Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking about what kind of dishes I want to write recipes for next. And I decided it would be really cool to do a series called Better Than the Restaurant. There are so many dishes (like Kung Pao Chicken) that I personally love and grew up eating that I haven’t written recipes for because on a personal level, they’re just normal to me. Part of the reason I write this blog is because I love learning new skills and ways to cook ingredients. So I really don’t think about some of the dishes that I love but maybe you might not know how to make. One example is this beef and broccoli recipe.
I have probably had this dish hundreds of times at my mom’s house. But for a lot of people, it’s one they’ve only had in a Chinese restaurant or for takeout. I really want to use this recipe to teach you how to make this dish even better than the restaurant and how to adjust it to what you and your family like. So I hope you enjoy this series and I hope you make it!
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Ribeye steak – Typically in Chinese restaurants, chefs use flank steak for this stir fry recipe. But I personally like using ribeye steak because it’s a bit more tender and there’s more flavor because there’s more fat on the steak. Both flank or ribeye steak work for this dish. Feel free to reduce the amount of meat you use if you aren’t used to eating so much meat. My family doesn’t eat that much meat, so sometimes, we only use half the amount.
- Corn starch – Corn starch helps tenderize the meat and protects the meat from the hot temperature of the pan. Essentially, it helps prevent overcooking. You can use tapioca starch as a substitute.
- Soy sauce – Adds umami flavor to the dish. For a gluten free alternative, use tamari as a substitute.
- Granulated sugar – Balances out the umami flavors with a bit of sweetness. It is traditional to use granulated sugar for this recipe, but you can also use light brown sugar, coconut sugar, or palm sugar.
- Olive oil – Helps tenderize the meat. You can substitute with vegetable oil.
- Pepper for seasoning
- Rice wine vinegar – Helps tenderize the meat and balance out the umami flavors. You can substitute with white vinegar.
- Broccoli – I chose to use Chinese broccoli because I love but you can definitely use regular broccoli as well. In Chinese restaurants, you find one or both kinds of broccoli used. Feel free to use more or less broccoli than what the recipe specifies.
- Garlic and ginger – These aromatics help take out the gross beefy flavor of the meat.
- Oyster sauce – Adds umami flavor to the sauce. Oyster sauce has gluten in it, so a good gluten free substitute is tamari.
- Sesame oil – Optional ingredient that adds more flavor to the sauce.
Making my beef and broccoli recipe
Combine the steak, 2 teaspoons of corn starch, soy sauce, sugar, olive oil, pepper, and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Coat the beef with all the ingredients in the marinade. Marinate for 30 minutes or overnight. For the best flavor, marinate overnight. Blanche the broccoli. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes until it turns a vibrant green color. Take it out and set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and marinated beef. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the beef is brown on all sides. Add the broccoli, oyster sauce, and sesame oil (cook for 30 seconds). Mix together 1 tbsp of corn starch and 1 tbsp of water. Add to the pan. Mix and cook for another 30 seconds. Taste for seasoning. Add salt if it tastes bland. Add sugar if you want it a bit sweeter. Serve with white rice or your grain of choice.
Tips on how to make the best beef and broccoli
What is the key to the perfect beef and broccoli?
The key to a perfect beef and broccoli stir fry is high heat. In Chinese restaurants, chefs make this dish in a hot wok, and what makes the dish so good is the high heat. The high heat ensures all the ingredients get cook without the ingredients releasing all their water, making the dish soggy instead of saucy.
How do you make your beef tender?
Marinating the beef in a mixture of corn starch, vinegar, and oil makes the beef so tender.
How do you cut beef for beef and broccoli?
I would cut your beef into thin slices. This helps it cook faster and produces a more tender texture.
Why do you blanche the broccoli?
Blanching essentially means par cooking the vegetables in boiling water. We do this for 2 reasons: 1) To ensure the vegetables are fully cooked at the end 2) To give the vegetables a bright, vibrant green color. This is probably one of my top tips for stir fries with vegetables.
What do you eat beef and broccoli with?
You can eat beef and broccoli with any type of neutral grain like white rice, brown rice, quinoa or even noodles.
Did you make this dish?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
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Beef and Broccoli
- Combine the beef, 2 teaspoons of corn starch, soy sauce, sugar, olive oil, pepper, and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Coat the beef with all the ingredients in the marinade. Marinate for 30 minutes or overnight. For the best flavor, marinate overnight.
- Blanche the broccoli. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes until it turns a vibrant green color. Take it out and set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and marinated beef. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the beef is brown on all sides.
- Add the broccoli, oyster sauce, and sesame oil (cook for 30 seconds).
- Mix together 1 tbsp of corn starch and 1 tbsp of water. Add to the pan. Mix and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Taste the dish for seasoning. Add some salt if it tastes bland. Add some sugar if you want it a bit sweeter.
- Serve with white rice or your grain of choice.