As much as I love trying new dishes, there are times when I just want my mom's homecooked food. Sometime's there's nothing more satisfying than having a bowl of rice with some stir-fried dishes. And so, I decided to recreate one of mom's meals, sesame ginger beef with tomatoes and pickled onions, adding just a couple extra special touches. I think my mom would be proud.
Sesame Ginger Beef with Tomatoes and Pickled Onions
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
Sesame ginger beef
- 1 lb ribeye steak cut into bite-size chunks
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 Thai chile chopped
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 tomatoes sliced into wedges
- 2 tbsp fresh scallions chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh Thai basil chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- Make the pickled onions. Whisk together the rice vinegar with boiling water, sugar, and salt until the sugar has dissolved. Add the red onions and let sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Season the steak with salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Toss in cornstarch, shaking off the excess. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette (sesame - black pepper) and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Cook the steak in the pan until the desired degree of doneness, making sure to brown all sides. Remove from heat and transfer the beef to a plate.
- Top the steak with tomato wedges, pickled onions, and fresh herbs. Pour the vinaigrette on top and serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This sesame ginger beef with tomatoes dish is not a typical stir-fry. The beef is first cooked in a pan then topped with fresh ingredients and finished with a vinaigrette. You can almost say it's a salad.
To prepare this meal, start by pickling the onions. You can pickle the onions up to a week in advance. Simply mix the boiling water with salt, sugar, and vinegar and pour it over the red onions. This is a quick pickling method, meaning the onions will be ready in as little as 30 minutes.
While the onions are pickling, marinate the steak with salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. The cornstarch helps keep the meat tender - do not skip it!
I used rib eye for this sesame ginger beef with tomatoes recipe but you can swap it out for any other good cut. As long as the meat is tender, it should work.
While the meat is marinating, make the vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is where all the flavor comes from. It's a combination of Asian staple ingredients including sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chile. If you want a mild version, omit the chilies.
Sear the rib eye and cook until your desired degree of doneness. Remove the meat from the pan and transfer it to a plate.
Top the steak with fresh tomato wedges and pickled onions. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top and finish with fresh herbs.
My mom usually makes this dish with raw red onions instead of pickled and doesn't add the herbs, but I gotta say, I loved the additional ingredients. My cravings were satisfied to say the least!
For more Korean inspiration, check out these sticky sesame chicken wings.