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Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

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This Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry recipe is quick and easy to make, tossed with a sesame ginger stir-fry sauce, and absolutely delicious! Meal prep tips included too.

Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

Beef (stir-fry)…it’s what’s for dinner!

Or at least, it’s what’s been on the menu for lunch around here this past week.

Now that Barclay has switched to officing out of a coworking space here in Barcelona, I’m back on my own here for lunches again. So I’ve been getting back into the meal planning groove to try and prep some healthy meals each weekend for the week ahead. And now that I’m back to just cooking for myself, I’ll be the first to admit that the very first ingredient I reached for at the store without even thinking was — yep — a nice, juicy, organic steak. Ha, I promise that I genuinely have been content switching to a mostly plant-based diet ever since I married this vegetarian husband of mine. But every now and then, this Midwestern girl still misses her steak!!

Sure enough, this beef stir-fry totally hit the spot. It’s loaded up with tons of cabbage, which keeps the dish feeling nice and light and not too heavy. It’s tossed in a yummy sesame ginger sauce, which you can double if you would like the stir-fry to be extra saucy. It can be served up with rice, noodles, quinoa or any other grains that you prefer, or it can also stand solo. It’ll be ready to go in just 30 minutes, making it perfect for meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner. And best of all — it’s absolutely delicious.

So for any of you out there who also might have a steak craving this week, pick up a head of cabbage and let’s stir-fry!

Green Cabbage | Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry Recipe

Cabbage and Beef Stir-Fry Ingredients:

To make this beef stir-fry recipe, you will need:

  • Oil: Avocado, safflower, or any high-heat friendly oil that you prefer.
  • Steak: I used flank steak, but any cut that you prefer will do. Or you’re welcome to sub in ground beef.
  • Cabbage: I used regular green cabbage, but savoy cabbage or bok choy would also be delicious.
  • Veggies: Just onion (white, red or yellow), carrots (shredded or thinly sliced) and garlic.
  • Sesame Ginger Sauce: We’ll just whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch, maple syrup, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, ground ginger and toasted sesame oil for an easy stir fry sauce.
  • Toppings: Toasted sesame seeds and/or thinly-sliced green onions would be great, but they’re totally optional.

Then I recommend serving the stir fry with either:

  • Rice: I used brown rice.
  • Noodles: My recipe for sesame noodles would be amazing with this.
  • Quinoa: I always recommend cooking quinoa with vegetable stock (instead of water) for extra flavor.
  • Any other grains that you might prefer: Lots of options!

Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

How To Make This Beef Stir-Fry:

To make this stir-fry, simply:

  1. Make your stir fry sauce. Either whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Or do what I do and shake-shake-shake them in a mason jar until combined.
  2. Cook the steak. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Then cook it in oil over high heat, tossing occasionally, until it is browned on all sides. (Be careful not to overcook it!)
  3. Cook the veggies. Sauté the onion on its own for a bit. Then add in the green cabbage, garlic and carrots, and cook for a few more minutes until the cabbage reaches your desired level of crispness. (I don’t like mine to get too soft and wilty in a stir-fry.)
  4. Combine everything. Add the cooked steak and sauce back in with the veggies, and toss to combine for about 30 seconds, or until the sauce thickens up. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve immediately. Over rice, noodles, or whatever you prefer. And sprinkled with whatever toppings sound good!

Ginger Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Rice

Possible Variations:

Want to mix things up with this stir-fry recipe? Feel free to:

  • Use a different protein: Chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu would all be delicious replacements for the beef here.
  • Use different veggies: Just about any stir-fry-friendly veggies would be a delicious addition (or substitution for the cabbage) in this recipe.
  • Use fresh ginger: I took the easy route with ground ginger in the stir fry sauce recipe below. But feel free to sub in about 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger in place of the ground ginger if you would like.
  • Make it spicier: Feel free to add in extra chili garlic sauce for more heat. (Or, of course, you’re welcome to use whatever variety of chili sauce you love best!)
  • Make it milder: Just nix the chili garlic sauce altogether.

Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry Meal Prep Recipe

Side Dish Ideas:

Looking for another dish or two to round out this meal? I would highly recommend:

Meal Prep Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Rice

More Favorite Meal Prep Recipes:

Looking for more meal prep recipes? Here are a few favorites:

Enjoy, everyone! ♡

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Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 13 reviews
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x


This Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry recipe is quick and easy to make, tossed with a sesame ginger stir-fry sauce, and absolutely delicious!  Meal prep tips included too.



Stir-Fry Ingredients:

  • 1 batch Sesame Ginger Sauce (see below)
  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small green cabbage, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup shredded carrots
  • optional toppings: thinly-sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds

Sesame Ginger Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or your desired sweetener)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 12 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (or more/less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


  1. Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl (or shake them together in a mason jar) until combined.  Set aside.
  2. Season the steak with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large sauté pan over high heat.  Add the steak and sauté for 4-5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until cooked through.  Transfer steak to a clean plate and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, along with the onion.  Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add green cabbage, garlic and carrots, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking for 2-4 more minutes, or until the cabbage has wilted to your desired level of crispness.
  4. Add the cooked steak and sauce to the veggies, and toss to combine for about 30 seconds, or until the sauce thickens up.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with your desired toppings.  Or transfer to sealed containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry with Brown Rice

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16 comments on “Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry”

  1. I made this and had high hopes because it looks and sounds so great. But maybe I just don’t like the flavors or something but it was gloppy, too sweet, too sour and there was way too much sauce for the volume of vegetables. I love your site, but this wasn’t a success for me.

  2. another great recipe. thank you, sesame beef or other sesame flavors are something I’ve only ordered, not made before, so I really appreciate your breaking this down into a recipe and like the alternative ingredient suggestions for next time but beef sounds best to me

  3. Yum, I can’t wait to try this. Your photography makes this look especially appetizing.

  4. Hello, I’ve just tried this recipe yesterday and we loved it! I mean, I got the chili sauce quantity wrong and so it was a little bit hotter than it should, but nevertheless so good. Definitely gonna do it more often.
    Just a question: how do we make the beef more tender? because mine was just a little bit “chewy” than it should, and I simply can’t cook beef without making it like that. Any tips? Thanks, love your recipes.

  5. I have been trying all different stir frys lately and I made this for dinner last night. My husband said it was his favorite so far. I was skeptical because I am not a huge cabbage fan but it was really wonderful. Thank you! Did not find it too anything, just the right amount of sauce, not a big fan of really sweet or saucy things, I did skip the maple syrup and use 1 1/2 lbs of meat but other than that I followed the directions exactly!

  6. Made this tonight with the hot and sour soup recipe I found on your site. Both were amazing! The flavors blend nicely and the sauce has a nice little kick. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t sure about this one BUT it was AWESOME! The sauce has so much flavor and turns the cabbage and beef into a delicious dinner! I made it for my boyfriend after a long day and he LOVED it.

    I never thought to make anything with cabbage until a new restaurant called Rice Box opened near me. They put cabbage in everything and when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it!

  8. I’ve made this probably three times since your post. My husband and I LOVE it! I had all but given up on finding a great sesame stir fry recipe. I have tried many others only to be disappointed. We have traded the cabbage for broccoli and also snow peas…SO GOOD! To get tender meat instead of chewy meat…slice the meat very thin and sear on a high heat for a very short time. Depending on the size of your pan you might need to cook the meat in batches. If you crowd the pan too much your meat ends up steaming instead of searing and it gets chewy. Thanks Ali for another fantastic recipe!

  9. made this recipe and it turned out fantastic. In fact I made a double recipe. The meat was so tender the vegetables so crunchy. I’m going to make it again???

  10. Another winner – super tasty and easy! As is our wont, we made minor adjustments for HEAT. Since we raise honeybees, we substituted using only 1 Tbsp honey. We switched up adding blanched brocolli florets and sliced mushrooms. A GREAT RECIPE!

  11. Made it with flank steak (to the person who felt is was tough, did you slice it against the grain?). Used honey as I have jars and jars of it. I used two teaspoons of the chili garlic sauce and I would up it to a Tablespoon next time. It was delicious and made enough for 6 with rice. One of my sons wants me to make it with the noodles next time.

  12. Great recipe! I used fresh minced ginger & one bag of coleslaw mix as a shortcut for the cabbage and carrots. The family loved it, thank you!

  13. Made it last night. Omitted the water from the sauce, and halved the sweetener (used honey). Used savoy cabbage. Chopped up extra cabbage and carrot and added to the serving bowls for more veggies and crunch. Delicious!

  14. Delicious & quick!

  15. This was the best stir fry I’ve ever made. I had my doubts about the sauce, but it was amazing! Your hint about mixing the sauce by shaking the ingredients in a jar is a game changer I will never whisk again! ? Thank you so much for this recipe.

  16. Loved all the veggies/cabbage in this recipe! Will definitely add this to our quick and easy meals for a weeknight! 😋