Flank Steak Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Red Pepper


Recently I got a call from my friend Elizabeth who said, “You’ve got to try my mother’s flank steak; it’s soooo good!” I begged the recipe from Elizabeth’s mother Maria and tried it out last night. It was terrific. Very tasty, everyone ate it right up. Best thing about it? It’s fast and easy. Maria adapted her recipe from one in a Williams Sonoma cookbook (details below).

Flank Steak Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Red Pepper

Flank Steak Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Red Pepper Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 3 Tbsp canola, rice bran, grapeseed, or other high smoke-point cooking oil
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2 inch lengths (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 lb of flank steak, sliced in half lengthwise (along the grain) and then cut into thin strips (across the grain), 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide (put the steak in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing to make it easier to slice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, and cut into thin strips 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch dissolved into 3 Tablespoons of water

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped, peeled, fresh ginger
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, including green tops, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chili oil


1 Fill a medium sized saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Blanch the cut asparagus for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and set aside.

If you are planning to serve this dish with rice, in a separate pan, prepare 2 cups of white rice, following the instructions on the rice package.

2 In a small dish, stir together the stir fry sauce ingredients—soy sauce, chopped ginger, minced garlic, chopped green onion, chili oil—and set aside.

3 Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok (or a thick-bottomed pot that can handle high heat) on high heat until shimmery. Add the asparagus and fry, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the asparagus from the pan and set aside.

4 Heat another tablespoon of oil in the pan on high heat until shimmery. Stir fry the beef strips in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes per batch, until they are browned but still a little pink inside. Return the first batches of beef strips to the pan along with the bell pepper strips. Stir and toss over high heat until the bell pepper strips are just beginning to wilt, 1-2 minutes.

5 Quickly stir the cornstarch liquid and add it to the pan along with the stir fry sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, 1-2 minutes. Return the asparagus to the pan, toss to evenly coat and serve with steamed white rice (unless you are going low-carb, in which case, leave out the rice).

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Adapted from a recipe in Meats and Poultry: the Best of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library

Flank Steak Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Red Pepper

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Showing 4 of 36 Comments

  • Ines

    I made this last night and it was great. My Bell peppers would not cook to the point of wilting so I took the steak out and cooked them by themselves. I also added much more garlic and soy sauce and I seasoned the steak and asparagus with salt and pepper. In the end I still could have used more sauce! It evaporated very quickly while mixing so I threw all of the ingredients together again in the bulletin made more. I added Sesame seeds at the end and it was perfect.
    Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to try it with chicken next :-)

  • kelly polizzi

    was wondering if this is a spicy dish because of the oil?

  • Tami Brennan

    Hi Elise, I’ve been making this for a few years and I would like to thank you because it is a favorite in our house. The leftovers are great too! I have a favor: I love the pattern of the plate this dish is displayed on on the website and would be thrilled if you would share what it is. Thank you for your time and generosity.

  • Janet jacobs

    This is, hands down, the best recipe I have ever gotten from a recipe website!!! The third time I made it I was out of flank steak and used skirt steak. Even better, if you can imagine! THE best recipe for company…never any leftovers!

  • Teresa

    Why cook the steak in two batches if at the end, you return the first batch back in?

    Because there’s a lot of beef, and it’s easier to fry the beef in batches. So, when you are done with the second batch, you return the first batch back to the pan. Now you have all of the beef in the pan, and all of the beef has cooked for approximately the same amount of time. Now you can proceed with adding the bell pepper, etc. ~Elise

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