While oranges are grocery store staples pretty much year-round, it’s now – right now! – that many varieties of the citrus fruit, including navel, blood, and mandarin, are in-season and at their very best. Juicy and sweet, I can hardly keep my hands off ‘em!
Many associate citrus fruit with sweet preparations, or simply as a snack, but citrus actually works really well in savory dishes too, like Sesame Orange Beef. Tender sirloin steak and hearty veggies are stir fried then tossed in a sweet and savory sauce which includes orange juice, toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce. Topped with orange segments that positively melt-in-your-mouth from the warmth of the stir fry, this is a winning week-night dish!
Not only does Sesame Orange Beef include orange juice (I like fresh squeezed, or 100% orange juice,) it also utilizes a bit of orange zest, which packs a punch of orange flavor. My favorite tool for zesting citrus is a microplane. It’s also great for grating fresh ginger and garlic, which are included in the recipe too.
As I mentioned, fresh orange segments also dot the top of this yummy dish. To easily segment an orange, simply use a sharp knife to slice the top and bottom off an orange then, following the curve of the fruit, cut away the peel and white pith. Finally, cut between the segments to release each orange slice.
Cooking the Sesame Orange Beef goes quickly, and my number one tip when stir frying is to have everything cut and ready before you start cooking! First stir fry chopped asparagus with green onions in fresh garlic and ginger, then remove to a plate. Then stir fry thinly-sliced sirloin steak in a bit of canola oil until it’s just barely pink, and remove to the plate with the vegetables.
Add the pre-made sauce consisting of orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch, then let it bubble and thicken. Finally add the the vegetables and beef back in, and heat through.
Serve atop a big bed of fluffy brown rice, then top with the segmented orange slices, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
A little salty, a little sweet, Sesame Orange Beef was a complete hit with both my husband and me! As he pointed out, it’s hard to make tasty Asian food that’s also healthy, but this dish satisfies both requirements!