Cut the beef into one-inch pieces. Place in a bowl. Add the soy sauce, garlic, corn starch and sugar. Mix well.
Heat half of the oil in a wok or frying pan until just starting to smoke. Stir fry the onion, asparagus and mushrooms for a minute with a little salt and pepper. Scoop out, transfer to a plate and set aside.
Pour the remaining oil into the wok or frying pan. When starting to smoke, dump the beef and spread on the entire bottom of the pan. Do not disturb for about a minute to allow the underside to brown. Using a wide spatula, flip the beef and brown the opposite side. Stir to break up any lumps and continue stir frying for another minute.
Pour the boiling water into the pan. Stir briskly. The starch covering the pieces of beef will mix into the water and form a thickish sauce.
Add the stir fried asparagus, onion and mushrooms to the beef. Stir. Allow to boil until everything is heated through. Off the heat, taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
Drizzle in the sesame seed oil. Toss to blend.
Serve the beef and asparagus stir fry at once. It's good with rice or noodles.
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