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.

-RDG

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.

Comments

  1. I’m not one to comment on this kind of thing but, this was amazing we mixed ours with angel hair pasta.

  2. Delicious!! made this tonight, and it was a big hit. Tastes like my favorite take-out Chinese place but even better! will definitely make it again.

  3. I marinated the meat the night before since I work during the day and I think it made it even better. I do like a little more kick in my meals so I added some Asian spice seasoning to the final product. Also, I did not have low-sodium soy sauce, so I ended up using about a 1/4 cup of regular soy sauce and added water to it. I may have lost a little flavor this way but didn’t want to make the dish too salty either!

  4. I made this last night for my husband and I. It was so delicious!! I added other vegetables as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. This recipe was amazing!!!! I made this tonite and was in heaven. My husband LOVED it. Way better than from a restaurant. I didn’t have sherry on hand but used a tablespoon of Marsala. It turned out fantastic. Not a morsel left over. Thanks so much for this recipe. It rocked.

  6. My son just came home for his first visit, since going away, and this was the recipe he requested for his first meal home =) It is delicious and so easy. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  7. My son just came home for his first visit, since going away to college, and this was the recipe he requested for his first meal home =) It is delicious and so easy. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  8. This is so delicious and easy to make! Upon arriving home for his first visit, since going off to college, my son requested this recipe for his much missed home cooked meal =) Thank you for such a wonderful addition to my favorite go-to recipes!

  9. I don’t know how many times I’ve personally made this recipe, and how many more times I’ve shared it with friends. It’s become the recipe I turn to when I’m craving beef and broccoli. and I know other friends feel the same way. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Made this tonight and turned out awesome thanks
    fir out new go-to recipe when we’re craving Chinese food

  11. I just had to let you know how great this was! I used a chuck roast and just trimmed it. It came out so nice and tender! My husband and teenage boys said it tasted better than the chinese restaurant and not as salty! AWESOME.. ty!

  12. Wow! This is an awesome recipe! Thanks for sharing! Made it tonight and my family loved it. Especially my kids! I just shared it with my mom and my sister and I can guarantee that they will definitely make it. Another recipe in my book!

  13. I just made this tonight and it was amazing! Definitely a new favorite! I didn’t have any sherry and I subbed coconut aminos for the soy sauce (my daughter is allergic to soy) and it was super yummy! I also added some red bell pepper. The sauce’s flavor was better than a restaurant, the meat was tender, and the broccoli was cooked perfectly. I will definitely be making this again! Thanks for an awesome recipe!

    • My son is also allergic to soy. I have found that if I mix coconut aminos with fish sauce (half and half) it makes a great soy sauce substitute. My son likes it better than soy sauce. Not nearly as salty either.

    • My son also has a soy allergy. I find that mixing coconut aminos half and half with fish sauce it makes a great soy sauce substitute. My son likes it better than soy sauce. It’s not as salty either. This is my son’s favorite meal.

  14. Just had to say that we love this and have used pork tenderloin and chicken too. Thanks!

  15. this was really good. just made it.

  16. I have never left a comment for anyone, but I feel that I have to for this recipe. This is by far one of the best recipes I have ever tried. I doubled it and it was devoured! My husband said it’s now one of his favorite! Thank you so much for the recipe! It’s in my book now for good!

  17. Leigh Anne says:

    This is one of my kids favorite meals! I also use a lot of mushrooms in mine. It is so good, definitely a menu staple. Thanks for sharing!!

  18. Just tried this tonight. It was fantastic! We doubled the recipe for our big family and everyone (including the teenagers all the way down to the 4 year old) loved it! We added lots of extra broccoli to stretch the meat and it turned out just great!

  19. Janet Mackenzie says:

    This recipe was so good!!! I followed it almost exactly…subbing coconut aminos for soy sauce and coconut oil for vegetable oil. YUMMY!!! The whole family, including my 4 and 6 year old love it!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  20. Janet Mackenzie says:

    This recipe was so good!!! I followed it almost exactly…subbing coconut aminos for soy sauce and coconut oil for vegetable oil. YUMMY!!! The whole family, including my 4 and 6 year old love it!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  21. Darlene Wiliams says:

    Made this last night and it was wonderful! My hubby woke up this morning stating what a great dinner I prepared last night. This recipe is now added to my list of “do overs”. Thank you for sharing!

  22. This is such a wonderful recipe, I make it monthly.. Thanks so much for sharing… It’s so easy, being a mother of two small boys I love easy dinners that also get veggies in. I add carrots and use this same recipe with chicken. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

  23. This looks amazing! I will be trying this recipe for dinner tonight. Quick question: if I don’t have low sodium soy sauce, (just regular) how much should I use?

    • In all honesty I’ve never tested it with this method, but I would imagine you could water it down by this ratio: 1/2 soy sauce, half water. Regular soy sauce has about twice the sodium of low-sodium soy. Thanks for the heads up, Marina. I’ll have to do a test-run with this and experiment with the ratios. Let me know how it goes!

  24. I LOVE this recipe! I’ve made it twice now. I’ve never heard of baking soda being used as a meat tenderizer, but I believe it! Thanks for the awesome recipe. I’m a grad student on a pretty tight budget, so being able to use really cheap cuts of beef is a definite plus!

  25. My fiance and I are currently eating this and oh man is it DELICIOUS!!!! I didn’t have low sodium soy sauce but I did have some dry chardonnay that I was trying to use up in my cooking so I used 1/4 c regular soy sauce and 1/4 c + 2 tbs of white wine. The broccoli came out tasting fresh and delicious and the sauce is out of this world! We served over brown rice and we are wishing I’d made more! Thank you for this wonderful and simple recipe!

  26. I made this recipe last night for dinner. It turned out amazing! The only things I did different was I added 3 cloves of garlic instead of 4, I used the regular soy sauce(1/4 c.) And I used only have of the sauce. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks!!

  27. I made this recipe last night for dinner. It turned out amazing! The only things I did different was I added 3 cloves of garlic instead of 4, I used the regular soy sauce(1/4 c.) And I used only have of the sauce. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks!!

  28. Love, Love, LOVE this recipe. My kids cleaned their plates and had seconds! I had a bunch of grilled New York strip steaks left over from our big family holiday dinner so I just used the leftovers but still followed the recipe to marinade the meat. I was out of fresh garlic so I used my jar of minced garlic and at the very end I added abt 1/4 cup of beef broth to the sauce mixture for a little extra sauce (I like the extra sauce to put over my fried rice). I had a recipes similar to this one but called for grated ginger root and it ruined my food! I don’t like ginger and had no use for a tree root in my fridge! ;)
    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!!

  29. Eating this right now and WOW its so delicious! ! Next time I’ll add sesame seeds but otherwise it’s perfect and my kiddos love it!

  30. Very good! I didn’t have low sodium soy sauce, I used 1/4 reg soy sauce and 1/4 chicken stock. It was a tad salty, but still delicious!

  31. I had to comment because this recipe is SO good! I found it on Pinterest, and normally recipes I find there turn out the opposite of how they’re supposed to, but this one was amazing!

    • I’ve made this recipe a million times since September…my family can’t get enough. Even used chicken and pork chops and they can’t get enough. Thank you so much for sharing!

  32. Oh my goodness I absolutely love this pin! I just tried it with chicken and it is just as good. This is a keeper for sure!

  33. Oh my goodness I absolutely love this pin! I just tried it with chicken and it is just as good. This is a keeper for sure!

  34. I love this recipe! But do you know if I can make it with chicken?

  35. Really nice recipe! Simple to prepare and extremely tasty!

  36. This was probably the best Pinterest recipe I have come across. We have shared it with many people and all agree, it is much better than takeout! Thank you!!!

  37. I’ve made this recipe a million times since September…my family can’t get enough. Even used chicken and pork chops and they can’t get enough. Thank you so much for sharing!

  38. kimberly says:

    So I only comment on things I like but in this case I LOVE it BEST beef and broccoli ever. I am incredibly picky about the sauce used some times its bitter and I don’t like it and other times it just tastes like plain beef gravy and I still don’t like it. But your recipe is amazing! Seriously great job!!

  39. Wendy Pagan says:

    Love this recipe came out delicious! Can chicken be substituted for the beef?

  40. Lizette says:

    WOW! THIS RECIPE HAS FOREVER CHANGED MY LIFE.
    I love beef and broccoli! I went on pintrest searching for stir frys to make for easy dinners for me and the bf (college students here) my bf is chinese and liked it so much! i couldnt resist trying or attempting to make because of the pictures looks so good!
    consider your recipe book marked! I am so excited to show this recipe off to my mother. I have a baby brother age 3 whos fav food is broccoli and beef! thank you for sharing!!! this recipe rocks!!!

  41. I must say, I’ve made this at least 10 times now – it’s one of my most favorite recipes! We love making Chinese food & sushi at home. Here’s a link to my famous Garlic Chicken recipe, let me know what you think of it if you try it!

    http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/chinese-takeout-garlic-chicken/

    • rainyd01 says:

      Thank you for the recipe, Heather! I’ve bookmarked it for when my kitchen is unpacked again :) Happy cooking! xo

  42. I should of taken a picture as this was so beyond my expectations. I always have flap meat or flank steak in my freezer. Usually its for Mexican food though. So tender, so tasty, just YUM! The only thing I did different was I used coconut and sesame oil and I had a 2lb peice of meat so I doubled the marinade but kept everything else the same. As soon as I finished (my second helping) I sent this recipe to 2 other people I know. I will be making this a lot to say the very least. THANK YOU!!

    • rainyd01 says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Mel! Everyone in our family uses this recipe and it’s my go-to summertime BBQ favorite. Thanks!

  43. I made this tonight and doubled the recipe…..It’s a keeper!!! It was better than take out because of no MSG!!!!!! Going to try chicken next time!!!! Thanks!!!

  44. Are you $%#\*%×@ kidding me? Just made this for the first time & it’s better than restaurant quality. No joke folks, this is legit. I subbed flat iron steak for the flank steak. It cost less and tastes just as good, so tender and “beefy.” This recipe is instantly going into heavy rotation. Thanks RDG!!!

  45. Vexmytex says:

    I made this tonight maybe for the 10th times, like you said when we don’t like to cook and want to order takeout it is our go-to dinner. It is so easy and fast we don’t even consider it like cooking,
    Thanks again for a delicious recipe.
    Keep it coming!

  46. I’m NEVER buying beef and broccoli again! This recipe is perfection. Thanks so much!

  47. Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological globe all is accessible on net?

  48. Twin Mom x 2 says:

    I love beef and broccoli and this is by far my favorite recipe to use! I make this one on a regular basis for the whole family. Great job and thanks for sharing.

  49. Mrs. Gamgee says:

    Hi… I came across your recipe on Pinterest and knew I had to try it. Beef with broccoli is one of those staples that we order every time we splurge for take-out. So many Asian-inspired recipes are complicated or call for stuff that I just don’t think to buy regularly. This was absolutely perfect… tasty, was super quick and easy to make (managed it quite easily even when down with the flu), and my whole family loved it… including a two year old and a three year old. The only changes I made to the recipe were that I added some diced onion to the pan while cooking the beef, and then garnished it with a drizzle of sesame oil and some toasted sesame seeds. Thanks for sharing!

  50. I have never left a comment on a recipe that I have used in the past. But this one definitely warrants one! Made this tonight for dinner and everyone was licking their plates afterward! Dish-delish. This is top on my list by far. Thanks for sharing.

  51. That’s the thnniikg of a creative mind

Trackbacks

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