Jazz up busy weeknights with this quick and easy Sesame Beef Stir Fry with Asparagus and Sweet Potato. It's coated in a tangy, garlicky hoisin sauce and on the table in 30 minutes!
Prep is the key when it comes to stir fry, and any other dish that calls for adding ingredients in quick succession. It's fun to think of it as having your own cooking show with everything lined up on plates or in little bowls. Unfortunately, there's no kitchen staff though doing the slicing, dicing, and cleaning up.
Sesame Beef Stir Fry
Coat thinly sliced, top sirloin with toasted sesame seeds to add extra depth of flavor as the meat browns. Flank, hanger, and skirt steak would work well, too. Be sure to always slice the meat against the grain so it's not tough.
For the veggies, I love the combination of taste and texture the asparagus and sweet potatoes bring to the dish. By having the sweet potatoes, I can even skip the rice. But the beauty of stir fry is you can substitute vegetables you like most and have on hand.
Another key to stir frying is a hot wok or skillet. I use my trusty 12" cast iron skillet. It's well-seasoned so nothing sticks. Onion and asparagus kick things off, and will continue to soften as the stir frying progresses.
The goal is to have the sirloin slightly pink inside and the asparagus crisp tender. The roasted sweet potatoes and hoisin sauce are added at the end. Hoisin sauce is like a thick Asian barbecue sauce that will get bubbly and marry the sirloin and vegetables.
Serve straight from the skillet or over steamy rice. Enjoy!
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Sesame Beef Stir Fry with Asparagus and Sweet Potato
- 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes , peeled and cut into ½- to ¾-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup sesame seeds , toasted
- 1 ½ pounds top sirloin or flank steak , thinly sliced across the grain
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups red onion , thinly sliced
- 1 pound slender asparagus , ends trimmed, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon garlic , minced (3-4 cloves)
- ⅔ cup water
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread sweet potato cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until just fork tender. Sweet potatoes will finish cooking in the stir fry.
- Spread sesame seeds on a large plate. Season sliced steak with salt and pepper. Coat with sesame seeds. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 1 minute. Add asparagus and stir fry until crisp tender, about 2 minutes.
- Next, add beef and garlic; stir fry until meat has browned, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add sweet potatoes, water, and hoisin sauce to the skillet.
- Cook until sauce is bubbling and coats steak and vegetables, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot over steamed rice, if desired.
*Adapted from Bon Appétit April, 2002