Broccoli Beef

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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

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  • 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.

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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.

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4 Stir-fry the beef: 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 Add sauce, cornstarch, and broccoli: Pour in the sauce and the cornstarch dissolved in water, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds. Stir in the the broccoli.

broccoli-beef-method-600-5

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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

  • Eugene

    Fantastic recipe, thank you very much for posting it*

  • M. C. Blackwell

    I don’t know what happened, but this recipe was a disaster for me. So bad that the whole thing had to be thrown out. I thought I followed the recipe closely, so not sure what happened. Am wondering if the brand of oyster sauce I used might have been a bad choice. It was by Kame and I thought this was a pretty good brand. But it was very salty and had almost no sweetness to it like most oyster sauces I’ve tried. Anyone else had bad luck with this recipe? Can anyone recommend which brand of oyster sauce they use and like?

  • Jane

    I can’t believe I have been making this since 2008… wow how time flies. Both of my boys are away at College – it is MY MOM who now asks me to make this great recipe. I adapt as necessary to what I have have on hand such as adding zucchini, onions, mushroom in addition to the broccoli. It is fun to find a great recipe and then adapt it to make it your own. Thank you!

  • Ann Baker

    Made this tonight and LOVED every bite. Excellent instruction about when to add garlic and also blanching broccoli. I used thinly sliced NY Strip steaks and they were so tender and the broccoli was a perfect crisp tender. I also could not locate rice wine in my grocery store so substituted saki and the sauce was excellent. Only slight alteration we made was add a pinch of red pepper flakes. This will definitely become a regular dinner at our house!

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