The Food Matters Project: Sesame Orange Beef with Bean Sprouts + Green Beans

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Welcome to week 5 of The Food Matters Project! This week Dominica from WineFoodLove is our host. Dominica chose “Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce”. To see the original recipe, make sure to stop by her blog here.

This is an easy and really versatile recipe.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

Bean Sprouts have become hard to find in my area.  Most grocery stores here don’t even carry them at all anymore and by the time I got to the Whole Foods location I know usually stocks them, they only had one 8-ounce bag left.  With that single bag in hand and since the original recipe called for two bags (1 pound), I knew I needed to get creative and raid my fridge.

I had some green beans that needed to be used, so I  modified the original recipe by adding one pound of green beans, some cornstarch to the beef, using less oil, a bit more honey and a kick of heat with crushed red pepper flakes.

That is the great thing about Mark Bittman’s recipes, they are ALL so unbelievably versatile and sort of hard to mess up. To check out what creative concoctions the other Food Matters Project members made this week, head over here!


The Food Matters Project: Sesame Orange Beef with Bean Sprouts + Green Beans
5 Points Plus Per Serving -- Recipe Makes 4 Servings -- Individual Serving is approximately 1.5 heaping cups
Serves: 4
  • ½ pound lean sirloin, sliced very thin
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil or coconut oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound string beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 to 8 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and darks separated
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari
  • 2 large organic oranges, juiced and zested (I got ½ cup juice and 1 T zest)
  • 2½ tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces bean sprouts
PREP: [img:1]
  1. Thinly slice beef. Combine with cornstarch and set aside. (I recommend freezing the beef for 20 minutes before slicing so it is easier to work with)
  2. Wash oranges and zest. Proceed to juice the oranges over a measuring cup. I yielded 1 tablespoon orange zest and just shy of ½ cup of orange juice.
  3. Combine soy sauce, orange juice, orange zest, honey and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  4. Separate white and dark parts of scallions. Thinly slice.
  5. Trim ends of green beans and cut green beans into 2" pieces.
  1. Heat a dry frying pan over medium low heat. Once hot, add sesame seeds. Toast for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until seeds are just brown but not burnt. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Place pan back over heat and turn heat to high. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil. When oil is very hot, add sliced beef to pan. Toss ½ teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on beef and cook a couple of minutes, until pink is almost gone. Flip once or twice and make sure to scrap bottom of pan. Remove from pan and set aside. (I recommend slightly under cooking the meat because you will be adding it back to the pan and you don't want it overcooked and tough.)
  3. Toss string beans and ½ cup water in frying pan. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until green beans are just tender. Drain or use a slotted spoon to remove beans from pan and discard water.
  4. Add remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil to frying pan. When hot, add scallion whites and bean sprouts. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly until scallions are just browning.
  5. Add green beans, beef, sauce and ½ teaspoon kosher salt back to pan. Cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Mix scallion greens and toasted sesame seeds in (reserving just a teaspoon of each for garnish).
  6. Serve immediately and Enjoy! Excellent served alongside brown rice or Quinoa.


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  1. Rheann says

    Wow, very different from my normal stir fry, which is exactly what I wanted :) I don’t have acess to good beef where I live so I made this with pork and replaced all the oil with sesame oil and used a fresh chili instead of dried. It made to much sauce and I definitely wish I would have made rice to sop it up! I may thicken the sauce next time with cornstarch and make it like a glaze. The fiancé love it and said ” I feel like if I had scurvy, this would cure it”
    This is going on the regular rotation!

  2. scott says

    This was ridiculously good and a lot of food for the points! We had jasmine rice on hand and used that. Forgot to add the cornstarch but it didn’t seem to matter. This is one of those recipes where it doesn’t matter if it’s healthy, it’s great! FYI the amount of bean sprouts aren’t indicated in the ingredients list so I just threw 12 ounces in there. I made a double batch. Oh and I have a tangerine tree and used them instead of oranges.

    • EverydayMaven says

      That is fantastic Scott – great call on the tangerine! Thanks for letting me know about the amount of bean sprouts – I will fix that now :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Heather! I also thought about ginger and garlic but I didn’t feel like chopping anything else lol!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Norma! I was going to get creative and try sprouting some lentils via one of your posts but I didn’t have time! Next time!!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Faith! I have a tofu stir fry posted as well that you might love. The sauce has a bit of balsamic vinegar which gives it an interesting sour taste and it’s delish! This one is even more flexible in terms or protein and veggies.

    • EverydayMaven says

      I am starting to think we are going to have to grow our own bean sprouts on a regular basis – they are really getting hard to find!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Keely I actually wish I would have added a bit of cornstarch to the sauce as well. While I loved the taste, I would have preferred it just a touch thicker!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Sarah! String beans are great in stir fry and they complemented the bean sprouts really well!

    • EverydayMaven says

      I like everything with a bit of a kick but as soon as I saw the honey and orange I knew I needed some red pepper lol!

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