An ideal meal for a weekend – stir-fries are mostly prep and a little time in a hot pan until everything sizzles, throw it all on a plate and eat! Who wants to be slaving over  a stove after busy week?!

When using beef in a stir-fry, it’s best to get ahead by marinating it in some spices, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, lemon juice and soy sauce so that the marinade can flavour and tenderise the beef.  I am not a fan of chewing through tough beef (who is!) and love it when it’s been slow cooked for several hours, but that’s not the way you get tender beef for a stir-fry so marinating it is the way to go!

The full flavour comes from a mix of Chinese 5 spice, sesame oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and toasted sesame seeds.  Add peanut sauce for another flavour dimension – not that you need it but who can say no to peanut sauce…..not me!

Blanch your broccoli and courgette ribbons and keep in a bowl of cold water to retain the colour and freshness while you cook the beef, then add it all to the same pan to heat through before serving with a generous sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.

Marinated Beef, Broccoli & Courgette Stir-Fry & Satay Sauce

The Balanced Kitchen
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
marinating 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people


Beef Marinade

  • 600 g beef strips
  • 1 TBSP cornflour mixed with a splash of water to dissolve
  • 1 TBSP ground 5 spice
  • 1 TBSP honey or maple syrup
  • 1 juice of lemon 1 whole lemon squeezed
  • 2 TBSP Soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 inch piece ginger finely grated
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 large pinch good quality sea salt - I used Maldon

Remaining ingredients

  • 2 large courgettes cut into ribbons using a peeler
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds

Peanut dressing (optional)

  • 2 heaped spoonfuls peanut butter
  • 1/2 lemon juice only
  • 1 TBSP honey or maple syrup


Beef Marinade

  • Place all of the prepared ingredients into a bowl and combine together with a spoon. Place a lid/cover over the bowl and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight if preparing for the following day).

When ready to cook

  • Remove the beef from the fridge an hour before you would like to start cooking to bring it room temperature.
  • Heat a large frying pan or wok until hot (no need to add any oil).
  • Add the marinated beef strips to the hot pan and allow to sizzle over a medium heat for around 5 minutes, until cooked to your liking. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid and leave to rest while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a little salt then add the broccoli florets and blanch until the stalks start to become tender, then add the courgette ribbons and allow to soften for just 1-2 minutes. Drain the water from the pan then add the blanched vegetables to the frying pan with the beef. Replace the lid.
  • Lastly, toast the sesame seeds in a pan over a medium to high heat, tossing the sesame seeds frequently for just a few minutes until you hear the first pop of the seeds and remove from the heat to ensure they do not burn.. The difference from toasted to burning is only a few seconds!
  • Place the frying pan with the beef and vegetables over the heat for just a minute or 2 to ensure the food is hot and ready for serving. Serve with a scattering of the toasted sesame seeds and season to taste.

Peanut Sauce

  • Simple mix all the sauce ingredients together with a few TBSP of water until smooth and of a pouring consistency.
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