Peking Sesame Beef

Based on a recipe from Mandarin House in Braintree, Massachusetts, this stir-fry is quick to cook once you prepare the ingredients. Serve with steamed rice and sautéed vegetables.
Course Beef
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Marlene


  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Tablespoons dry white wine or dry Sherry
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger,finely chopped, divided
  • 2 to 3 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 lb flank steak or beef tenderloin, , trimmed of fat and cut across grain into 1"-2” slices Tip 1
  • 1-2 Tbsp . cornstarch
  • Oil for stir frying
  • 3 Tablespoons each water and soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • I Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seed


  1. Mix soy, water, wine or sherry, baking soda, and one teaspoon each of the garlic and ginger in a bowl.

  2. Add sliced beef, stir well, and marinate 1/2 hour to 2 hours. (If marinating more than an hour, place in refrigerator.)
  3. Sprinkle cornstarch over meat and mix well to coat meat lightly. Start with 1 Tablespoon and add more if desired. (Tip 2)

  4. Heat a little oil in wok or large skillet, just enough to film the surface. Add beef and stir-fry, tossing to cook evenly, for about 2-3 minutes until no longer red but still pink. (It won't be done but gets a second cooking.) Don't crowd the pan; cook in two batches if necessary, for about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spatula to drain oil, remove beef from pan and place on paper towels on a plate to drain fat.
  5. Cook white part of green onion and remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic and ginger until fragrant, adding oil if necessary. Watch carefully so garlic doesn't burn. Add water, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper; bring to boil.
  6. Quickly stir in beef and sesame seed and cook over high heat for a few minutes, until most of the sauce cooks down. (Tip 3)
  7. Sprinkle with reserved green part of green onions and serve with steamed rice.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you prefer bite-sized pieces of beef, cut the flank steak lengthwise into 1-1 1/2" strips before slicing across the grain.
  2. Tossing the beef in cornstarch gives it a nice surface texture, much like velveting but without the egg white.
  3. To make this a one-dish meal, add partially cooked vegetables along with the meat in step 6. I've used broccoli florets, sliced red or green bell pepper, snow peas, or snap peas. I par-cook them in the microwave so all they need is a toss to coat them with sauce.