Tender slices of steak with crisp snow peas, carrots, and broccoli, sesame beef stir fry is a quick and nutritious meal, with a pleasantly spicy ginger sesame sauce.
Lean sliced beef, a colorful array of vegetables, and a really flavorful sauce make this dinner a winner. Stir fry meals have a lot going for them: lean protein, all those good-for-you veggies (try to get 5-10 servings a day!), and zippy sauces to make everything taste so good. Served with steamed jasmine rice or even better, whole grain brown rice, you’ll have a nutrition packed meal.
About this recipe
Stir fry dinners are quick and healthy. All you need is a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a large skillet or wok. In thirty minutes or less, you can have a sizzling beef and vegetable dinner on the table. You’ll find the complete printable recipe on the recipe card below and make ahead tips, too.
If you’re planning on serving rice with your stir-fry, you’ll want to get that cooking first. Make sure you have everything ready for the stir-fry before you get started. Once the pan is hot, you’ll want to keep moving and you won’t have time to do any chopping or measuring.
Ready? Let’s get started! Sear the beef briefly on both sides and remove it from the pan. Doing the beef separately allows you to to control how you cook it, whether you like your beef medium-rare or well-done. Toss the vegetables into the hot pan and stir fry for just a few minutes.
Add the sauce ingredients and simmer a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Slice the beef thinly against the grain, add it back to the pan and dinner’s ready! It’s as easy as that!
Didn’t that go super fast? Take a deep cleansing breath before you dig in. Time to enjoy your dinner!
What you need
- Chuck or Flank Steak: You can use any cut of beef (except ground beef!) in this recipe but chuck/flank steak has a nice flavor, isn’t too expensive, and is a good cut to use when doing a quick sear like this.
- Lots of Fresh Veggies: Snow peas, broccoli florets, sliced carrots, and green onions are great but use what you like best.
- Olive Oil for sautéing.
- Soy Sauce: I like to use low sodium soy sauce so that you can control the salt in your stir fry.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: Be sure to use toasted, not plain, sesame oil for a warm nutty flavor.
- Rice Vinegar: Lime juice can be substituted for the vinegar if you don’t have it.
- Ginger: Freshly grated ginger root adds a bit of zingy spice.
- Garlic: grated, pressed, or very finely minced.
- Sriracha: Hot pepper sauce adds a little more heat, use as much or as little as you like.
- Cornstarch: This thickens the sauce. You could also use arrowroot powder.
- Sesame seeds and lime wedges for garnish.
Yes, you’ll love the steak in this beef stir fry. Choose a steak that’s tender and lean, like flank steak, sirloin steak, or skirt steak. Slice across the grain to cut the fibers so the meat will be tender.
It’s all about the sauce in a stir-fry. While meat and vegetables have lots of flavor on their own, sauces really enhance the stir fry. Look for toasted sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, pepper sauce, ginger, vinegar or fruit juices. Fresh herbs and scallions are flavor-boosters, too.
Here’s a few helpful hints for a good stir-fry:
Use good cuts of meat and very fresh vegetables and have everything prepped before you turn the pan on.
Make sure you have the right kind of pan. A wok or large sloping skillet that can take high heat is needed for a good stir-fry. Make sure it’s good and hot before you begin.
Fry the meat first and remove it from the pan before you add the veggies. If you leave it in the whole time, the pan will be overcrowded and the meat will overcook.
Throw the harder, slower-to-cook veggies in first so they get done.
Make It Your Own
Stir-fry meals are so versatile. You can use any kind of meat, vegetable, and sauce you desire. Don’t care for beef? Try chicken or shrimp. Substitute crispy tofu for a vegetarian meal. Have some celery or peppers you want to use? Go ahead and add them. Allergic to sesame? Simply omit the toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds. Love garlic? Add more! Like a lot of spice? Add more ginger, or more Sriracha, or red pepper flakes. I think you’re getting the idea!
If you’d rather have your steak broiled, try this yummy Steak Sheet Pan Dinner. It’s a one pan meal, too.
Keep reading for more stir fry recipes below.
Prep the vegetables ahead of time. Wash, slice, cut into florets, etc., place in a zip top bag or covered bowl, and refrigerate until ready to stir fry.
Combine the sauce ingredients and refrigerate. Give the sauce a good stir before adding it to the stir fry.
If you’ve prepped the vegetables and the sauce, you can have this meal on the table in fifteen minutes. You gotta love that!
Storage and Reheating Tips
Personally, I like to store the leftover stir fry and rice together. Rice has a tendency to dry out in the fridge but the sauce helps keep it moist.
Store leftovers, covered, in the fridge for up to three days. Our friends at Kitchn have some really great tips if you’d like to stock your freezer with convenient uncooked stir fry meals.
While stir fry meals are best eaten right away, leftovers aren’t bad either. Reheat in a skillet until warmed through or hit the “reheat” button on your microwave.
Try the leftover beef and vegetable mixture in a lettuce wrap! If you have leftover rice, try making fried rice with it.
More Stir Fry Recipes
Happiness is a stir-fry! Stir fry meals can be a clean-out-your-fridge adventure or a stir-fry can be simple with just a couple of crisp veggies and a sprinkling of toasted cashews. It’s totally a “you” thing. Here’s a few recipes to get you thinking:
- Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry
- Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry with Lemon and Garlic
- Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry
- Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger and Basil
- Easy Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry Recipe
- Sheet Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables – similar to a stir fry, but baked, you have to try this one!
- Air Fryer Egg Rolls – to go with your stir-fry, or try Air Fryer Crab Rangoon!
- Homemade Orange Chicken Recipe – a takeout favorite!
- Quick Satay Peanut Stir Fry by RecipeTinEats – I’d like to try this one soon!
- 1/4 cup water
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- ½ teaspoon Sriracha, or to taste
- 1 lb. chuck or flank steak
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup fresh snow peas
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup sliced carrot
- ¼ cup sliced green onion
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Lime wedges, to serve
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until no large lumps of cornstarch remain. Set aside.
- Pat the steak dry with a paper towel. Very lightly season it with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet (like stainless steel or cast iron) set over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot, add in the steak and sear for 2 minutes per side.
- Remove the steak to a plate. Add the remaining stir-fry ingredients (snow peas, broccoli, carrot, and green onion). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp tender — about 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat.
- While the vegetables are cooking, thinly slice the steak against the grain in about ¼” slices.
- When the vegetables have finished cooking, reduce the heat to medium. Give the sauce ingredients another good stir and add it to the pan. Stir until it starts to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Once the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, add the sliced steak and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, if using.
- Substitute chicken, shrimp or tofu for the beef, if desired.
- Add or substitute different vegetables, such as mushrooms, onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, or whatever you like.
- Like a lot of spice? Add more ginger, or more Sriracha, or red pepper flakes.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.