This is THE beef and broccoli recipe that will satisfy all of your take-out cravings. Tender seared strips of beef and crisp bites of broccoli coated in a deliciously sweet and savory sauce. It’s a 30-minute restaurant-quality meal made in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Shrimp pad Thai is another Asian inspired take out recipe. It’s full of juicy shrimp, noodles, and a bit of heat. There’s something so satisfying about recreating your restaurant favorites!
What is Beef and Broccoli?
Traditionally a quick Chinese take-out favorite, beef and broccoli is a combination of beef strips and broccoli in a slightly sweet, soy based sauce.
You know those nights when you can’t decide what to eat, you want take out but you know you should be saving money? Or those moments when you want something delicious but you also want something healthy.? And then there are the times you want something quick and easy that your kids will eat. Well, my friends, the best beef and broccoli recipe is your answer to all of that!
Broccoli beef is healthy, flavorful, has far less sodium than grabbing take out, and it’s much more cost-effective. Imagine thin strips of juicy steak and tender broccoli permeated with immense flavors of a thick and sticky sauce made of soy sauce, ginger, and brown sugar. All of this is topped off with toasted sesame seeds to add a little nuttiness which rounds out the dish. I mean, it’s winning all around.
The flavors will continue to meld together overnight and if you have any leftovers you’ll be able to enjoy it all over again the next day.
Skillet or Wok – Either of these will work. If you own a wok, you’ll know that because of its higher walls, it’s great for stir fry but it also tends to steam whatever is in it. Something to watch for if you use a wok, so you brown your meat and don’t steam it.
- Top sirloin or skirt steak – Cut into thin strips, across the grain
- Dark soy sauce
- Mirin – This is a rice wine vinegar containing alcohol. You can also substitute rice vinegar instead.
- Oyster sauce – Gives it a complex sweet and salty flavor.
- Ginger paste – Can substitute for freshly grated ginger if you don’t have a paste.
- Roasted garlic paste – Will add a deeper flavor than regular garlic.
- Light brown sugar – It is used to balance the salt and adds to the sticky texture.
- Cornstarch – A thickening agent that will bring the sauce to its desired thickness.
- Beef broth – Try for low sodium if you can. The salt in the remaining ingredients will be enough for good flavor.
- Canola oil – Used to cook the beef. Can also use olive oil, or sesame oil if you have.
- Broccoli crowns cut into small florets – Can use fresh or frozen.
- Green onion sliced – Used as a garnish. Will add a lovely pop of green along with the broccoli.
- Toasted sesame seeds – A toasted nutty flavor and added crunchy texture.
How to Make Beef and Broccoli:
Step 1: In either a bowl or a Ziploc bag, add sliced beef to a quick marinade of dark soy sauce and mirin. Allow meat to marinate for 15 minutes or so. It doesn’t need long.
Step 2: Grab your beef and remove it from the marinade. Try and get as much excess off as you can. Too much remaining liquid won’t allow for a good sear.
Step 3: Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat until the oil just begins to smoke (or a drop of water in the pan sizzles immediately). Cook strips of beef until meat is seared and brown on both sides. You may need to cook in batches. Overcrowding the meat may not produce an even sear, especially in a wok. Remove the meat from the pan and set it aside.
Step 4: Whisk a bit of the beef broth or a tablespoon of water together with the cornstarch to dissolve the cornstarch. Take this and add it to the remaining beef broth and combine with the stir fry sauce mixture.
Step 5: Add a thin layer/just a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the pan. Add in the broccoli florets and bring the water to a simmer. Cook while tossing the broccoli a few times until it begins to soften and turns vibrant green.
Step 6: Add about half of the prepared sauce to the broccoli and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sauce thickens. Add the meat back into the skillet and add any additional sauce. Once the meat is cooked all the way through and your sauce has reached your desired consistency, remove from heat.
To top off this show stopper, sprinkle then toss with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. This Asian-inspired dish is typically served with steamed white rice which is amazing, but you do you and enjoy it as you like.
So, the next time you have a late night craving for some take out or you want to pull together a tasty meal in minutes, keep this recipe handy. It’ll get you through many a lazy Friday night!
Substitutions and Variations
- Although beef broth seems like the natural way to go, you could substitute for chicken or vegetable. It may give you a slightly different taste, but it will still be delicious.
- Like the idea of added crunch, but not the sesame seeds? Try swapping for slivered almonds or cashews.
- Substitute raw honey for the brown sugar. It Will have the same sweetness and thickness but without the use of refined sugar.
- This recipe will work for chicken and broccoli. Swap out the beef for cubed chicken and follow the instructions as listed. You will have to cook the chicken a little longer as it won’t be as thin as the beef.
- If you can’t get your hands on Oyster sauce, you can use Hoisin sauce. It has a bit of a different flavor, but you’ll still enjoy it.
- Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes for some spicy heat.
- To load this dish up with even more veggies, try adding carrots, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
There are a few things you can do to ensure optimal tender results. First, you want to make sure to cut against the grain of the meat. You also want to make sure you’re not overcrowding in the pan. Cook in batches if you need to. And last, it’s important to get a good sear and seal in the juices. This is done by heating the oil well before adding the meat to the pan and ensuring that as little liquid as possible is added to the pan when cooking.
Freezing the meat about 30 minutes before slicing it will give you a head start. The steak will be a bit firmer and you’ll have an easier time slicing it thinly. Using a very sharp knife is also key.
Steamed white rice is always a staple side, but there are a number of other sides. You can enjoy it with noodles, quinoa, brown rice, and of course eat it on its own.
Beef and Broccoli
- 1 pound top sirloin or skirt steak cut into this strips, across the grain
- 1/4 cup dark soy sauce divided
- 2 teaspoons mirin (can substitute rice vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon roasted garlic paste
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 broccoli crowns cut into small florets
- 2-3 green onion sliced
- 1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Combine sliced meat with 1 tablespoon of the dark soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of mirin.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the stir-fry sauce: 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger paste, garlic paste, and the brown sugar. Whisk a bit of the beef broth together with the cornstarch to dissolve the cornstarch and then combine this and the rest of the beef broth with the remaining stir-fry sauce ingredients.
- Drain the marinade from the meat and discard (extra liquid in the meat will prevent a good sear when we cook it).
- Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat until the oil just begins to smoke (or a drop of water in the pan sizzles immediately). Drop the meat into the pan stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the meat is seared and brown on both sides. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
- Add a thin layer/just a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the pan. (You can use a clean pan or the pan you've just used to cook the meat.)
- Add the broccoli florets to the skillet and bring the water to a simmer. Simmer/steam over medium-high heat, tossing the broccoli a few times until it begins to soften and turns vibrant green, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add about half of the prepared sauce to the broccoli and bring to a simmer. Stir and simmer 1-2 minute until the sauce thickens.
- Add the seared meat back into the skillet. Add additional sauce if you'd like.
- Heat until the meat is hot all the way through and the sauce is thickened to desired consistency.
- Remove from heat. Add green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Toss and serve over rice.