Make this Chinese classic Beef and Broccoli tonight in less time than ordering from your favorite restaurant! It will surprise you how quick and easy this dish is to prepare, yet it will taste just like take-out!
Beef and Broccoli is a quintessential American-Chinese dish – crisp broccoli florets are paired with tender strips of beef in a decadent sauce. So simple yet so delicious and healthy. Best of all, it comes together in less than 30 minutes so it’s perfect for even the busiest of weeknights. You’ll have this on the dinner table faster than ordering take-out (your wallet will thank you, too!)
By preparing Beef and Broccoli at home, not only do you get full control of what goes into your dish, you also get to prepare it just the way you like it: Some prefer super crisp broccoli while others prefer the broccoli a little softer. Some like it completely drenched in the sauce, while others might prefer just a light coating. You decide!
What type of beef to use for Beef and Broccoli
Sirloin (my personal favorite for stir-frying) and flank steak are popular options for Beef and Broccoli but there is no hard and fast rule which states that you MUST use either one of those cuts of beef for this dish.
Some great options include skirt steak, flat iron, eye of round, and tri-tip. As you would be trimming the fat off the meat for this stir-fry, it would not be cost-effective to use cuts like rib-eye and New York steak. Tenderloin would work, but why spend the money on such an expensive cut when you can get equally great results with just a fraction of the cost?
One awesome feature about stir-frying beef is that you can use lean, inexpensive cuts and still end up with super-tender strips of beef.
Cut the beef against the grain into very thin (about 1/8 of an inch) slices. You will only need 1/2 a pound of beef for this recipe.
Pour 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch over the beef, then stir until the beef is well coated in this marinade. Allow the beef to marinate in this mixture for about 15 minutes at room temperature. The cornstarch will act as a barrier against the high heat of the wok, keeping the beef super tender.
Preparing the sauce for Beef and Broccoli
As with any stir-fry recipe, it is crucial to have the sauce prepared before you fire up the wok. Your hands will be too busy stir-frying, and because the food cooks so quickly, you won’t have time to measure and pour the ingredients individually into the wok.
(Side note: If you like your Beef and Broccoli super saucey, you may wish to double these sauce ingredients)
In a separate small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of water with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Stir well to break up the cornstarch clumps.
How to stir-fry Beef and Broccoli
Heat up 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the wok starts to smoke just slightly, add the beef to the wok in a single layer. Leave the beef untouched for about 15 seconds to allow it to sear before flipping it with your wok spatula. Stir-fry the beef just until it is no longer pink. Because the beef slices are so thin, this should take less than a minute. Remove the beef from the wok.
Add about a tablespoon more of cooking oil to the wok to fry 2 cloves of minced garlic for just a few seconds.
Toss in 6 cups of bite-sized broccoli florets to the wok. Stir-fry for about 1 minute, making sure to pick up the minced garlic from the bottom of the wok to prevent them from burning.
Stir in the sauce. Continue to stir-fry the broccoli for another minute. The water in the sauce will help steam the broccoli so they will turn a nice bright green.
If you prefer your broccoli slightly crunchy and crisp, you can remove them from the wok right when they turn bright green but if you prefer your broccoli a little softer, leave them in the wok for a bit longer.
When the broccoli is cooked to your desired doneness, use your wok spatula to push the broccoli to the sides of the wok. Give the cornstarch and water mixture a quick stir in the bowl, then pour it right into the sauce. It will thicken in just seconds.
Return the beef to the wok and give the dish one good stir to combine the ingredients, then transfer the dish to a serving bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds if you wish.
Serve immediately with steamed rice, or enjoy on its own!
Beef and Broccoli
Sauce for Broccoli and Beef
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pour 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch over the beef, then stir till the beef is well coated. Allow to marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- While waiting for the beef to marinade, prepare the sauce by combining 1/2 a cup of water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar. (Note: If you like your Beef and Broccoli super saucey, you may wish to double this sauce recipe)
- In a separate small bowl, mix the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir this mixture well to break up the cornstarch clumps.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the wok starts to smoke just slightly, add the beef to the wok in a single layer. Leave the beef untouched for about 15 seconds to allow it to sear before flipping it with your wok spatula. Stir-fry the beef just until it is no longer pink, then remove the beef from the wok.
- Add the final tablespoon of cooking oil to the wok, then add the minced garlic. Stir-fry for just a few seconds, then add the broccoli florets. Stir-fry for about a minute.
- Stir in the sauce, then continue to stir-fry the broccoli in the sauce for another minute or until they reach your desired doneness (the longer you leave the broccoli to simmer in the sauce, the softer they become). Push the broccoli to the sides of the wok, give your cornstarch mixture a quick stir in the bowl, then pour it into the sauce.
- As soon as the sauce thickens, return the beef to the wok and give it a final stir before transferring the dish to a serving bowl.
- Garnish with sesame seeds (if using), then enjoy over steamed rice or on its own!