Stir fry is one of my go-to choices for weekday diners. It’s easy to make, relatively quick, and super flexible. No matter what vegetables I have in the fridge, I can usually whip up a stir fry. As for meat, beef, chicken and pork have all found their way into my wok at one time or another. Even leftover meat gets a second life in my wok. Leftover steak, roast beef or pork tenderloin have all been transformed into stir fry in my kitchen.
Although I have my ‘usual’ stir fry, lately I’ve been branching out and trying out different flavours. I have some toasted sesame seeds in the pantry that have been catching my eye a lot lately. So a stir fry featuring the flavour of sesame seeds seemed appropriate. And what better to pair with sesame than orange? The result is this orange sesame beef stir fry.
This orange sesame beef is a bit sweet, has lots of sauce, and big bites of crisp vegetables. I like to use medium width rice noodles as the base layer for this stir fry as the noodles are the perfect vehicle to pick up all the saucy goodness.
I used round steak for this recipe, which has lots of nice beefy flavour, but many cuts of beef would work, including sirloin steak, skirt steak or flank steak.
My family doesn’t like crunchy broccoli, so I cheat a bit when making stir fry. I microwave the broccoli for two minutes on medium high heat (with a bit of water in the bowl) before adding it to the wok. It gives the broccoli a head start, making it a bit more tender, but still keeping its shape and a nice bright green colour.
You will note that in this recipe, the sesame oil doesn’t get added until the end, and the wok gets removed from the heat right after that. Sesame oil has a high smoke point, so it is safe to stir fry in it, but it also has a very intense flavour. Using it as the oil to fry in would bring too much sesame flavour to the dish. A little sesame oil goes a long way to adding that rich sesame flavour to food.
Recipe: Orange Sesame Beef
(recipe adapted from Orange Sesame Chicken from Clean Eating Magazine Nov/Dec 2013 issue)
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 lb round steak (or other steak suitable to stir frying), sliced into ¼” strips
- Brown rice vermicelli noodles, medium
- 1 small onion, large dice
- 1 red pepper, chopped into 1 ½” pieces
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets*
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Toasted sesame seeds
- In medium bowl, whisk together orange juice, soy sauce and flour. Set aside.
- In large wok, heat canola oil on medium-high. Stir fry beef until almost cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. If wok too crowded, cook beef in batches. When cooked, transfer beef to a plate and set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare rice noodles according to package directions.
- In wok used for beef, still on medium-high heat, add onion and stir fry for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add red pepper and broccoli and stir fry another 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender but still crisp.
- Add ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add cooked beef to wok. Pour in juice mixture and cook until sauce thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add sesame oil and stir entire mixture. Remove from heat.
- Drain rice noodles, and divide among bowls. Top each bowl with beef and vegetable mixture and sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.
*If you prefer your broccoli a bit more tender, place in a microwave safe bowl with a bit of water, and microwave on medium high heat for 2 minutes before adding to the wok.