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. Hello Rainy day gal!
    It was an absolutely gorgeous recipe, exactly like in a chinese restaurant.
    Thank you

  2. Making it for the second time. It is very delicious. but please listen when she says not to use regular soy sauce! I made mine with red peppers flakes and substituted sesame oil for the cooking portion of this recipe.

  3. Had this pinned for awhile, was eager to finally make it. Well, it was delicious! I was tempted to use regular soy sauce, but last minute made a trip to the store for the low sodium variety – definitely necessary. Don’t miss that important detail, folks! This is the way broccoli is meant to be enjoyed, sautéed into a nutty perfection. I will be making this again, and again, and again.. Thanks!

  4. Looking to make this tomorrow. I don’t have low sodium soya sauce. Is there anything that I could subsitute it for?

  5. Great recipe. A hit with the family. Also, increased the sauce.

  6. I make this all the time using your recipe and my whole family loves it. So much better than take out. I was wondering if the recioe needs to be altered at all for chicken? I guess im mostly asking about the marinade part.looking to make this tonight so hoping to get a response. Thanks so much. Love you site!!

  7. I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe for beef broccoli, and my search ends today! This was perfect, and rivaled our favorite Chinese restaurant in town. fantastic!

  8. Fivekidzlater says:

    I made this tonight with venison. So so good! My husband told me it was 10x’s better than the restaurant, and the kids loved it too. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  9. Wangchuk basi says:

    It’s a great Web site…and I just loved your broccoli meat recipe. Am still a bit confused by the 1 1/2c. What’s the ‘c’ stand for. Also is there a substitute for low sodium soya sauce? Apart from that. ..we are having a ball here. Drop in for dinner someday. We’d love that.

  10. We have made this twice and love it very much. We however use Elk meat rather than beef but would be great with beef too I would bet. We also double both mixtures for the marinade and the sauce since I double the rice and meat. :)

  11. We have made this dish 6 times in the past few months. We are making it again tonight for NYE. it’s fabulous! !

  12. I cannot use soy sauce due to the gluten content. Can I use Tamari sauce as a substitute or would it be too salty?

    • I suffer the same. Many store brands are gluten free since they are made with soy (as intended). Read labels and you will find one not made with Wheat.

    • Have you tried Bragg’s Liquid Aminos it’s an awesome alternative to Soy Sauce and best of all it is Gluten-Free! Hope this helps!

    • You can use coconut amines. It tastes just like soy sauce and is gluten free.

  13. I’ve made this twice now and the taste is amazing we all love it but for some reason I can’t get my sauce to stay a sauce. It all clumps up and just becomes jelly. Am I doing something wrong or is their a reason this could be happening?

  14. For anyone with allergy or intolerance is here are some substitutions that I used.
    Cornstarch – arrowroot
    Flour – arrowroot
    Soy sauce – Braggs Liquid Aminos or my preference, Coconut Aminos
    Sherry – Rice Cooking Wine (Mirin)

    All should be available at Kroger, HEB Eric. Walmart will carry all but probably not the Aminos.

  15. First time making very easy to follow. Thank you

  16. Made this recipe last night came out very delicious so easy to follow thank you

  17. Made this tonight and it was delicious!! Definitely will be made over and over again for my family. We added some peppers & onions to the mix ~ so easy to follow ~ totally a great recipe!

  18. Made a double batch tonight. Only things I added was some ginger in sauce, peppers, gr. onions in with brocolli and used a little sesame oil with cooking oil for meat. Great recipe. Makes a wonderful sauce! Keeping this recipe and will make again! Thanks so much!

  19. Soooooo……YUMMY!!! Thank you for such a great recipe! I used brown rice and it fits right in to my clean eating menu! I also used sesame oil to cook the broccoli and beef. This one is going into the rotation!

  20. Best ever!!!! I will take this hands down over any take out any day. You know it’s good Chinese when you can eat it cold. And this one you can. So I make it extra big each time, (with onion too).

    I’ve used chicken too. Going to try it with shrimp.

    Even my chef husband says it’s a keeper…so that’s saying something. We have it a couple times a month.

    Thank you!

  21. I made this last night. My husband and I agree that it is the BEST beef & broccoli we have ever had and can never order it from take out again. :) The only change I would suggest is doubling the sauce recipe and adding a little ginger and some red chili flakes to it. I also used a few drops of sesame oil with the veg oil to sauté the broccoli. I sliced the flank steak super thin and with that marinade it came out ridiculously tender. YUM! Thanks so much for this!

  22. I don’t normally comment on these things, but I have to say, this was AMAZING! I added red bell pepper and carrots to the mix just to have more veggies and it was a hit at the table. Also, if someone has a gluten allergy, you can replace the soy sauce with tamari sauce and flour with gluten free flour and you will be doing the happy dance guaranteed! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Ive made this recipe twice and I have loved it both times. Both times I only had regular Soy, and the first time I had no garlic, but bother were delicious. Thank you for this simple recipe

  24. Best beef and broccoli rice I have ever had!

  25. Is Sherry cooking wine? Example, I buy Marsala cooking wine from Walmart, to cook with. Same thing, only sherry? Thanks

  26. Friends, I tried make this recipe so many times, but I don’t have sherry right now in my kitchen, do you thing if I don’t use sherry, the recipe goes well? please help. Kisses and hugs.

  27. Thank you thank you thank you. That was the yummiest . I doubled the recipe and the 6 of us devoured every

  28. Made this tonite very delicious! I used regular Soybsauce and it was delicious I did however use two batches of the sauce….

  29. This was so delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  30. I wanted to like it. It wasn’t horrible but even with lite sodium soy sauce it was too too salty. I’ll eat anything, and my husband and I did finish our serving, but sadly I’m deleting this recipe. It was easy to make and looked good on the plate. Just not tasty enough for a repeat appearance at our dinner table.

  31. This is so amazing. Better than any Chinese restaurant. I added chili flakes for heat and sesame seeds on top. I also added regular soy sauce in a half cup but about 1/4 less and topped with water so not too salty. Perfect.

  32. It’s snowing here and all I have is frozen broccoli…do you think that will work? Going to try it anyway.

  33. Amazing! I used moose steak..yummy!

  34. This was a really great recipe, I especially liked the marinade (I was intrigued by the baking soda). For the sauce, I replaced half of the soy sauce with beef stock and used white wine instead of sherry – for some reason, sherry always tastes really salty to me. I also utilized sesame oil for cooking the beef. I think recipes are beautiful guidelines we can tweak and make to fit our own personal tastes, and I am so grateful you shared this one! Have a gorgeous day. :)

  35. DELICIOUS!!!!! Trust me. It’s taste so much better and more fresh than take out!! Omg! I can’t stop eating it! Lol! ?

  36. DELICIOUS!!!!! Trust me. It’s taste so much better and more fresh than take out!! Omg! I can’t stop eating it! Lol! ?

  37. I love this recipe! It’s my go-to meal every time I’m short on time :)

  38. I made this tonight and everyone loved it! We decided it is going to be added into our normal meal rotation! Love love love!

  39. I made this recipe and my family loved it! I used regular soy sauce and it still came out delicious.. I also added red pepper flakes to give it a little kick… Thank you!! Will definitely be making this again.. ?

  40. Yum, yum, yum. This was absolutely delish! Î did add 8 oz of sliced sautéed mushrooms. The sauce was awesome though seemed a little sweet. Next time I will only use1/2 the sugar. If you don’t have low sodium soy sauce, you can use regular but dilute it 1:1 with water. Will absolutely be making this again when a Chinese food craving hits!

  41. ISIS atakuje Kurdów, najwyra?niej chroni? swoje drogi transportu ropy do Turcji i chc? otworzy? kolejny kana? przerzutu.


  1. […] Here’s the original recipe. […]

  2. […] Beef with Broccoli by Jenny @ Rainy Day Gal […]

Speak Your Mind