Crispy Sticky Beef & Zucchini

4.64 from 11 votes
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This is my one pan Crispy Sticky Beef & Zucchini and honest to goodness I am so obsessed with this dish. I LOVE anything that is similar to Beef & Broccoli, or Orange Chicken, you get the vibe. If it’s crispy, sticky, spicy and loaded with an insanely addictive sauce, sign me up! I also really love a sticky beef dish with some type of green; broccoli, green beans or zucchini taste amazing in this recipe so feel free to adjust to your liking. Not to mention this is the perfect dinner idea to whip on during those busy nights as it can be made in under 30 minutes!

Reasons you’ll love this recipe

Made all in one pan: Yes, one pan! This recipe could not be any easier and the best part about it is you only need to use and clean up one big pan!
Super crispy: the cornstarch coating gives the beef this delicious crispiness to the beef that is so tasty.
Perfect combo of sweet and spicy: The spice from the chilli oil and chilli flakes combined with the honey makes this dish balanced perfectly for the most delicious sweet and spicy kick.
Ready in under 30 minutes: you can’t beat a dinner that takes under 30 minutes to make that tastes incredible and thats exactly what this one is!
The leftovers taste great: I love a one-pan dinner that serves for the lunch the next day, and these leftovers taste fantastic which is ALWAYS a win-win here!
Very customizable: This recipe is really customizable so if you want less spice, add less, if you want more honey, add more, if you want more garlic, throw more in – you get the point!

Ingredients

Here is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make my one-pan Crispy Sticky Beef & Zucchini. For the exact detailed measurements and ingredients, scroll to the bottom of this page to review my recipe card.

  • cooking oil: you can use either vegetable or canola oil.
  • beef: thinly sliced beef of choice: sirloin or ribeye will work.
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • spicy chilli crisp
  • low sodium soy sauce
  • shaoxing wine: if you don’t have shoaling wine I would just add a bit of apple cider vinegar.
  • cornstarch: this is going to give the beef that crispy outside.
  • chilli flakes

Tips before getting started

Put your beef in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes before you start cooking if you remember! This will make it so that you can easily slice the beef into thin strips. It’s an awesome tip and when I remember, I do it!

Let the beef sit in that corn starch for at least five minutes before you shake off the excess and add it to your hot oil. This will allow the corn starch to really get into that beef which is going to result in a crisper texture.

Don’t overcook the beef. Because the beef is very thinly sliced, cooking it only takes maybe 2-3 minutes, so keep a close eye on it!

Don’t skip out on the cornstarch. That’s whats going to give the beef a delicious coating on the outside and it also absorbs some of the sauce which makes the beef super tender and flavourful.

As I mentioned above you can use whatever veggies you want in this recipe if you prefer something over zucchini! This style of beef goes really well with a fresh and crunchy vegetable so I like to fry the zucchini for only 2-3 minutes before adding the beef to the pan.

I love to top this with tons of sesame seeds for that added crunch and a nice handful of fresh green onions.

Substitutions & FAQ’s

What makes the beef crispy?
The cornstarch! I’ve shared this many times before but if you are unsure if you’re oil is hot enough to add your beef, use a wooden spoon and place the bottom of it in the oil and if it starts to bubble you know you’re oil is hot enough to begin frying.

How can I re-heat the leftovers?
If you have a microwave I would put this in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. If you are someone who doesn’t have a microwave (like me) I would add this to the stove top with a little splash of soy sauce just until everything is mixed together and heated throughout.

What other veggies would taste good with the beef?
Green beans, broccoli, red peppers, anything really!

4.64 from 11 votes

Crispy Sticky Beef & Zucchini

This is my one-pan Crispy Sticky Beef & Zucchini and not only is it made all in one pan, it's made with only a few ingredients, most of which you likely have kicking around your pantry. If you love a beef dish that is crispy, sticky, and spicy well then you need to give this one a try! Hope you love it as much as we all do.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Beef:

  • 1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil, for frying

Sauce Mixture:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil or hot sauce of choice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp chill flakes

Zucchini:

  • 3 large zucchini, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, for frying

Optional Toppings:

  • sesame seeds
  • green onions or chives

Instructions 

  • Begin by slicing your beef into thin strips. Add the beef to a bowl along with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix to combine.
  • To a medium shallow bowl add your cornstarch. Add your beef into the cornstarch and mix to combine ensuring all of the pieces are fully covered. Let sit for 5 minutes while you prepare your marinade.
  • To a small bowl add all of your sauce mixture ingredients, mix really well and taste to adjust accordingly. Set aside.
  • Slice your zucchini into 1 inch pieces, set aside.
  • Grab a large frying pan add your vegetable or canola oil for frying and set to medium high heat. Once hot add your beef (one piece at a time) to avoid them from sticking together in the pan. Ensure to shake off any excess cornstarch as well.
    *Be sure not to over crowd the pan so work in batches if you need.
  • Fry for 2-4 minutes, or until cooked. Using a slotted spoon remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
  • Using a piece of paper towel remove any excess oil from the pan, or discard safely.
  • Turn the heat to a medium setting, add a tsp of sesame oil and then add your zucchini. Fry for 2-3 minutes (or longer if you like your veggies more cooked), add your beef and sauce and reduce heat to low/simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes just until everything begins to thicken and gets nice a hot.
  • Dish up, top with sesame seeds and green onions!

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

About Sammy Montgoms

I am so glad you are here. I am a BIG foodie gal. I am one of those people who lives to eat, rather than eats to live. I love to create nostalgic Italian dishes (especially pasta), but I also love to whip up simple and quick recipes for my family. Hopefully, my page inspires you to do the same. Thank you for being here, and happy eating!

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    This dish was tasty, but the beef didn’t really stay crispy after being incorporated with the veggies and sauce. I used ribeye, let it sit in the cornstarch, and had the pan plenty hot, but my beef did not look like the pictures. I will fully admit maybe the slices weren’t thin enough, but they looked similar to the picture.
    Oh well! Despite the texture, it was still flavorful and delicious!

    1. We made this recipe twice and love it!
      So for me, the beef turned out crispy and delicious originally but once cooked with sauce and zucchini, the beef lost its crisp. I think we’ll trouble shoot that by making the sauce separate and drizzling it over the beef and zucchini at the end instead of cooking with it.

  2. 4 stars
    This was delicious! Like the other commenter, my beef didn’t get as crispy too, but I’m also wondering if it’s because I didn’t slice it paper thin. Only reason why I didn’t give it 5 stars is the time is off. Maybe I’m a slower cook, but this took me over an hour to make. I don’t have everything prepped in little mise en place bowls, but still it took me a while. Worth the wait though!

  3. 4 stars
    Made this for my family tonight & it turned out so good! I did have to batch the meat when frying so it did take longer (double the time indicated). I also had to sub the wine out for something I had in my pantry (mirin). I am curious about the nutritional info for this.

  4. Excellent and tasty recipe. I did make some changes, but nothing substantial. I used rib steak instead of flank steak, I used mirin as the wine and I added red, yellow and orange peppers for colour. My wife love it and I will make it again.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is great with zucchini. It’s not my favorite of Sammy’s recipes that I’ve made but it’s still yummy. I’d like a little less sweet on my sauce. I saw others complaining their beef wasn’t crunchy. I cooked up my sauce with the zucchini (and pad Thai noodles) then added the beef after the sauce caramelized more and it kept crunchy.

  6. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe!! I used sirloin, and made sure to cut against the grain and is was tender and crispy. The sauce tasted delicious, although I forgot to get ginger so I used powdered (fresh would’ve been amazing, but it worked) I will definitely be making this often!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve been so excited to try this dinner and my gosh, it did not disappoint! It was super quick and easy! The beef was perfectly crispy, the sauce was amazing, and we loved it with the zucchini! The kids loved it and my husband said it has to be added into the rotation which I agree!

  8. 5 stars
    Oh my, this was absolutely amazing! The sauce….dear goodness, so good. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for including the substitute of apple cider vinegar. Next time, I plan to double the sauce and substitute broccoli since we prefer it over zucchini.

  9. 5 stars
    Just tried this tonight along with your shrimp fried rice and they were both absolutely amazing!! My husband was totally hooked can’t wait to make it again!!

  10. 5 stars
    My husband, toddler and I all loved this recipe!! I didn’t have the wine and skipped the chili flakes bc of my toddler but it was still absolutely delicious. The caramelizing on the beef was amazing. Quick and easy.

    1. Hi Alana, thank you for taking the time to share a review! So happy you all enjoyed it!

  11. 4 stars
    This was so tasty! Only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is that the time was off it took me about an hour to cook everything. My beef was crispy after frying but after I tossed it with the sauce and veggies that changed. Next time I will toss the veggies in the sauce and just top it with the beef.