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Hearty, saucy beef and broccoli with a side of white rice, and green onions in a rustic bowl.

Sesame Beef and Broccoli

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings, or 2-3 if you're very hungry 1x


Sesame Beef and Broccoli! Full of protein, green broccoli goodness, and sticky-sweet garlic and ginger flavor. Perfect at-home takeout!


Units Scale

The Basics:

  • 1 lb. beef flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
  • one 1-inch knob fresh peeled ginger, grated or sliced
  • 1.5 cups of uncooked white rice or brown rice, (or a bag of cauliflower rice)
  • thinly sliced green onions for serving

The Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (sub coconut sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (sub white vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Beef Prep: Freeze beef for 30 minutes – 1 hour for easier slicing. Slice against the grain, into very thin strips. Toss the beef strips with a generous pinch of coarse salt and let it rest while you prep everything else. (All of this is optional but recommended for flavor and texture.)
  2. Sauce: Whisk the sauce ingredients together.
  3. Rice: Cook your rice according to package directions.
  4. Stir Fry Time: Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a swish of oil. Working in batches, add the beef in a single layer. Let rest, undisturbed, for a minute or two to achieve a nice browning on the meat. Flip each piece over and cook until browned and yummy. Remove beef from pan.
  5. Broccoli: Add a swish of oil to the same pan. Add the broccoli; stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until bright green. (Sometimes I add a splash of water to steam it a little bit.) Remove broccoli from pan.
  6. Finally: Turn the heat down and let the pan cool a bit. Add one last swish of oil. Add the ginger and garlic; sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the sauce; stir until a thickened and sticky sauce forms. Add beef and broccoli back in. Toss gently to coat.
  7. YUM! Serve with rice, thinly sliced green onions, and sesame seeds. 


It’s easier to get a nice sear on the meat if it’s mostly dry when it goes into the hot skillet, which is why I am not recommending marinating the meat in the sauce. When you marinate it in the sauce, it gets wet, which makes it cook differently in the pan (more like steaming – not as good as a nice browned sear).

Vegan option: Sliced tempeh is delicious and works wonderfully in this recipe! I would recommend letting it marinate in a little bit of the sauce before cooking to get the best flavor.

Rice Amounts: 1 1/2 cups rice, 2 1/4 cup water, a pinch of salt. Add to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes, and allow for natural pressure release (this should give you enough rice for 4 very generous servings).

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: beef and broccoli, stir fry recipe, beef recipe, takeout at home