What Is Sesame Beef? (Fully Explained)

Are you a fan of Chinese takeout? Do you love the sweet and savory flavors of sesame beef?

Well, you’re in luck because we’ve got the perfect recipe for you!

This dish is made with tender flank steak, stir-fried with red peppers and green onions, and coated in a delicious soy sesame brown sugar sauce. It’s easy to make and tastes even better than takeout!

In this article, we’ll dive into the history of sesame beef, explore its ingredients, and teach you how to make it at home.

So grab your wok and let’s get cooking!

What Is Sesame Beef?

Sesame beef is a popular Chinese dish that has become a staple in many American Chinese restaurants. It’s a stir-fry dish made with thinly sliced flank steak, red peppers, and green onions, all coated in a sweet and savory sauce made with soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and other flavorful ingredients.

The dish gets its name from the sesame seeds that are often sprinkled on top as a garnish. The sesame seeds not only add a nutty flavor to the dish but also give it a nice crunch.

The History Of Sesame Beef

The origins of sesame beef are not clear, but it is believed to have originated in China. Chinese cuisine has a long history, dating back thousands of years, and is known for its use of fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and unique cooking techniques.

Sesame beef is a modern twist on traditional Chinese dishes, incorporating flavors and ingredients that are popular in American cuisine. It is often served as a “takeout” dish in Chinese restaurants in America, alongside other popular dishes like General Tso’s chicken and lo mein.

One of the challenges with sesame beef is that it can be high in calories and unhealthy when prepared with excessive amounts of oil and sugar. However, many home cooks have adapted the recipe to make it healthier by using leaner cuts of beef and reducing the amount of oil and sugar used in the sauce.

Ingredients Used In Sesame Beef

The key ingredients used in sesame beef include flank steak, red peppers, green onions, and sesame seeds. Flank steak is a lean cut of beef that is thinly sliced and marinated to tenderize it. The marinade typically includes soy sauce, olive oil, baking soda, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and sesame oil.

The sauce for sesame beef is made with soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, sesame oil, sesame seeds, beef broth, and cornstarch. This combination of ingredients creates a sweet and savory flavor that complements the tender steak and vegetables.

Red peppers and green onions are also important components of sesame beef. The red peppers add color and a slight sweetness to the dish while the green onions provide a fresh onion flavor and a pop of green color.

Sesame seeds are the finishing touch to this dish. They add a nutty flavor and a crunchy texture that complements the tender beef and vegetables.

How To Make Sesame Beef At Home

Making sesame beef at home is surprisingly easy and can be a healthier alternative to ordering takeout. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make sesame beef at home:

1. Choose your meat: For this recipe, you’ll need thinly sliced flank steak. You can also use sirloin or sirloin tip if you prefer.

2. Marinate the meat: Whisk together a marinade made with soy sauce, olive oil, baking soda, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and sesame oil. Marinate the meat for at least 15 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours.

3. Prepare the sauce: Whisk together a sauce made with soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, sesame oil, sesame seeds, beef broth, and cornstarch.

4. Prepare the vegetables: Cut your vegetables into thin slices or matchsticks. You can use red bell pepper, broccoli, snap peas, or any other vegetables you like.

5. Cook the meat: Heat up a wok or non-stick fry pan until it’s very hot. Add a tablespoon of oil and swirl it around. Add half of the beef strips in a single layer and cook for about 2 minutes until one side begins to turn crispy and develop a sear. Flip the strips and repeat until cooked. Remove them to a bowl and cook the second half of the beef strips the same way.

6. Cook the vegetables: Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok or skillet and swirl to coat. Add the white/yellow onions slices and the carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. When the veggies are almost done, add the garlic to the vegetables and cook for 30 seconds to a minute until it is fragrant.

7. Combine everything: Add the sauce to the wok and stir until it begins to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked meat and green onions.

8. Serve: Serve your sesame beef with rice or noodles if desired. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion slices.

Making sesame beef at home is not only easy but also allows you to customize the dish to your taste preferences. You can adjust the amount of spice or sweetness in the sauce or add more or fewer vegetables depending on what you have on hand. Give it a try and enjoy this delicious Chinese dish in the comfort of your own home!

Tips And Tricks For Perfect Sesame Beef

Making sesame beef at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your sesame beef turns out perfectly every time:

1. Use the right cut of beef: Flank steak is the most commonly used cut of beef for sesame beef, but you can also use skirt steak, sirloin steak, or any other cut of beef that’s appropriate for stir-frying. Make sure to slice the meat thinly against the grain to ensure tenderness.

2. Freeze the beef: To make slicing the beef easier, place the steak in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will firm up the meat and make it easier to slice into thin strips.

3. Coat the beef in cornstarch or flour: To get a crispy crust around the beef, coat it in a mixture of cornstarch or flour and egg yolk combined with soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine. This will not only increase the crunchiness but also add classic flavor to the dish.

4. Use fresh garlic and ginger: These aromatics are essential for adding flavor and zing to the sauce. Try to use fresh garlic and ginger if possible.

5. Balance sweet and savory: Sesame beef should have some sweetness, traditionally achieved through sugar. Swap in honey or agave if you prefer. To balance the sweetness, add some rice vinegar to the sauce for an acidic note.

6. Garnish with sesame seeds: Add some crunch and extra sesame flavor by garnishing the dish with some sesame seeds.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make delicious sesame beef that rivals your favorite restaurant’s version. Enjoy!

Variations Of Sesame Beef To Try

While sesame beef is a delicious dish on its own, there are many variations that you can try to mix things up and add some variety to your meals. Here are a few variations of sesame beef that you can try:

1. Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry: This variation adds cabbage to the dish, which gives it a nice crunch and keeps it feeling light. The dish is tossed in a sesame ginger sauce, which adds a tangy flavor to the dish.

2. Easy Sesame Beef Recipe: This recipe is made with tender flank steak that’s stir-fried with red peppers and green onions. The dish is healthier than takeout and tastes better too!

3. Crispy Sesame Beef: This homemade version of sesame beef is crispy and delicious. It’s made with tender flank steak that’s fried until crispy and then tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce.

4. Asian Sesame Beef Skewers: These skewers are made with a simple marinade made with sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and chili flakes. They’re grilled to perfection and are so tender and flavorful.

5. Sesame Beef Salad: If you’re looking for a lighter version of sesame beef, try making it into a salad! Simply toss thinly sliced flank steak with mixed greens, sliced red onions, and a sesame dressing made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and sesame oil.

No matter which variation you choose, sesame beef is sure to be a hit at any meal!

Health Benefits Of Sesame Beef

While sesame beef may not be the healthiest dish out there, it does have some nutritional benefits. Flank steak, the main ingredient in sesame beef, is a great source of protein. It’s also low in fat and calories compared to other cuts of beef.

The dish also contains garlic and ginger, two ingredients that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help boost the immune system. Additionally, the use of sesame oil in the dish provides healthy fats that can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.

However, it’s important to note that many sesame beef recipes call for high amounts of sugar and sodium. To make the dish healthier, consider using alternative sweeteners like honey or agave and reducing the amount of soy sauce used. Adding more vegetables like broccoli or snow peas can also increase the nutritional value of the dish.