dinnertime sizzle: brussels sprouts and steak stir-fry

I’ve posted a number of stir-fries (a couple of chicken dishes and pepper steak), but I try out way more stir-fries than I share. I’m particular about the flavors (they’d better be big) and the textures (crisp veggies, small pieces of meat, and a thick sauce), leaving many lackluster dishes to fall into the recipe compost bin of not-quite-good-enough. This spicy stir-fry featuring a ton of veggies and satisfying steak has been on repeat for over a year in our house, so I figured it was time to share.

brussels steak stirfry

I’ve been reluctant to blog about this recipe for two reasons: the prep and the sauce. Prepping a pound of brussels sprouts, slicing carrots, and chopping a bunch of aromatics is often more than I want to do on a weeknight. The two ways I’ve learned to manage the prep burden are to either slice some of the veg on a Sunday night so that there’s not as much work to do on a Monday or I only make this when I’m in the mood to zen out and chop for a while. The sauce has powerful, punchy, salty flavors, but it never thickened beyond a broth-y consistency, no matter how long I cooked it. While completely delicious, I wanted something that would stick to the good stuff rather than pool in the bottom of the pan. One tablespoon of corn starch mixed into the sauce did the trick.  Now the sauce coats the nooks and crannies of the steak and brussels in a way that always makes me go back for seconds.

mise if you please

Although it’s not the fastest stir-fry I’ve found, it’s one of the tastiest. The browned brussels combined with the slightly briny, spicy sauce makes for a unique flavor combination that stands apart from other meat+veggie+soy sauce mixes. It’s also packed with vegetables, which seems so necessary this time of year. And maybe this is also the time of year when taking a few extra minutes to chill out and chop for a while is necessary, too.

brussels sprouts and steak stir-fry
adapted from bon appétit

The only changes I made to this recipe were to increase the amount of steak and to add corn starch to thicken the sauce.

Makes about 4 servings.


3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon corn starch
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
3/4 to 1 lb sirloin, flank, or skirt steak, thinly sliced against the grain
Kosher salt
4 scallions, whites chopped, greens sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 Fresno chile or jalapeño, sliced into rings
Steamed rice (for serving)


Make sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, corn starch and 1/4 cup water; set aside.

Make stir-fry: heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add brussels sprouts and cook, tossing occasionally, until starting to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; wipe out skillet.

Sprinkle steak with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over high heat. Add steak in a single layer and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until nearly cooked through, about 30 seconds. Add to plate with brussels sprouts.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites, garlic, and ginger and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, adjusting heat as needed to avoid burning. Add carrots and chile and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots begin to soften, about 2 minutes.

Return brussels sprouts and steak to skillet, toss to combine, and pour in sauce. Stir and cook until sauce is thickened, about 1-3 minutes.

Serve over rice and garnish with scallion greens.


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