Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry | Korean Style

Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry | Korean Style

Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry | Korean Style

This amazing crispy sesame beef stir fry recipe contains everything you could ever ask for. It has crispy beef, crunchy vegetables, salty soy and the sweetness of brown sugar, all married together with mirin and sesame.

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Crispy Beef Stir Fry

Introduction

I want to begin by stating outright that this is not a specific Korean dish. It is a simple Korean-style crispy sesame beef stir fry made with Korean-influenced ingredients and an overall Asian-influenced style.

So, why Korean?

I have talked a lot about my love of Indian food. I have also talked a lot about my growing love of Thai. What I rarely mention is how incredibly fascinating I find Korean cuisine.

Here in the UK, it’s not the well known cuisine that Indian and Thai have become. It remains exotic and exciting. Not that I want to imply the beautiful dishes from my two favourite culinary regions are anything but exotic, exciting and perfectly delicious!

Crispy sesame beef, simple but delicious.
Crispy sesame beef, simple but delicious.

About the dish

The dish is influenced by a few things in particular. Firstly, by Bulgogi, a Korean beef barbecue dish in which the beef is first marinaided with fruit and spices. Although we won’t be using fruit in this recipe.

It’s also influenced by the dishes you get when you buy Asian food in restaurants in this country, wherever their country of origin.

My experience is that they are frequently stir fried dishes with sticky sauce and served with rice. Which isn’t a criticism, even if it sounds like one! I have spent many a wonderful evening with my girlfriend and dogs, watching television and eating incredible, satisfying dishes put together in exactly that way.

It is only fair to admit to a slight Chinese influence as well, in the crisping of the beef. While I am sure countries all over the world crisp up their proteins, crispy chilli beef is very much a Chinese dish, at least as we know it in this country. And it is absolutely that influence that I am bringing to this dish.

It’s not strictly a Korean recipe, but it uses a lot of Korean flavours, including soy and sesame.

About this dish

So, in this Korean-inspired crispy sesame beef stir fry, the most important aspects of the dish are naturally the crispiness of the beef and the Korean flavours in the sauce. Everything else contributes something meaningful, but could be adjusted, adapted or outright changed.

The crispiness of the beef will be achieved by flouring and double frying the beef. I advise using a deep fat fryer, but if you don’t have one, a very well oiled pan should suffice.

You need to use a decent quick cooking cut of beef. Ideally strips of sirloin or rump. In this instance I was actually able to get away with topside. But I would always recommend going the extra mile – it really does make a difference.

Oh, and the sesame. Kind of a big deal in crispy sesame beef! We’ll be using sesame oil in the sauce, along with a little soy and brown sugar, and sprinkling sesame seeds over the top.

Beefies.
I may have gone a little overboard with the sesame seeds…

A quick guide | Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry

As always, the first thing to do is compile all of our ingredients and prepare everything we need. In this instance that means setting aside the rice, the vegetables, the meat and the ingredients for the sauce.

We’ll measure out the rice and rinse it until the water runs clear. Then we’ll soak it while we prepare everything else and then rinse again. This will help to remove some of the starches in the rice that would otherwise cause it to stick together.

We’ll prepare our sauce by mixing together the major components and setting it aside. There’s really nothing more than that to it at this stage. The sauce will include soy, mirin, garlic, ginger paste and, of course, sesame oil. You can also optionally add a splash of vinegar or citrus. I do, but it isn’t a necessary part of the dish. Korean food doesn’t utilise sour flavours in quite the same way you might find in other Asian cuisine.

Then it’s a case of cutting up the vegetables. Slicing up the pepper, Julienning the carrots and simply chopping up the spring onions.

Finally, we will season and flour the beef, then give it a good deep fry and then cool it and repeat the process in full. Flouring and frying a second time. That’s what causes the wonderful crispy gnarls and jagged edges.

And that’s really it. It is a stir fry after all!

A few final things to remember

  • Be prepared. It’ll cook fast once you get started. Get the rice cleaned, the veg cut and the beef effectively already cooked. All you’re really doing with the beef is cooking it beforehand and mixing it in. Any attempt to cook the beef as part of the stir fry process is going to ruin the wonderful crispiness you’ve worked so hard to achieve!
  • Play around! I had no kimchi to hand, but kimchi is a fixture of pretty much all Korean mealtimes. A dish like this would almost always be accompanied by a bowl of kimchi, so if you have some or can get some, go with it!
  • In much the same way, chilli or even, ideally, gogucharu would be a fantastic addition to the sauce. I toyed with the idea of making an approximation of it myself, but I felt it better to provide a purer recipe. At least for now!

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

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Crispy Beef Stir Fry

Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry | Korean Style

This amazing crispy sesame beef stir fry recipe contains everything you could ever ask for. It has crispy beef, crunchy vegetables, salty soy and the sweetness of brown sugar, all married together with mirin and sesame.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2 People

Equipment

  • Deep Fat Fryer

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g Beef ideally rump, sirloin or another similar cut
  • 1/2 cup Plain Flour
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 6 Spring Onions
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste heaped
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1-2 tsp Sesame Oil to taste
  • 1-2 tsp Mirin to taste
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • Cooking Oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Fresh Lime
  • 1 cup White Rice

Instructions
 

Prep

  • Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, then soak the rice in cold water while you do everything else. Once that’s done, rinse it again.
  • Slice the beef into thin strips and season. Allow the moisture to seep out for a minute or two, then roll it in plain flour and fry – ideally in a deep fat fryer – at 200c for just a few minutes, until cooked through and slightly crispy. Roll it again in the flour and allow it to cool a little before frying a second time, this time until the edges are crisp and crunchy.
  • Core and slice the pepper, rinsing away any leftover seeds.
  • Peel and julienne the carrots.
  • Strip the outer layer of your spring onions and dice. You can Julienne, but it is laborious and unnecessary given the nature of the dish.
  • Crush your garlic into a pot and mix it with the ginger paste, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, then stir in the brown sugar. Set the mixture aside. You can add some vinegar or lime juice at this stage, or you can add some later. It’s up to you.

Cook

  • Transfer the rice into a pan with enough boiling water to submerge everything and then the same again. Add a good hit of salt and simmer until the rice is cooked and the water has all evaporated. Stir in more salt if necessary.
  • In a hot, oiled pan, fry off the carrot and the pepper. Season with salt and cook until they soften.
  • Drop the temperature just a little, then add the spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the sauce and cook for a couple more minutes to reduce, then add the beef and stir everything together, coating it in sauce and bringing it back up to temperature.
  • Adjust the seasoning and if required add a little lime juice, then serve atop the rice with some chopped coriander and some sesame seeds.
Keyword beef stir fry, crispy beef, crispy sesame beef, crispy sesame beef stir fry, korean, korean beef, korean beef stir fry, korean stir fry, sesame beef stir fry, stir fry

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