30-Minute Sesame Beef Bowls

Easy 30-minute sesame beef is an easy recipe inspired by take-out. The beef is cooked in a savory sauce and served with crisp-tender vegetables and rice. This recipe is a great dinner for two or double it to serve more!

photo of a a bowl of sesame beef with rice and veggies.

Although I always knew it on some level, it wasn’t until I visited China that I fully realized pretty much everything I order from my neighborhood Chinese take-out place is nothing like what you might order off a menu in China. There are similar flavors, but mostly a world apart from my Americanized take-out favorites.

So, it goes without saying this sesame beef recipe claims no authenticity and is just a homemade riff on what I might have delivered to my door in a paper bag. Along with my beloved crab rangoons, which are also a specialty of said neighborhood take-out place, my take-out go-to’s bear no resemblance to the amazing dishes I had on that trip.

So, my homemade sesame beef bowls: Authentic? no. Delicious? Yassss.

Easy Sesame Beef

With the disclaimer out of the way, allow me to share the highlights:

  • The components are simple – some thin-sliced beef, veggies, rice, and a sauce made mostly from pantry ingredients.
  • It’s basically a quick beef stir fry that is ready in 30 minutes!
  • Add a couple of store-bought egg rolls (I love Chung’s brand), and you get a take-out fake-out experience that doesn’t require leaving the house or talking to anyone on the phone.
beef and sauce in a skillet.

Some Ingredients You’ll Need

  • There are few cuts of beef that work well (flank steak and sirloin being a couple), but I like to use chuck-eye steak because it’s less expensive. Slice it thin and it cooks fast in a hot pan.
  • The sauce is simple: Soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, a little honey, fresh garlic, and red pepper flakes. I keep these ingredients on-hand because pretty much any take-out style dinner I make has some combination of these ingredients. See: beef and broccoli, sesame noodles, and garlic beef noodles.
  • A little cornstarch helps thicken the sauce once it hits the hot pan.
  • Some snow peas and diced red bell pepper add color and a fresh bite.
  • Long grain white rice and sesame seeds finish it off.

This recipe makes enough for two people, but you can double it to serve more. The leftovers are great and keep well in the fridge for a few days.

Give it a try – I hope you love it.

Happy Cooking!


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overhead shot of the beef bowl with rice and vegetables.

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Sesame Beef Bowls

sesame beef with vegetables

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Easy 30-minute sesame beef is an easy recipe inspired by take-out. The beef is cooked in a savory sauce and served with crisp-tender vegetables and rice. This recipe is a great dinner for two or double it to serve more!

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound chuck-eye steak seasoned with salt and pepper, sliced thin against the grain
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup snow peas, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, white and tender green parts sliced


  1. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  2. Whisk the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, pepper, red pepper flakes and honey in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
  3. Coat the beef in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it easily coats the bottom of the pan. Place the beef in a single layer in the pan and cook it for about five minutes, or until it’s browned. Transfer the beef to a plate. Add the bell pepper and snow peas to the skillet and cook them for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.
  4. Transfer the beef back to the pan and add the sauce. Cook the beef and sauce for about a minute, or until the sauce thickens and coats the beef. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top of the beef.
  5. Divide the rice, beef, and veggies between two bowls. Garnish with the sliced green onion.


If you are sensitive to salt, use low-sodium soy sauce.

The leftovers are great – just store them in an airtight container and they’ll last for three to four days in the fridge.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 515
  • Sugar: 6.1g
  • Sodium: 972.5mg
  • Fat: 28.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14.7g
  • Trans Fat: 1.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.6g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Cholesterol: 77.1mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

Post updated from the archives. First published in November 2017.

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