Sesame Beef and Broccoli Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Sesame Beef and Broccoli

63 reviews / 4.9 average

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

Say hello to this weeknight beauty! It is full of protein, green broccoli goodness, and sticky-sweet garlic and ginger flavor, and it has been fueling me through these long end-of-winter days.

This is sesame beef and broccoli – sesame because it’s got a tablespoon of sesame oil in the sauce (LUSCIOUS) and beef and broccoli because of the, well, beef and broccoli.

I was initially going to call this recipe easy – and it is easy, I guess – but also, there are several steps and lots of high heat and sometime searing meat business can feel like a bit of a job, so just trust me when I say while you should probably wear an apron, this is still 100% weeknight material.

The prep time is minimal, the ingredients are mostly pantry staples, and the total time is low.


Beef and broccoli in a bowl with a fork.

A few things I’d like to point out about this Beef and Broccoli:

Please Sear The Meat

This is very important. You do not want the meat to simmer or steam – you want it BROWNED. In order to get the browning without overcooking, you’re going to have to work with a very very very hot pan. I used a cast iron skillet for this which worked really well.

Marinate, But Not With Sauce

Whenever I marinated the meat in a little sauce to improve its flavor, there was so much excess moisture from the sauce that came into the hot pan with the beef that it essentially went into simmering / steaming mode. Not good.

To prevent this but still get the flavor, I “marinated” the meat with just dry salt. Just sprinkled it with salt and let it rest. This worked beautifully because the meat you put into the skillet is dry, which is what you want to get a really nice sear on it.

If you want to get reeeally detailed about your salting, your searing, and all that goes into getting your steak perfectly cooked… this post is great.

The Sauce Is Yours

Honestly, I made the sauce just slightly different every time I made this. If you want more or less sweet, adjust sugar. Or salt, or vinegar, or whatever suits your fancy. The sauce is flexible!

The cornstarch is important, though, because it helps the sauce thicken into that yummy consistency that coats the beef and broccoli perfectly, so that should stay as-is.

Vegan Option

I love this recipe with sliced tempeh. Made it several times that way! YUM. Only difference is that you *should* marinate your tempeh in the sauce because it needs the help for better flavor!

Sesame beef and broccoli is bold and big and just all-around here for us in this season. It’s saucy seared meat, it’s tender-crisp veggies, it’s fresh, feel-good flavor. Get after it!

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Sesame Beef and Broccoli:

Click here to see the step-by-step web story instructions for this recipe!

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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 23 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

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This recipe is part of our collection of yummy beef recipes. Check it out!

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        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          So good! I’m always nervous about flank steak because it can be tough and I haven’t loved beef and broccoli recipes I’ve made in the past but this turned out SO good. My husband stopped half way through to say “good job on dinner tonight!” Pretty quick and easy to assemble and tastes great! I used sriracha instead of sambel oelek. Will definitely make again!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      OMG! Lindsay! Way delicious! Couldn’t find a flank steak, but I had london broil (think it was top round) in my freezer. This is sooo good. Love the sweet and hot combo. Might add cremini mushrooms next time and maybe try it with tofu. But was outstanding!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Arlene Kreuder

        Thanks for the info. After all that there it was right in the supermarket! Duh.

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I would love to see you do a blog on Hibachi or home grilled Shrimp with lightly cooked Brocoli in black bean sauce cooked, with the Broccoli cooked inside a wok. And maybe you can do a YouTube video with that too?! 🙂

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks amazing. I want to have it for dinner tonight!! I have everything to make it right now… except I have chicken breast instead of steak. And while I’m SURE it’ll be better with steak–I’ma just try it with chicken first. Because I can’t wait until I get around to the store again. That sauce looks delish.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo


      chicken breast is a health your selection because it easier to digest. And if you slip up and eat some chicken before going to bed, at least it’s a good thing to know that it won’t put much fat on the stomach in the morning and may possibly help your ab workouts be smoother in the morning after going to the gym and repenting for by exercising. Agree? 🙂

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Maybe I’m late to the party but I love these video additions for each step!! Such a good idea! Also totally making this for lunch next week 😋

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo


      Salmon is a great substitute for anything. It’s low in carbs also, which is great to eat 1 hour after a workout or after completing treadmill cardio.

      How do you prefer to cook your Salmon, Anne? 🙂

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this tonight and it was devoured by all (including my two kids, youngest being 7). Don’t leave out the Sambal, it takes it to a new level (and just the right amount of spicy).

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      this was so good!!! I used about half the sugar suggested and used a skirt steak. It tastes better than takeout and was so easy! Thank you!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this tonight as written except for substituting sriracha for sambal oelek. It was delicious! Will make again.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this on Friday and it got rave reviews! Someone had a suggestion that adding a bit of orange zest could be good, and I’ll try that next time. But it’s absolutely delicious just as-is.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Well i would eat anything that contains protein and your recipe contains a lot of it. The prep time is minimal and all the ingredients are usually available so you do not have to rush to the market specially.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    emily elling

    this was awesome! The only sub I did was instead of cornstarch, I used arrowroot powder. And I also tossed my beef strips in arrowroot powder before hitting the skillet. Made them extra crispy and the sauce nice and thick…

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Has anyone tried this with shiitakes in the mix? I don’t have tempeh so I was thinking of using shiitakes

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sodiq Rice Husk

    I was looking to make sesame beef and broccoli with roasted sesame seeds, That above recipe will help me making a delicious dish right at home. Thank you for sharing this to me.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lindsey Underhill

    This was a big hit with my family! Even my super picky 5 year demanded I “MAKE THIS EVERY DAY!”. Thanks for the tips on cooking the beef, I have never been good at that step!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    salting the beef before hand is a total game changer! my whole family loved this! thank you!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this for my family the other night and we all loved it. In fact, after just a couple of bites, the pickiest eater of the bunch said, “You can definitely make this again. It’s so good!” 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thank you for this recipe. I tried your summer soup first and loved it so much that I looked for another one of yours to try. This was so delicious! I added asparagus as well as broccoli and it was fantastic.