Super Quick Sesame Beef and Asparagus

Super Quick Sesame Beef and Asparagus
Super Quick Sesame Beef and Asparagus
So how quick is super quick? Well, with good organization, I had this on the table in about 20 minutes. I think good organization and time efficiency is really the key to these sorts of recipes. For example I always have two things going on simultaneously. While the water boils for blanching, chop the garlic and asparagus. While the asparagus blanches, slice the beef and grate the ginger. Always assemble all of the ingredients you will need on the counter next to the stove before you start cooking. You can even do that while waiting for the wok to heat. Pre-measuring the ingredients into small ramekins is also a huge help, especially for quick stir fried dishes because measuring as you go takes more time and the dish can easy overcook. Actively thinking of ways to optimize preparation and cooking time is a habit successful cooks all have and once you acquire that skill, I promise that much of your cooking stress will disappear.

In this particular recipe, unlike many sesame beef recipes, you will notice that I do not pre-marinate the beef. Instead, I prefer to use tender cuts of beef like prime rib, striploin or even tenderloin steak which are excellent for quick stir-frying without getting tough. With such strong flavors in recipes like these I sometimes think that the flavor of the beef gets lost when marinating, so, many times I prefer just to prepare the meat and sauces separately and then bring them together briefly at the end. This recipe definitely is a good example of this concept because the flavor of the beef is still quite distinct even in the presence of the bold flavor of the sauce.

Every busy family needs more of these sorts of recipes, so if you are looking for more like this, please click here to visit our Pinterest Quick and Easy Meals collection.

Super Quick Sesame Beef and Asparagus

Recipe by Barry C. Parsons
A super quick and delicious meal in minutes. When there's practically no time for cooking, this highly flavorful dinner is ready in less time that you can pick up take-out.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced steak
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce (reduced sodium version if available)
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil ( more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup beef stock (or water)
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus
  • 3/4 cup sliced water chestnuts
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut the asparagus into 1 1/2 inch pieces and blanch in boiling salted water for only 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Drain the asparagus and immediately plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking and preserve its color. (You can use broccoli or green beans here if you prefer but use the same cooking method for them too.)
  3. After a minute, drain the ice water off of the asparagus and set it aside.
  4. Heat a wok over very high heat. Add 2 tbsp of peanut or regular sesame oil and quickly stir fry the steak slices for only 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the beef from the wok and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
  6. To the wok, add the ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, 5 spice powder, rice wine vinegar, black pepper, brown sugar and toasted sesame oil. Bring to a boil for only a minute.
  7. Dissolve the corn starch in the water and add to the simmering sauce in the wok, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
  8. Add the beef back to the sauce along with the blanched asparagus and water chestnuts.
  9. Simmer only for another minute or so until the beef, water chestnuts and asparagus are heated through. Serve over steamed rice or your favorite Chinese noodles.
  10. Sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds when serving. 
Super Quick Sesame Beef and Asparagus
Super Quick Sesame Beef and Asparagus

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