Sesame Beef

Sesame Beef is the perfect balance of sweet and savory and is the perfect, easy Chinese takeout recipe to make at home.

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This easy, restaurant-style Sesame Beef is one of those meals you will want to make every week. It's ready in less than 30 minutes, tastes like takeout, and is always a hit with kids. Serve it with some Vegetable Fried Rice or Healthy Chow Mein.

When I first posted the recipe for Sesame Chicken, I made it five times in nine days and had eaten it every way possible: tossed over rice, wrapped up in lettuce wraps, in an Asian-inspired salad, and even once for breakfast. I think there may be something slightly wrong with me, as that’s eating this delicious dish almost every other day.

So, last night while I stared into my fridge waiting for it to tell me what to make (there was no chicken), it spoke to me: Sesame Beef! Of course. So my obsession continues with this recipe. But if I'm wrong, and there is too much of a good thing, I don't want to be right, because this dish is seriously addicting and I could, indeed, make it and eat it every other day for the rest of my life.

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It really couldn't be easier to cut, sear, and cook the steak in this stock mixture and it's well worth every second you have to wait for it to cook, which really isn't that long at all. Slightly sweet, vinegary, garlicky, and salty, this beef is everything you want in a meat dish and more. Plus, like I did with the chicken version, this can be served in at least a million different ways.

And, as I've said before, it's so much healthier to make your own take-out favorites at home, not to mention easier on the wallet and even takes less time in my opinion!

Sesame beef with black sesame seeds and green onions in a bowl.

How do you make Sesame Beef?

The first thing I do when making Sesame Beef is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then cut my flank steak into strips. I set those aside.

Next, I whisk together the beef stock, brown sugar, oils, garlic, spices, and other liquids then set that aside as well.

I turn my attention to the sliced beef and toss it in a bowl with the dry ingredients to coat it and give it a nice "crust." Then, I add some olive oil to an oven-safe pan, skillet, or Dutch oven until it's heated up over medium heat. Carefully, I transfer the coated steak to the oil and arrange in one layer (so all of the meat is touching the oil at the same time). I cook the steak for three minutes on one side, then turn it all with tongs to sear on the other side for an additional three minutes.

Lastly, I turn the heat off on the stove, and pour the stock mixture I whisked together on top of the beef, stirring it all up to get the meat soaked into the liquid. I pop the entire thing into the oven and cook it for 15-20 minutes. When it's done cooking, I pull it out and add the sesame seeds to the meat, tossing it all together one more time for good measure, then I serve it and eat it for days on end!

Ways to Serve Sesame Beef

There are so many delicious ways to serve this dish, I won't bore you with the longest bulleted list ever. Instead, I'll give you the highlights:

  • Lettuce wraps are a great low-carb way to serve up the meat. Add your favorite toppings like sliced cabbage, Sriracha, or kimche and devour.
  • This beef also goes great over white or brown rice or cauliflower rice.
  • Serve this sesame beef recipe over noodles. Rice noodles, ramen, high-fiber spaghetti, or veggie noodles make a great base for the beef.
  • Eat it up plain! There's no shame in eating this Sesame Beef straight out of the oven, in a bowl with a little hot sauce.
  • This beef goes great over salad too. Any kind will do but I'm partial to this Chinese Chicken Salad (sub beef for chicken).
  • How about letting the beef cool a bit and then wrapping it in a rice paper roll for a new twist on an Asian spring roll?
  • Add it to this Asian Slaw for a yummy, vinegary, nutritious dish.

Healthy sesame beef in a bowl with black sesame seeds and a spoon.

What vegetables do I serve with Sesame Beef?

I love to add veggies to this dish to round it out. You can do this in several ways:

  • Add the veggies in while you're cooking the beef in the oven. Some of my favorite vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, edamame, cauliflower, or sugar snap peas.
  • Buy a bag of frozen vegetables in those steamable bags. Cook it in the microwave according to package directions and put it in with the steak when you get it out of the oven.
  • Use veggie noodles as your base and add the Sesame Beef on top.
  • Serve a side salad with the Sesame Beef. An Asian inspired like this Asian Noodle Salad would be delicious.

No matter how you slice this Sesame Beef recipe, it's good to the last bite — and then you'll want to make it all over again. Slice, cook, eat, repeat!

The Recipe
Sesame beef with thinly sliced flank steak in a sesame sauce in a bowl with sesame seeds.

Sesame Beef

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  • 1 1/2 lb lean flank steak, cut into strips
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


In a small bowl, whisk the beef stock, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and white vinegar together. Set aside.


In another bowl, toss the beef with salt, pepper, and flour.


In a large pan (make sure it’s oven safe) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the beef in one layer. Cook for three minutes on one side until seared and then flip and cook for another three minutes on the other side.


Turn off the heat and pour the beef stock mixture over the beef, stirring to combine.


Place the entire pan in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then toss the beef with sesame seeds and serve.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/2 cup (150g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 235
Calories from Fat 109
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 78mg
Sodium 292mg
Total Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 26g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Sesame Beef
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Jill Doying
February 18, 2016 - 17:16
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Super delicious! I made this with Carne Asada beef since it was half the price of Flank Steak and they look the same :) I honestly don't know my cuts of meat all that well. It crisped up in the oven and the sauce stuck divinely to the meat. I felt like I was eating at a fine restaurant, it was so good.
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