Beef and Broccoli recipe Chinese Style
Photography Credit: Elise Bauer
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.
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 RecipePrint
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 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 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.
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.
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