Recipe courtesy of David Rosengarten

Sesame Beef with Asparagus

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  • Total: 6 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 6 hr
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings as part of a C
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6 ounces shoulder steak, trimmed, frozen 30 minutes to 1 hour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 large cloves garlic, crushed plus 2 tablespoons chopped

1 egg white

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

5 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon peanut oil plus 4 cups, for deep-frying

3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons thin soy sauce

2 tablespoons Shao Hsing (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry

2 teaspoons Chinese dark vinegar* or balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon Chinese sesame paste*

1/4 pound pencil-thin asparagus tips (4 inches)

1/2 small red bell pepper, very thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)

4 dried red chili peppers

3 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped ginger

Serving suggestion: Rice


  1. Slice steak into broad 1/8-inch thick strips, about 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. In a small bowl combine steak strips with baking soda, crushed garlic cloves and 1/4 cup cold water. Mix well and soak 5 hours. 
  2. Rinse steak slices and dry well on paper towels. In a small bowl mix together egg white and salt, stirring vigorously until egg white foams. Stir in sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon peanut oil and cornstarch. Add steak and toss to coat. Marinate 1/2 hour at room temperature. In another small bowl, combine thin soy sauce, Shao Hsing, remaining 4 teaspoons sugar, vinegar, sesame oil and sesame paste; set aside. 
  3. In a wok heat remaining 4 cups peanut oil over high heat to 375 degrees. Drain beef, pat dry then deep-fry 45 seconds, turning pieces several times with a metal spoon. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and drain on paper towels. When oil returns to 375 degrees, deep-fry 15 seconds more, remove beef, and drain. Repeat deep-frying, 15 seconds, a third time. Remove beef and drain on clean paper towels. When oil returns to 375 degrees, deep-fry asparagus and red bell pepper 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels. 
  4. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon oil from wok and increase heat to high. Add chili peppers, scallions, chopped garlic and chopped ginger; stir-fry 1 minute. Add asparagus and red pepper; stir-fry 10 seconds and add beef. Stir in soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil and serve immediately with rice.

Cook’s Note

*available in Asian groceries