Tender strips of beef are quickly cooked and coated in a sweet and savory homemade teriyaki sauce, creating Beef Teriyaki that's as healthy as it is easy to prepare. Serve it over a bed of rice and veggies for a simple, satisfying dinner that'll have everyone asking for seconds!
If you’re looking for a quick and healthy dinner, stir fry is the way to go! Stir fry consists of seasoned meat that is quickly cooked in sauce and served with a combination of veggies and rice. One of our favorite ways to enjoy stir fry is by making a simple beef teriyaki recipe that can be added to so many different meal components. Thinly sliced flank steak is coated with homemade teriyaki sauce for this simple way to enjoy a traditional Asian sauce made right at home!
Serve it over steamed white or brown rice to soak up the flavorful sauce, or toss it with stir-fried vegetables like bell peppers and broccoli for a colorful, nutritious meal. Lay the savory beef strips over a bed of fresh greens or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option. Wrap it in lettuce leaves for a fun, hands-on dinner, or serve it on a bed of noodles. Whether you're looking for a hearty dinner, a light lunch, or even as a topping for a vibrant salad, Beef Teriyaki adapts beautifully to suit many different meals.
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
What makes this dish stand out is the homemade teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki sauce is a traditional Japanese glaze that perfectly balances sweet, savory, and slightly tangy flavors. Sure, you can buy a jar of sauce in the store, but those contain higher amounts of sugar and preservatives that aren’t the healthiest. Making teriyaki sauce from scratch is easy to make with ingredients you may already have, and you can taste the difference!
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce - This provides the fundamental umami flavor base and saltiness to the dish, giving depth and a savory character without overpowering with salt.
- Light Brown Sugar - It adds a subtle sweetness and caramel notes, balancing the umami and tanginess.
- Rice Vinegar - This introduces a mild acidity that helps tenderize the beef and adds a slight tang, brightening up the dish and contrasting the sweetness.
- Sesame Oil - With its nutty and intense flavor, sesame oil adds a distinct aroma and depth that is popular in many Asian dishes.
- Fresh Ginger & Garlic - These aromatics infuse the sauce with a spicy, pungent kick, complementing the sweetness and adding complexity to the flavor.
- Honey - It contributes a smooth, natural sweetness and a glossy sheen to the sauce, helping to create a thick and sticky glaze.
- Cornstarch - Acting as a thickener, cornstarch helps to give the teriyaki sauce a silky, thick texture that clings perfectly to the beef.
How To Make Beef Teriyaki
Prepare the flank steak: Slice the flank steak into thin pieces, then add it to a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add the cornstarch to the bag, then shake until the beef pieces are coated on all sides.
Cook the beef: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil gets hot and shiny, add the coated beef strips. Cook for 3-4 minutes, flipping until each piece is fully cooked. Once cooked, transfer the beef to a plate and set aside while you create the sauce.
Assemble the homemade teriyaki sauce: In a medium mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, honey, and cornstarch to a medium bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps remaining.
Thicken the sauce: Lower the heat on the skillet to medium, then slowly pour in the teriyaki sauce mixture. Bring it to a simmer and let it thicken for 3-4 minutes.
Add beef: Once thickened, add in the cooked beef and toss with tongs until fully coated.
Serve and enjoy: When ready to serve, plate while hit, then garnish with sesame seed and green onions. Enjoy!
- Slice the flank steak thinly against the grain to ensure each piece is tender and cooks evenly.
- Toss the beef with cornstarch in a Ziploc bag to coat it thoroughly and easily, which helps create a light, crispy exterior when cooked.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until hot before adding the beef to sear it quickly and lock in flavors.
- Cook the beef in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, ensuring each piece browns nicely.
- Whisk the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a separate bowl until smooth to prevent lumps and guarantee a consistent glaze.
- Simmer the teriyaki sauce until it thickens to a syrup-like consistency so it clings well to the beef.
- Adjust the sweetness or saltiness of the sauce to your preference by tasting and tweaking the amount of honey or soy sauce.
Flavor Variations and Substitutions
- Replace low-sodium soy sauce with tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free or soy-free alternative that maintains a rich, umami flavor.
- Swap light brown sugar with maple syrup or honey for a different kind of natural sweetness that complements the savory elements.
- Use apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar to introduce a slightly fruitier acidity to the teriyaki sauce.
- Incorporate a dash of chili flakes or a spoonful of chili paste to introduce a spicy kick that contrasts the sweet and savory sauce.
- Add a splash of orange or pineapple juice to the teriyaki sauce for a citrusy twist that brightens the flavor.
- Use arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch as a natural thickener for the sauce if you prefer or need a corn-free option.
- Mix in a tablespoon of hoisin sauce for a deeper, more complex flavor profile with hints of five-spice and garlic.
What Goes With Beef Teriyaki?
- Steamed Rice: Serve the beef teriyaki over a bed of fluffy white or brown rice, which will absorb the delicious sauce and complement the savory flavors of the dish.
- Stir-Fried Vegetables: Pair with a mix of colorful stir-fried vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and snap peas for a healthy, balanced meal.
- Noodles: Toss the beef teriyaki with cooked noodles such as udon, soba, or ramen for a hearty, Asian-inspired noodle bowl.
- Lettuce Wraps: Spoon the beef and sauce into crisp lettuce leaves for a light, refreshing option that's perfect for a low-carb meal.
- Fried Rice: Combine the beef teriyaki with day-old rice, eggs, peas, and carrots for a fried rice dish.
- Quinoa or Cauliflower Rice: Serve over a bed of cooked quinoa or cauliflower rice for a nutritious, grain-free alternative that soaks up the teriyaki sauce beautifully.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Place any leftover teriyaki beef in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Freezing: To freeze, transfer the cooled teriyaki beef into a freezer-safe bag or container, leaving a small space for expansion, and store it for up to 2 months.
Reheating: Thaw frozen beef teriyaki in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. Reheat it in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly warmed, or microwave in a covered dish, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
Yes, you can make beef teriyaki without sesame oil by substituting it with a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil. Add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds to the dish before serving to capture a hint of the nutty flavor.
The beef is cooked perfectly when it's no longer pink in the middle and has a nice, slightly browned exterior. It typically takes about 3-4 minutes per side on medium-high heat for thin slices.
If your teriyaki sauce is too runny, mix a small amount of cornstarch with water to create a slurry and stir it into the simmering sauce. Heat until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
More Beef Dinner Recipes
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Beef Teriyaki Recipe
- 1 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 3 green onions chopped
- Slice the flank steak into thin pieces, then add it to a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add the cornstarch to the bag, then shake until the beef pieces are coated on all sides.
- Add beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef until brown, about 3-4 on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- While the beef is cooking, add soy sauce, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, honey, and cornstarch to a medium bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the teriyaki sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer until thickened. About 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cooked ground beef back into the teriyaki sauce and toss to coat.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions before serving. Enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.