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Sesame Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry for Two


For homemade stir-fries, we usually turn to flank steak, but with only two portions, a hefty 1-plus-pound piece of meat wouldn’t do. Blade steak had all the tenderness and meaty flavor we were after, but it comes in a more portion-friendly size. Freezing the steak briefly makes slicing easier, and marinating it with soy sauce and sugar not only seasons it but helps create a flavorful brown crust with only minutes in the pan. Instead of specialty Asian sauces, we rely on garlic, scallions, red pepper flakes, orange juice, and fresh ginger for the sauce, along with more soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch for thickening power. A sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds adds crunch.


Freezing the beef for 15 minutes makes it easier to slice thin. After trimming the steak, you should have about 8 ounces of sliced meat. A rasp-style grater makes quick work of grating the ginger. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with rice.

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  • 10 ounces beef blade steak, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 scallions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin on bias
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 6 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 6 ounces broccoli florets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted



Step 1

1. Combine beef, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in bowl; let sit for 10 minutes. Combine scallion whites, 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil, ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes 
in second bowl. Whisk orange juice, sesame oil, cornstarch, remaining 5 teaspoons soy sauce, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar together in third bowl.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add beef in single layer, breaking up any clumps, and cook without stirring for 1 minute. Stir and continue to cook until beef is browned all over, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer beef to clean bowl.

3. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil to now-empty skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add broccoli and water and cook, covered, until nearly tender, about 2 minutes. Push broccoli to sides of skillet. Add scallion mixture to center and cook, mashing mixture into skillet, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir mixture into broccoli.

4. Return beef and any accumulated juices to skillet and stir to combine. Whisk orange juice mixture to recombine and add to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallion greens. Serve.

Blade steak is tender, flavorful, and affordable, but it’s got a line of gristle running through the center of each steak. The gristle is easy to remove: Simply cut the steak in half on one side of the gristle and remove it with your next cut.

CUT IT OUT: Remove and discard the chewy line of gristle in the middle of the steak before slicing the meat into bite-size pieces.

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