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    fairyfractal at gmail dot com

    1. I am also following Crescent Foods on Facebook and Twitter (@fairyfractal). I forgot to mention that in my first post 🙂

  4. As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh, I love fried rice alhumdulillah and I would definitely make it in a wok. May Allah make this Ramadan easy on you and make you successful in it!

  5. Assalaamu alaikum wr wb. Looks so good Alhumdulillah. Love the fresh, easily accessible ingredients & simple method.

  6. Hubby and I love orange chicken!! I think having a wok would make it a lot easier to cook orange chicken 😀

  7. I love fried rice or stir fry noodles… my absolute favorites … I’m so glad we are getting more halal companies. It makes life so much easier and keeps those temptations at bay… doa to those who open halal restaurants and have created companies such as Zabiha, Mina and Cresent.

  8. Wow! your dish so nice! I love cooking and eating butter chicken. And though I haven’t so far, I would love to cook it in a wok. (i.e. if and when I get a wok :P)

  9. I love having me some Spicy Szechuan chicken or shrimp stir fry which would be amazing to learn to cook in a wok instead of a regular pan!

  10. Assalamo alaikum,
    I would love to make shrimp chowmein in this wok which is mine and my family favorite !!
    Liked crescent foods on Facebook:)

  11. I recently found crescent foods at my local caputos store ALHAMDULILLAH . But They are always sold out of everything.

    I love using the chicken to make orange chicken with broccoli, carrots and barley. Never any leftovers 🙂

    Liked crescent foods on facebook 🙂

  12. My favorite food is Basic Balti chicken which I would love to prepare in a wok. Then there is also the family’s favorite of Vietnamese chicken salad and Mushrooms with Thai basil; I would love to really try and prepare in a wok.

  13. My favorite Asian dish is Pad Thai. I love it so much I’m going to Thailand in December inshallah! and this wok would be a great addition to my kitchen.

  14. Suzuchian beef. Yum. Oh and then there is always orange chicken. I love to cook and these are my husbands favorites. Wok cooking is more exciting and gives a much more authentic taste!

  15. i love beef and chicken teriyaki also satay ,bone marrow soup,meat ball soup, noodles..bok choy etc …i hope i could win it bcs i love to cook… ^_^

  16. My favorite Asian dish is Chicken Teriyaki. And a wok would definitely help.
    P.s. This recipe looks and sounds relish. Looking forward to trying my hand at it. 🙂

  17. My favorite is Egg Foo Yung… And I would love to try making it with my own chickens’ eggs in this beautiful wok set! I liked Crescent Foods on Facebook as well. 🙂

  18. I would make seafood fried rice with plenty of five spice! Oh yeah one of my favorite meals, I would cook it in a wok. A wok holds more than the average pan and would cook this dish to perfection.

  19. My favorite is broccoli beef. This wok would be a great way to make fast and healthy meals in Ramadan inshaAllah. I have liked Crescent on Facebook.

  20. I am newly married and experimenting in the kitchen! I have a husband who loves good food and so I am always trying out new recipes! I want to make this chili chicken and also chicken manchurian and so this wok would be great! Especially for different stir-frys! Thank you for this generous giveaway!

  21. We love cooking south eastern asian cuisine. This set would be a great asset in our kitchen to attempt with exploring other dishes from that part of the word to create and eat!

  22. One of the easiest and truly asian food I love is the fried rice. Be it Thai fried rice with added fish sauce or the malaysian Nasi Goreng and the Singapore schezwan fried rice, every asian nation have its own twist to its staple fried rice. And one thing that makes a fried rice really fantastic is a good wok put on full flame. Looking forward to the wonderful gift.

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