Broccoli Beef

Please welcome guest contributor Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, author of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner, who shows us how to make this Chinese-American classic, Broccoli Beef. ~Elise

After moving out of the dorms in college, I found an apartment to share with 3 others. My job was to cook, and as long as what I put out on the dinner table was better than instant ramen, I didn’t have to clean the kitchen or vacuum. A mighty fine trade of labor, if you ask me!

But then pretty soon, friends of roommates discovered my cooking talent and would conveniently drop by at around 7pm. I knew cooking was my calling back then, because each new friend would try to find a suitable trade to be able to snag a coveted spot at our dinner table. No more grocery bill, laundry, ironing, washing the car or studying!

Broccoli Beef was one of my specialties, mainly because broccoli was cheap and beef could be sliced thinly to stretch and feed unexpected guests.

Broccoli Beef

So, how do you get the broccoli crisp-tender and the beef juicy, succulent? Well, the secret is to blanch or steam the broccoli first, before stir frying the beef. This helps you control the cooking times for the broccoli, instead of praying that the broccoli and beef finish cooking at the same time. You’ll add the broccoli back into the pan as the beef finishes cooking.

And how do you prevent the garlic from burning? Most recipes will have you add the garlic in the pan or wok before you add the beef. If you do this, you’ll surely burn your garlic, as the beef takes about 1 minute to 1 ½ minutes to cook through on high heat. In this recipe, you’ll add the garlic after you add the beef. There should be plenty of oil in the wok to fry the garlic (if you use a large frying pan or wok) and the timing will be perfect.

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted in 2008.

Broccoli Beef Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4

Pro tip: put the steak in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before slicing, it will be firmer and easier to slice thin.



  • 3/4 pound flank or sirloin, sliced thinly across the grain
  • 3/4 pound broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced or smushed through garlic smusher
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

For the beef marinade

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth


1 Marinate the beef: Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the beef slices and stir until coated. Let stand for 10 minutes.


2 Prepare the sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

3 Blanch or steam the broccoli: Cook the broccoli in a small pot with at least an inch of boiling water until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.


4 Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and instantly evaporates upon contact. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the beef and immediately spread the beef out all over the surface of the wok or pan in a single layer (preferably not touching). Let the beef fry undisturbed for 1 minute. Flip the beef slices over, add the garlic to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until no longer pink.

broccoli-beef-method-600-3 broccoli-beef-method-600-4


5 Pour in the sauce and the cornstarch dissolved in water, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds. Stir in the the broccoli.


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See this recipe and more in Jaden's fabulous The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight's Dinner!

Broccoli Beef

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Showing 4 of 82 Comments

  • Amanda

    Oh, one of my absolute favorite dishes!! And it looks so easy to make! Thank you :-)
    Do you think a flat big non-stick frying pan will work ok? I don’t own a wok, but this pan seems to have worked well in the past (it has 2 inch high sides and is a 10 inch diameter I think).
    Also, maybe since I’m using a different type of pan, should I cook the beef in two batches to maintain heat? I do have a gas oven, which helps keep the temperature up at least…

    Hi Amanda – yes, you can use a non-stick frying pan instead of a wok. You should be able to get all of the beef slices in the pan (as long as it’s a large sized pan), but if not, then yes – cook in 2 batches. ~jaden

  • merd

    I’ve been trying my hand at Asian inspired dishes and have had to stock up on different cooking elements like sesame oil and oyster sauce. Is there any way to make this slightly lower in the sodium department without hurting the integrity of the dish? Between the chicken broth, oyster sauce, and soy sauce – I’m already salivating for a huge glass of water…

    I love beef and broccoli but imagine chicken subs pretty seamlessly for a delicious variation. I already know I’m going to make this one way or another. It’s probably going to get some red pepper flakes, snow peas, and slivers of celery too :)

    Instead of the broth, you can use water! ~jaden

  • Spring Recipes

    Ah, at last a writer who insists on the importance of not burning the garlic :p
    Actually, even if the garlic is not technically burned, its taste changes and it gives a very heavy feeling to the dish..
    Congratulations to the writer of this recipe !

    Also, I would like to mention that adding some chilli oil (with dried chilli skins if possible) and pickled vegetables at the same time as the beef with make it deliciously hot and sour.
    Yes, I am a fan of Sichuan-style cooking !

  • [email protected]

    This just got starred in my google reader! I love broccoli and love beef stir-fries.

    I almost never fully cook broccoli; I only blanch it, and then toss it in with the sauce to get coated. I love it crunchy.

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