Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

It’s been a while! I could tell you the hows and whys of it, but suffice it to say things have been a bit rocky in Egypt these past few months. The country’s been a bit of a mess and I went freelance fulltime, which allowed me to work from home but crowded my schedule. But now that things have leveled out, it’s time to dust off the ole keyboard and get into the blogging swing.

Beef stirfry

Over the last few months I’ve reevaluated a lot of what it meant for me to be paleo. I did what seemed like a million Whole 30s and always came out of them feeling on the one hand better, but on the other hand deprived, and always much more sensitive to foods than I should have been. I remember one particular night involving cashews and stomach pain so bad you’d think I swallowed a grenade. The takeaway? Moderation. Everything I can tolerate that is nourishing in one way or another in moderation.

I realized there’s no one way to eat. For me, paleo makes me feel the best, but absolute 100% adherence to it makes me crazy. I can’t get my hands on coconut aminos or super fine milled almond flour or arrowroot powder on the regular. Am I going to cry about using soy sauce, eating the very occasional cookie, or crumbling blue cheese on my salad. No.

So in the spirit of back to basics and simplicity, here’s my mid-week beef and cabbage stirfry. The best thing about it is that you can add, remove, or sub pretty much anything. Because it’s a stir fry and that’s the point.

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

1 medium onion, sliced
1 tbs coconut oil or ghee
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb-length ginger, minced
1lb (0.5kg) lean beef mince
2tsp Chinese five-spice (I make my own adapted from this recipe)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce (can sub 1 tbs fish sauce)
1/2 medium napa cabbage
1 red bell pepper, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1. In a wok or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions in the coconut oil until softened
2. Toss in the garlic and ginger and mix until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Turn the heat up to high and add the beef, breaking it up as it cooks to brown evenly. Let the moisture completely evaporate before moving on to the next step.
4. Add in the five-spice, vinegar, and soy sauce and let it deglaze the pan.
5. Add in the cabbage  and peppers and let them cook until wilted to your desired crunch.
6. Season with salt and pepper, top with sesame seeds and a half-boiled egg.


  1. Thanks for link. This looks great!

  2. You’ve been missed!! Couldn’t agree more with your new attitude. Welcome back. :)

  3. Yayyyy!!! So glad you’re back!

  4. Josianne says:

    Hi. Am moving to Egypt in August. I’ve been gluten-free for 3 years but am now convinced I have to go paleo. I hope you will keep blogging Egypt-sourced paleo recipes. I’m going to be bringing in coconut aminos and coconut flour. Are there any other hard to get ingredients that you would suggest?

    • Hey Josianne :) welcome (almost) to Egypt! Coconut aminos and coconut flour are good starts. You will be able to occasionally find the flour here. You’ll also be able to find flax and chia seeds plus a few gluten free items. Almond flour is also around. What you may want to bring with you is tapioca or arrowroot flour if you use those for desserts. I like to bring back a good fish sauce, any kind of snack bars I feel I may eat, grassfed gelatine, coconut sugar, coconut oil. Also keep in mind that while you can find a lot of things here (check out gourmet Egypt’s website) they are extremely expensive so if you plan to use something a lot, bring it anyway. Hope that helps.

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