Chinese Beef & Broccoli is one of the most beloved and ordered takeout dishes by Americans and not too surprisingly there’s little about it that’s authentically Chinese. But that’s ok because it tastes great and we all love it.
For starters, beef cattle were not widely eaten years ago in China since their value as farm stock animals was so great. Then there’s the broccoli. The type we usually use is Italian. In China they have a weedier leafier version called gai lan which, if you can find it, tastes great but it’s not traditional as you can see below:
First you’ll get a nice piece of flank, flap, skirt steak or even rib eye, slice it against the grain for tenderness and let it marinate for thirty.
While that’s tenderizing mix up the fixings for the sauce and set aside. Next, you will steam or boil the broccoli and I strongly advise that you significantly undercook it. It should still be pretty firm. It will continue to cook at the end when you combine it with the beef and the sauce and if there are leftovers it will cook some more when you heat it up. Overcook it and you’ll end up with disintegrated grey-green broccoli shreds which neither look nor taste good. Once cooked to your liking set aside and start on the beef.
Get your wok smoking hot, pour in the oil and stir fry the garlic, ginger, and chilies then lay the beef in it. Don’t move for a minute or two – let it get a good brown sear then turn over. And do in batches. If you crowd the pan the meat will steam and you’ll lose the browning. Once done, remove and set aside.
Last up you’ll pour in the sauce mixture stirring continually. It should thicken in half a minute. When it does add in broccoli coating very well and serve on steamed rice.
And here’s a tip on steamed rice. Royal now makes a microwaveable bag which I bought by mistake thinking it was uncooked shrink-wrapped rice but hey – it’s good! And steams in a minute and a half. Looks like this:
- For the Marinade:
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese Shaoxing wine
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon Chinese salted black bean & garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- For the Beef:
- ½ lb. flank steak sliced on the bias to ¼ inch thickness
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
- 4 large dried red chilies, cut into small pieces (or 1 tsp. red chili flakes)
- ½ lb. broccoli florets
- steamed rice, to serve
- Combine the steak slices with the marinade ingredients. Mix well & set aside for 30 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- Boil or steam the broccoli to your desired doneness. Keep in mind that fresh broccoli will need a little more time to cook than frozen since frozen is parboiled before being bagged. And add a pinch of baking soda in the water if you boil the broccoli. Keeps them greener.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and dried chilies. Stir-fry for 10 seconds. Then add the beef and spread the strips out in the pan quickly. Allow to sear for a minute or so before stir-frying. Repeat the spreading and stir-frying technique until the beef is almost cooked. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for a minute.
- Add the sauce and stir till thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Serve with steamed rice.