Stir-fried beef with tropical fruit

Photographer: Emma
Serves 4

Amie’s first recipe contribution was her Dad’s steamed pork and now she brings another delicious Chinese recipe.

This recipe is a beautiful example of the compatibility of salty, succulent beef with sweet delicate fruit – in fact it’s become a regular weeknight meal in our house.  The versatility of this recipe was proven as the day we went to cook and photograph the dish, we couldn’t find dragonfruit.  We instead used mangosteen which provided the tropical sweetness we were looking for.  If your local store does stock dragonfruit, do use it…close your eyes and be transported to Amie’s family village in China.

Here are Amie’s words about one of her favourite meals:

Having lived my whole life in New Zealand and becoming somewhat westernised to the unique European culture I have always been taught by my parents to “remember where they came from, and what makes me, well ‘me’”. Like how my parents lived and grew up in a small village of China, and to be grateful for what they have offered me.

This is the reason why I always enjoy my family visits back to China whenever possible, and always on arrival my uncle knows to contact nearly the whole village to have a feast that night to welcome us. And my all time favourite dish to have is stir-fried beef with dragonfruit (aka Pitaya).

This unique dish is very refreshing as it combines red meat with a rather bland but mildly-sweet fruit, this flavour combination is very much a palate cleanser while adding texture to the dish from the dragonfruit’s crunchy seeds.

This dish is healthy and relatively easy to make, and the trick is to work fast in the wok on high heat, since mushy fruit is not ideal…


For the marinade
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp cornflour
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
2 tbsp canola oil

For the stir fry
180g dragon fruit/magosteen/tropical fruit
400g beef fillet (e.g. sirloin)
2 green capsicums
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp water
8 baby cos lettuce leaves

Fresh coriander leaves and white rice to serve


1. Combine the marinade ingredients together.
2. Slice the beef, combine with the marinade and refrigerate preferably overnight but a couple of hours is fine.
3. Prepare your fruit. Peel, remove the flesh and cut into 1 cm cubes.
4. Finely chop garlic and slice capsicums.
5. In a hot wok or frying pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Fry the beef until 80% done and then remove the beef and set aside.
6. In the same wok or frying pan, heat the remaining oil and stir fry the chopped garlic, then add the capsicums, sugar, water and then the beef. Cook for 1 minute.
7. Lastly add the fruit and toss to only just combine – this will prevent water coming out of the fruit and the fruit becoming mushy.
8. Serve the beef on the lettuce leaves with a side of rice.
9. To finish, garnish with fresh coriander leaves.