Beef and Broccoli
July 23, 2022
1M+ Views Chinese Main Dishes Recipes Tastier Than Takeout Wok
Beef and Broccoli is one of the most recognizable American Chinese takeout dishes and my version is a favorite amongst family and friends! The beef is super tender and the sauce is salty & sweet – it’s absolutely perfect over a bowl of steamed rice!
Watch the Beef and Broccoli Recipe Video Below!
What makes Beef and Broccoli so delicious?
The wok-seared beef is so juicy and succulent thanks to the baking soda marinade. It’s perfect over some steamed white rice with the fresh broccoli and savory sauce!
I always like to garnish mine with fresh sesame seeds for a perfect weeknight meal that comes together in minutes. The success of this recipe is all in the prep! It’s important to have everything ready to go before you cook the dish in the pan, because the cooking process is extremely quick!
Beef and Broccoli has easily become one of the dishes in the weekly rotation! It’s really a simple combination of the tender marinated flank steak, crisp broccoli, aromatics, and savory umami rich sauce that really brings it all together!
If you are not a big red meat eater, be sure to check out my Chicken & Broccoli recipe!
Marinating Your Beef
Once your steak is sliced thinly against the grain, marinate it with the following ingredients for at least 20 minutes:
- Baking soda
- Soy Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- White Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- Neutral Oil
The marinated beef should look like this once the ingredients are combined – not too wet and not too dry. It’s the perfect marinade for a quick sear in the wok!
Other Ingredient Tips (and why blanching your broccoli is important!)
I recommend you avoid the pre-cut broccoli and get crowns from the store that you can cut yourself. It’s important that the broccoli is cut to similar sized pieces (1″) so they cook evenly and are distributed equally throughout the dish. I’ve noticed that pre-cut broccoli range widely in size, which will result in some broccoli pieces being under-cooked, while others will be over-cooked.
Make sure you are slicing against the grain. You’ll know which direction the grain is when you look at the meat – the lines will be running in one direction (the lines are the muscle fibers). Slicing against the grain is an easy way to ensure your meat will be tender. (Remember, the lines are the muscle fibers – cutting against the lines means you’re cutting the long fibers, so they don’t get tough when cooked!)
This is the KEY ingredient to super tender beef. Baking soda is commonly used in Chinese cooking to tenderize beef. If you’re curious about the science behind it – baking soda neutralizes acid and raises the pH level, which causes the meat to become more alkaline. This means the proteins INSIDE the meat will have more trouble tightening up – when the proteins can’t tighten up, the meat ends up much more tender when cooked (instead of constricting together aka getting tough!)
My favorite neutral oil is avocado oil, but you can also use canola or vegetable oil! I don’t use olive oil when cooking Chinese food for two reasons: 1. It has a low burning point and 2. I find that the flavor profile does not usually go with the dish.
I get asked all the time if you can sub black pepper for white pepper – and my answer is, it depends BUT you need to watch the ratio. White pepper has a milder flavor profile than black pepper, so it’s a 1-1 substitute. I would start with less black pepper and add as you go. (But really, you should have white pepper in your pantry! It’s a staple in mine!)
LIGHT vs. DARK SOY SAUCE
Yes, they’re different! Dark soy sauce is thicker, darker, and sweeter (as well as has a higher sodium content) than regular soy sauce. If you do not have dark soy sauce on hand, you can substitute with oyster sauce.
As always, this is optional 🙂
A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of cornstarch and water that is used in cooking to thicken WITHOUT powdery lumps or additional flavors/colors! This is the secret to so many of your favorite Chinese dishes. My #1 tip is make sure your cornstarch slurry has not separated before adding it in – I always try to re-stir right before!
BLANCH YOUR BROCCOLI
I highly recommend blanching your broccoli before using it in a stir-fry (such as this dish) – the 30 seconds in hot water will help soften the vegetable (so it doesn’t take too long to cook in the wok and get inadvertently soggy), brighten the color, and also keep the dish from being overwhelmed by broccoli flavor.
Velveting is a key Chinese cooking technique that involves marinating the protein in cornstarch and various seasonings (such as white pepper, salt, shaoxing wine, and oils) before quickly passing it through hot oil. It’s one of my favorite ways to guarantee moist and tender meat, and it’s a trick that I don’t hear home chefs talk about often. I love incorporating it into my recipes because it’s one of the best ways to make restaurant quality Chinese food at home!
SUCCESS IS IN THE PREP!
Once you start cooking, this recipe will come together very quickly. The key to pulling this off successfully is having all of your ingredients prepped and in bowls right next to your wok or pan! Have your premixed sauce, noodles, and vegetables ready and easily accessible during the cooking process.
Beef and Broccoli
- 1 lb flank steak cut into 1/4" strips
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp neutral oil I used avocado oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp msg optional
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 lb broccoli cut into 2" pieces
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger chopped
- Slice your beef into 1/4" strips against the grain for maximum tenderness.
- Marinate beef strips with baking soda, oyster sauce, salt, oil, and cornstarch. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together your sauce by combining light soy, dark soy, oyster sauce, sugar, white pepper, sesame oil, msg, shaoxing wine, chicken stock, and cornstarch. This will be your sauce. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch your broccoli 30 seconds; drain and set aside.
- Add about 4 tbsp of neutral oil to a hot pan. Sear marinated beef strips over high heat for 2-3 minutes until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan and oil, fry ginger and and garlic for 15 seconds. Add back your broccoli and stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add back the beef followed by the premixed sauce and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and coated the beef and broccoli.
- Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with freshly steamed white rice and enjoy!
Loved this recipe! My husband said the best ever Chinese I’ve made. Thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you so much Veronica! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I just made this after seeing it on TikTok. I’ve never made Chinese food that tastes this good!!! The most “difficult” part was finding the ingredients (I just went to one special store). I’ll be making it again and again.
Hi Katy – I’m so glad you enjoyed! Thanks for leaving a review 🙂
One if the best we’ve tried. Some of the ingredients can be hard to find, we ordered on Amazon and had them in a couple days! They last forever.
It’s such an easy and flavourful dish, and a great week to get the husband to eat broccoli on purpose. It’s become a staple in our weekday dinner rotation.
This dish is amazing and so easy! Panda Express has really been skimping out on their beef portions so I made this for my wife. I usually never eat brocolli beef and I cannot get enough. This is cheaper, better, and you control how much meat! It also holds ridiculously well for next day leftovers if you leave the brocolli a little crisp.
With 4 kids I have to make huges batches, so I’m still figuring out the sauce ratio. The first time I made it I don’t think the baking soda portion comment was there, but it turned out fine. I’d guess you can keep the same sauce recipe and cook 4 lbs.
I’ve also done this with Top round and sirloin and it turns out almost as well as Flank if you want to save some money, or are like me and need to get creative using some of the lesser cuts of the whole cow you bought! I’ve also done batches with Red Chilis and onion to spice it up!
CJ eats is the best. I’ve started incorporating some of the techniques into other things I cook
(my wife enjoyed beef fajitas for the first time, usually she never even tries them). Thanks CJ!
Eek, 2 lbs in my comment, not 4. Might be a little short at 2. Definately short at 4lbs.
It makes me so happy to hear you and your family are enjoying the recipes! Thanks for taking the time to comment and leave a rating! -CJ
By far the best beef and broccoli recipe I’ve tried. So delicious that even family took home leftovers, and that never happens! Thank you
Thank you so much, Karen!
If you’re considering making this recipe DO IT. I never leave reviews but this is without a doubt the best beef and broccoli recipe I have ever made. I always wondered how restaurants make the beef so tender and now I know! It was so delicious!
Thank you so much, Jess! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I made this and it was delicious! The recipe was really easy to follow and I made no changes, it was perfect as is. The beef was really tender. We loved it!
Made this tonight by prepping ever in the morning and cooking at night. It was very flavorful; however, it probably would have been better in a wok at high heat. Will continue to make it and improve my technique!
Spotted this (and your enthusiastic smile) on Pinterest. I started the beef marinating yesterday, but discovered my broccoli wasn’t “up to snuff.” (I snuffed a bit and it was awful!) I ran out for more broccoli but waited a day.
SUCH TENDER GREAT FLAVOR in that beef! It wasn’t that tender two weeks before as “steak.” So good even as I ate it with cauliflower rice that went back for seconds! Thanks for upping my beef-broccoli game!
Thanks so much for the kind words!
Got this recipe from your tictok, this went exactly to the plan! 🔥🔥💥💥
So glad you enjoyed it, Scott!
Better than any beef and broccoli I’ve had anywhere.
You’re too kind! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Soooooo yummy! Definitely trying out your other recipes! <3
Hope you enjoy them, Wendy! Thanks for trying 🙂
Tik Tok made me do it LOL, can I just say freaking amazing. Made this and had no leftovers. My husband works nights and even though it wasn’t freshly made he still actually thought I ordered out for dinner. The beef was so tender and flavorful, the broccoli was perfect. Thank you so much for sharing, I have shared your website with many friends. Bomb Diggity, highly recommend this.
Thank you SO much for the kind words Amy! I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed it!
I have made this beef and broccoli recipe twice (once modified with chicken bc inflation lol). AMAZING! These recipes are so easy to follow and I have a new hobby of making Chinese at home 🙂
Thanks, Priscilla! I appreciate the kind words 🙂
Made this and it was delicious and easy. The beef turned out to be super tender. Will make again!
I doubled this recipe for my family of 5. It turned out great and they loved it. Thank you so much for explaining the process of velveting and demystifying the technique. I will be trying out a bunch of your recipes for my hungry bunch!! Keep up the great work! So grateful we’ve found you.
Thank you so much Tiffany – I’m glad you and the family enjoyed it! I appreciate you leaving a review 🙂
This is my go to beef and broccoli recipe! It turns out every time and it taste better than any takeout. It’s also very easy. I use the cheapest cut of beef from the grocery store and marinate it in the baking soda longer so it’s always tender and I’ve also subbed for frozen broccoli before and just skipped the blanching. Love it! Thank you!! 🙂
Thank you Aislinn!
Made this tonight, it was fantastic! Thank you for an easy to follow and delish recipe