beef with broccoli

On the rare night when we order Chinese takeout, we all want something different. Dave craves something spicy, green onion pancakes, and salt & pepper chicken. Lucy requests fried rice. And I prefer beef with broccoli, beef with broccoli, and beef with broccoli. Sadly, it’s a dish that’s hard for most restaurants to get right. The beef sometimes tastes “beefy” (not fresh), the broccoli is overcooked, and the sauce can be soupy.

Lucky for me though, it’s dang easy to make at home. It’s a quick, tasty weeknight meal with no takeout cartons necessary. And the secret to getting the beef fork-tender requires only a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

Start with a few dry ingredients in a large bowl: baking soda, a little bit of sugar, and some cornstarch.

Whisk in some soy sauce, water, and vegetable oil.

Slice your steak against the grain into thin strips. I like flank steak for this dish, but tri-tip or pretty much any cut would work just fine.

Toss the meat with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This easy marinade is all that it takes to get that crazy-tender beef, even with less expensive cuts.

Next, when you’re ready for dinner, make the sauce. It’s an easy blend of soy, brown sugar, minced garlic, a bit of flour, and cooking sherry (the sherry is optional; I think it rounds out the flavors nicely but if you don’t have any, no need to take a special trip to the grocery). Stir until the flour and sugar dissolve.

In a large saute pan or wok, heat some vegetable oil on high. When the oil is thoroughly heated (it will begin to shimmer), toss in the broccoli and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Don’t walk away! You’ll risk burning your veggies. Transfer to a plate or a heatproof bowl.

In the same pan, saute the beef with half of the sauce mixture for 3-4 minutes (keep stirring often!) or until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.

Add the broccoli and dump in the rest of the sauce. Saute for one more minute. Remove from heat.

Serve over rice. Swoon. Eat. Repeat.

I adore the thickness of the sauce. It coats every morsel with that salty, garlicky flavor. Just a little bit seeps onto the rice. Perfection.

Oh, broccoli. You are my favorite vegetable. And unlike that Chinese takeout joint, I didn’t overcook you into broccoli-shaped mush.

And beef. I could write a song about you. It would sound something like a fusion of Styx and Bad Company, with a little Earth, Wind & Fire thrown in for funk.

Don’t worry, world. I’ll spare you that one.


Beef with Broccoli     Printable PDF

This easy version of the Chinese takeout classic requires only a short marinade to make the beef fork-tender. Serve over white or brown rice. Serves 4.

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 1 hour for marinade Cook Time: 8 minutes

First, marinate the meat:

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips

1. Whisk together the baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Toss the steak with the marinade to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, then proceed below.

  • 1/2 c low-sodium soy sauce (Do NOT use regular. The final product will be way too salty)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 heads broccoli, crowns only

1. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour and sherry until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large wok or saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli and saute 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer broccoli to a plate.

3. Reduce heat to medium-high. Carefully add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the hot pan. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in the broccoli and remaining sauce. Saute 1 minute more. Serve.


  1. Marian Marcus says:

    I am ready to try this recipe, but I don’t use white sugar or flour. Do you think it would make a difference if I used brown sugar for the marinade?

  2. Jennifer Kemp says:

    I made this for dinner tonight, it was a huge hit. I also added some sweet onion.

  3. I made this dish for dinner last night & it was a big HIT @ my house.
    But wish it make just a lil more sauce.

  4. Ive had this recipe pinned for quite some time; but made it last week for the first time. My husband has asked that I make it again tonight. He loves it. If you knew him you would understand why this is very rare. He loves it. I also love it; Im just not as hard to please as he is

  5. Kimberley says:

    This is deliciously awesome! I substituted red wine vinegar for the sherry, tastes good to me!
    The fam fam enjoyed it as well!
    I will make this dish again! :)

  6. Can you water down soy sauce if that’s all you have?

  7. Trying this now. Do you have the nutritional information on this?

  8. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really
    recognise what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please also seek advice from my website
    =). We could have a link change agreement between us

  9. Oh my goodness! I tried this Friday for dinner and it was so good even my picky husband loved it and took left overs to work for his lunch!

  10. Christin says:

    I made this tonight. It was perfect. I bought a while chuck steak and sliced it myself. Was cheaper than presliced. Glad there are leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  11. I used low sodium soy sauce but I think it still have a very salty flavor.

  12. Wow!! Great recipe!! We made it tonight,my daughter said it had so much flavor.

  13. So Good!! I will marinate beef even longer next time & also I omitted the sherry & the family still loved it!’m

  14. Love this recipe! I double the marinade and sauce because I made a big portion. I think next time I will cut down on the soy sauce and do 2/3 c. Of soy with 1/3 c of beef broth. I used low sodium soy but it was still a little salty for me. Have been searching for a very long time to find this flavor! Can’t wait for leftovers today!

  15. Hubby and son DEVOURED this tonight! Crazy tender beef! This is my new go Beef with Broccoli recipe

  16. Lani girl says:

    Made this recipe tonight and it was a huge hit with the hubby! Used a boneless Chuck steak and sliced it myself then used Braggs Amino Acid instead of soy sauce (since I’m allergic to soy sauce) and used Brown sugar. When cooking I used half vegetable oil and half unsalted butter…worked out really good! Must try subbing red wine vinegar for the sherry…I didn’t use either since I didn’t have sherry. Good recipe!

  17. I don’t have cornstarch, does anyone know of any sub or if its OK to omit it from the recipe?

  18. Just started on WW, wondering if you had the nutritional info for this recipe? Thanks!

  19. Hey, I’m looking forward to trying this the next time I see a good price for the meat. I wanted to let you know your content was stolen and reposted here, in case you want to take action:

  20. This is an absolute favorite at my dinner table, have been making this for my family for some time now and it always gets raves! I always add sliced carrot, celery and water chestnuts, so good!

  21. Sabrina says:

    The changes that I made was using half regular soy sauce and half
    low sodium. Also, did not add the Sherry. My kids and husband enjoyed the receipe. This one is a keeper.

  22. I’m sorry what is “sherry” lol

  23. Does it have to be fresh broccoli or is frozen ok? Recipe doesn’t specify

  24. Used arm steak instead of the flank that was suggested because it was half the price. Marinaded 4 hours. Followed recipe exactly and it was great! Meat was so tender.

  25. Patti Cash says:

    I made this for supper for my husband. Beef and broccoli is one of his favorite take out meals. When I asked him if it was good, he said it tasted just like the restaurant. I said, well do you like it, yeah it’s really good! I also get to make it again and I think next time I will add some scallions. Oh and to make it feel like take out, I picked up some white rice, egg rolls and crab ragoon! Now I have lunch for tomorrow and another delish dish to make again!

  26. I made this tonight and my family LOVED it! I used honey instead of sugar, added cashews, red onion and mushrooms. It was delicious!!

  27. So I’m making this for dinner. Just realized I don’t have low-sodium soy sauce and don’t have beef broth, only chicken. Lol will it be ok?

  28. Amazing! I substituted Worchestershire for the sherry vinegar. Tasted great. Thanks so much!

  29. I made this tonight, used rice wine vinegar in lieu of sherry, it was a 4 thumbs up. Fairly easy recipe to put together to boot. It has made the rotation. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Jeannette says:

    Thans for sharing………….I was looking for this recipe in my mind……but my daughter told my about this link …and I am very happy…..thanks….It is for my sister´s 75 birthday…..she loves chinese food, and I am greatfool.

  31. Jeannette says:

    Thans for sharing…………….It is for my sister´s 75 birthday…..she loves chinese food, and I am greatfool.

  32. AMAZING! Perfect. Yummy.

  33. This recipe is definitely a keeper!! I made this last night and had it for leftovers today. I even took some to my parents and they loved it. Yummy! I let the meat marinate overnight and then some. I added the garlic to the marinade instead of adding it to the sautee mixture. As others had advised…I only used 1/4 c soy sauce. I had no sherry and didn’t replace it with anything.

  34. Just made this and it is AWESOME!!! I added a can of water chestnuts…and it was perfection!! Thank you for this yummy and easy recipe!!!!!

  35. i found that the cut of meat makes a difference. I used a round steak because it was on sale. Despite marinating for 12+ hours, it was tough and chewy. So don’t use round steak! But, I love the sauce! Maybe a bit salty even with low sodium soy sauce, but still delish! I can see using that sauce with chicken stir fry too.

  36. Apachelakota says:

    Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added.

  37. Heather B says:

    So easy and so good! I subsitiuted orange joice for sherry. It was delicious. I also made another 1/2 batch of the sauce for a little saucier dish. It was a smashing success!

  38. I marinated almost 24 hours due to a change in plans. I think the marinade broke the meat down too much. Next time I’ll use less aminos (Braggs) and lessen or omit flour for more keto friendly and less salty taste. I also used agave instead of sugar. Great though, I enjoyed it and will make again.

  39. I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit!

  40. jackie mehr says:

    This recipe was do easy to fix and even better to eat.I will be making it regularly.Thanks for sharing,

  41. I know this original post is four years old, but holy moley. This dish is absolute perfection. I changed nothing except used half the oil it called for. This is my first comment on a Pinterest recipe…it is that good!! Thank you!

  42. i don’t have low sodium soy. Any suggestions. Can’t get to the store. Should of read all the way through before starting.

  43. Very good…I was expecting company so I did the meat the night before and put in frig. Then I made as the recipe except added cashews also I had no sherry so used red wine vinegar. There wasnt enough sauce when everything was mixed together, only took a second to make more sauce and add in for one more minute. Turned out excellent…we all loved it. Great recipe but expect to double the sauce recipe.

  44. Made this last night and it was phenomenal! Thank you so much for sharing. I didn’t change a thing.

  45. Really really good dish! This is my first time commenting on any recipe but I had to give credit where it is do! By far, the best beef and broccoli that I’ve tried!

  46. Made this recipe for dinner tonight. Made half into pepper steak, other beef/broccoli. Family loved it. Definitely must do again.

  47. I made this tonight and was not as pleased as I had hoped for…but let me say that it can definatly be added to and make perfet for our family! I thought it was very rich, salty and too thick. By adding onion and doubleing the sauce that could help. I will make again and try to do a few things different, but over all a great base to a good meal.

  48. is it ok if i will not use any sherry? pls reply :) thanks!

  49. That’s the thnniikg of a creative mind


  1. […] TO DO I found this recipe a while ago and pinned it, and then, like many recipes I pin (and like even more DIYs I fully […]

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