BROCCOLI BEEF

My girlfriend (and her entire family) is nuts for broccoli beef.  In fact, she’s down with almost all of the classic Chinese-American dishes — chow mein, wonton soup, cashew chicken, etc.  When I told her I was planning on pulling together a few recipes for Chinese New Year to post on the blog, she insisted that this dish had to be on the menu.  As she put it, “this is the type of Chinese food that everybody loves.”  As hard as it is to admit, I too am fairly partial to a good take-out box of broccoli beef every once in a while.  Sure, I have a few Chinese friends that scoff at the very notion of this dish as a truly “authentic” Chinese dish, but the fact of the matter is, this is good, simple comfort food at its best.

Making good broccoli beef at home is way easier than most people think.  In fact, with a few Asian ingredients that all home chefs should have in their pantry and about a pound of good flank steak, the average home cook can have an outstanding dish on their table in less than a half hour.  Simply follow the principles of good stir-frying technique and you are pretty much guaranteed solid results.  Make this dish. After you see how easy it is to put together you might just reconsider paying $9-$10 for it at a restaurant the next time you get that craving.

BROCCOLI BEEF

Adapted from Jaden Hair’s Recipe at Simply Recipes

Blanching the broccoli before adding it to the pan ensures that each floret will be perfectly cooked in your final dish as it would never have the chance to fully cook given the brief frying period in this recipe.  As with all blanching of vegetables, do so in a very large pot of well-salted water and have your ice bath ready and waiting.  When it comes time to stir-fry the beef, make sure your pan is ripping hot.  Once the beef has been added, don’t touch it.  I like there to be a good amount of caramelization taking place on the meat during this initial sear and you will not be able to induce much browning if you are constantly stirring the contents of the pan.  Considering how drastic the difference in salt levels can be among certain brands of soy sauce and oyster sauce, taste the sauce before adding it to the pan and adjust accordingly.  If you find the sauce a bit too salty, try adding a few pinches of sugar to balance out the flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 pound flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 3/4 pound broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons peanut, grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

For the 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 light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Sugar to taste

METHOD:

  1. Marinate the Beef: Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add in the slices of beef and stir until well coated.  Set aside at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Make the Sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Blanch the Broccoli: Cook the broccoli florets in a large pot of well-salted boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the broccoli from the boiling water and ‘shock’ the florets immediately in ice water to stop the cooking process.  Drain well, dry and set aside.
  4. Make the Broccoli Beef: Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or wok over set over high heat until shimmering and just starting to smoke.  Add the marinated beef to the pan in a single layer, making sure that each pieces lays flat against the bottom for maximum surface contact.  Let the beef fry for 1 minutes without turning or flipping.  Turn the beef over, add the garlic to the pan and allow to fry for another 30 seconds or until no longer pink.
  5. Stir the contents of the pan and pour in the sauce, add the blanched broccoli and bring to a boil.  Add the dissolved cornstarch liquid and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 more seconds.  Take the pan off the heat, swirl in the sesame oil and serve immediately.

Serves 4

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  1. hey thanks for the shoutout! love “ripping hot” description!

  2. This looks fabulous! I’m all for making it yourself. For one thing you know just what goes into it and don’t have mystery ingredients like MSG.

  3. Hey, this happens to be on our docket for this week (and one of our favorite standbys, so easy, so good). I’ll have to check this out against our usual Ken Hom go-to. Lovely site — I look forward to following along.

    • Stacy
    • February 28th, 2010

    I made this tonight and it turned out beautifully. Thanks!

  4. Hi Molly – If you discover any significant differences between this recipe and your usual, please share. I’m always looking for new twists.

    • Amanda
    • December 7th, 2010

    Great recipe and dish! I always like to add a little red pepper flakes to give mine some heat, as well as some minced ginger.

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