From its irresistible flavors and nutritional benefits to its pleasing textures and adaptability, this beef and broccoli recipe continues to hold a special place in the hearts of food enthusiasts around the world.
When it comes to classic combinations, few can rival the delectable union of beef and broccoli. This timeless duo has graced the menus of countless Chinese restaurants, winning hearts and taste buds with its harmonious blend of flavors and textures. With tender strips of beef and vibrant florets of broccoli, this dish strikes the perfect balance between savory and fresh, making it a beloved favorite for both meat lovers and vegetable enthusiasts. Let's dive into the mouthwatering world of beef and broccoli and discover why it continues to captivate our palates.
This is a one pot dish that is cooked in under 20 minutes. One of the reasons why beef and broccoli is so satisfying is the delightful contrast in textures. The tender beef mingles with the crunchy broccoli, creating a symphony of mouthfeel with each bite. The marriage of soft and chewy meat with the crisp florets provides a delightful experience for the senses, elevating the overall enjoyment of the dish.
- What is Beef and Broccoli?
- Why you will love this Beef and Broccoli Recipe
- Beef and Broccoli Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Beef and Broccoli
- What to serve with Beef and Broccoli
- Beef and Broccoli Recipe Variations
- How to store Beef and Broccoli
- Beef and Broccoli Recipe Top tips
- Beef and Broccoli Recipe
- Food safety
What is Beef and Broccoli?
Beef and broccoli is a popular Chinese-American dish that consists of thinly sliced beef, typically flank steak, stir-fried with broccoli florets in a savory sauce. It's a simple and flavorful dish that showcases the combination of tender beef and crisp broccoli in a delicious sauce. The beef is often marinated or coated with cornstarch before stir-frying to ensure a tender texture, and the sauce typically includes ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sometimes oyster sauce or brown sugar for added depth of flavor. Beef and broccoli is commonly served over steamed rice or noodles, making it a satisfying and complete meal.
Why you will love this Beef and Broccoli Recipe
- Flavorful Combination: The combination of tender beef and crisp broccoli creates a wonderful textural and flavor contrast. The beef adds richness and meatiness, while the broccoli provides freshness and a slight crunch. When cooked together, the flavors meld and complement each other.
- Balanced and Nutritious: Beef and broccoli is a well-balanced dish that includes protein from the beef and a good serving of vegetables from the broccoli. It provides essential nutrients like iron, vitamins, and minerals.
- Quick and Easy: Beef and broccoli is relatively quick and easy to prepare, making it a convenient option for busy individuals or weeknight meals. The stir-frying technique allows for fast cooking, and the simple sauce comes together quickly.
- Versatile: While the classic beef and broccoli recipe is delicious on its own, it also serves as a versatile base that can be customized to personal preferences. You can add additional vegetables such as bell peppers or mushrooms, adjust the level of spiciness, or modify the sauce ingredients to suit your taste.
- Popular: Beef and broccoli is a popular dish found in Chinese-American cuisine, so it's a familiar favorite for many people. Whether enjoyed at a restaurant or homemade, it's a comfort food that evokes a sense of nostalgia and satisfaction.
Beef and Broccoli Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Flank steak
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Sesame seeds
See recipe card for Beef and Broccoli Recipe quantities.
How to make Beef and Broccoli
Add beef in a bowl and add the garlic, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and marinate for 3 hours.
In a large deep saucepan on high heat, add oil and wait for it to shimmer. Cook the steak, flipping once with tongs, until browned, about 2-4 minutes on each side. When the steak is cooked to your liking, remove on a plate. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes. Cut the steak into 1 inch cubes.
Reserve the marinade. Add broth and corn starch into the marinade mixture and mix. Wipe the skillet clean. On medium heat, add and heat up oil. Stir in the broccoli and onion. Cook the vegetables until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the marinade mixture and the steak and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.
What to serve with Beef and Broccoli
- Steamed Rice: A classic and simple choice, steamed white or brown rice is a popular accompaniment to beef and broccoli. Its neutral flavor and fluffy texture help balance the savory flavors of the dish.
- Fried Rice: If you want to take your rice to the next level, consider making fried rice. You can stir-fry cooked rice with vegetables, eggs, and soy sauce for a flavorful and satisfying side dish.
- Noodles: Serve your beef and broccoli with noodles like lo mein, chow mein, or rice noodles. Tossed in a flavorful sauce, noodles add another dimension to the meal and make it more filling. Check out my Spicy Drunken Noodles.
- Stir-Fried Vegetables: Enhance the vegetable component by serving stir-fried vegetables alongside beef and broccoli. Sautéed bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and snap peas make for a colorful and nutritious addition. Check out my Baby Corn Stir Fry.
- Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls: Add a crispy and flavorful touch to your meal with spring rolls or egg rolls. These deep-fried appetizers filled with vegetables and sometimes meat provide a delightful contrast in texture. Check out my Air Fryer Egg Rolls.
- Steamed Dumplings: Steamed dumplings, such as potstickers or gyoza, can be a fantastic appetizer or side dish. These bite-sized dumplings filled with meat or vegetables are a delicious addition to any Asian-inspired meal. Check out my Spicy Pork Dumplings.
- Broccoli: You can replace broccoli with other green vegetables like bok choy, green beans, snap peas, or asparagus. These vegetables offer a similar crunch and can be delicious alternatives in the dish.
- Onions: If you prefer a milder flavor or want to add some sweetness, you can substitute onions with shallots or leeks. Both shallots and leeks provide a delicate and slightly sweet taste that complements the other flavors in the dish.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is commonly used to thicken the sauce in beef and broccoli. If you don't have cornstarch, you can substitute it with arrowroot powder or tapioca starch. These alternatives work similarly to cornstarch and will help thicken the sauce.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness to balance the savory flavors in the dish. If you don't have brown sugar, you can substitute it with honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. Each of these alternatives will provide a slightly different flavor profile.
- Garlic: Garlic adds a wonderful aroma and depth of flavor to the dish. If you run out of garlic, you can substitute it with garlic powder. However, keep in mind that fresh garlic offers a more vibrant and intense taste.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a key ingredient in beef and broccoli, providing a savory and umami flavor. If you need a substitute, you can use tamari sauce or liquid aminos. These alternatives have a similar taste and can be used in the same quantity as soy sauce.
- Ginger: Ginger adds a delightful zing and freshness to the dish. If you don't have fresh ginger, you can use ground ginger or ginger paste as substitutes. However, fresh ginger offers a more pronounced flavor, so adjust the quantity accordingly.
- Broth: Broth adds moisture and flavor to the dish. If you don't have broth on hand, you can substitute it with water mixed with bouillon or stock cubes. Alternatively, you can use vegetable broth or chicken broth as substitutes, depending on your dietary preferences.
- Oil: Any neutral cooking oil like vegetable oil or canola oil can be used as a substitute for oil in the recipe. You can also use olive oil, but keep in mind that it has a stronger flavor that may slightly alter the taste of the dish.
- Scallions: Scallions, also known as green onions, provide a fresh and onion-like flavor to the dish. If you don't have scallions, you can substitute them with chives or finely chopped regular onions. These alternatives will offer a similar flavor profile.
- Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are often sprinkled on top of beef and broccoli for added texture and nutty flavor. If you don't have sesame seeds, you can substitute them with chopped almonds, cashews, or other seeds like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. These alternatives will provide a similar crunchy element to the dish.
Beef and Broccoli Recipe Variations
- Spicy Szechuan Beef and Broccoli: Give your dish a spicy kick by adding Szechuan peppercorns, chili flakes, and a touch of heat with some hot sauce or chili paste. This variation adds a bold and fiery flavor profile to the traditional recipe.
- Mongolian Beef and Broccoli: Infuse the dish with the rich flavors of Mongolian cuisine by incorporating ingredients like hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and a hint of vinegar. The resulting sweet and savory glaze adds depth and complexity to the dish.
- Garlic and Ginger Beef Stir-Fry: Enhance the aromatic elements by increasing the amount of garlic and ginger in the recipe. The intensified flavors of these two ingredients will add a zesty and fragrant dimension to the dish.
- Teriyaki Beef and Broccoli: Swap out the traditional sauce for a homemade or store-bought teriyaki sauce. The sweet and tangy flavors of teriyaki perfectly complement the beef and broccoli, creating a delightful fusion of Asian-inspired tastes.
- Thai Basil Beef and Broccoli: Incorporate Thai flavors by adding basil leaves, fish sauce, and a squeeze of lime juice. This variation introduces a fresh and vibrant taste profile, with the aromatic basil complementing the beef and broccoli beautifully.
To make this Beef and Broccoli Recipe, you will need:
- Cutting Board: A sturdy cutting board will provide a safe and stable surface for chopping and slicing the ingredients.
- Knife: A sharp chef's knife or utility knife will be essential for cutting the beef into thin strips, as well as preparing the broccoli and other vegetables.
- Mixing Bowl: A mixing bowl will be useful for marinating the beef or combining the sauce ingredients.
- Whisk or Fork: You will need a whisk or fork to mix the sauce ingredients together until well combined.
- Wok or Skillet: A wok or large skillet is ideal for stir-frying the beef and broccoli. These pans offer ample cooking surface area and high, sloping sides, allowing for even heat distribution and easy tossing of the ingredients.
- Wooden Spatula or Tongs: A wooden spatula or tongs will help you stir and turn the beef and broccoli while cooking in the wok or skillet.
- Small Saucepan (optional): If you plan to cook rice or noodles to serve alongside the beef and broccoli, a small saucepan will be useful for boiling water and preparing these side dishes.
- Serving Dish: Choose a suitable dish or plate to present your cooked beef and broccoli, allowing for easy serving and presentation.
How to store Beef and Broccoli
- Cool Down: Allow the cooked beef and broccoli to cool down to room temperature before storing. This helps prevent condensation and the growth of bacteria.
- Separate: If possible, separate the beef and broccoli into individual containers or storage bags. This makes it easier to reheat or use them separately in different dishes.
- Refrigeration: Place the cooked beef and broccoli in airtight containers or resealable bags and store them in the refrigerator. Properly sealed containers help prevent moisture loss and avoid absorbing other flavors from the fridge.
- Consume within 3-4 Days: Cooked beef and broccoli can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Beyond that, the quality may start to deteriorate, and it's advisable to discard any leftovers to ensure food safety.
- Freezing: If you need to store beef and broccoli for a longer period, freezing is an option. However, keep in mind that the texture of the broccoli may become softer after freezing and thawing. Place the cooled beef and broccoli in freezer-safe containers or bags, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the containers with the date for easy reference.
- Freezer Duration: Cooked beef and broccoli can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months. It's best to consume it within this timeframe to maintain its quality and taste.
- Thawing and Reheating: To thaw frozen beef and broccoli, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Once thawed, reheat it in a skillet or microwave until heated through. Add a splash of water or broth if needed to prevent drying out.
- Check for Freshness: Before consuming reheated or thawed beef and broccoli, ensure it smells fresh and there are no signs of spoilage. Discard any leftovers that appear or smell off.
Beef and Broccoli Recipe Top tips
- Use Tender Cuts of Beef: Opt for tender cuts of beef like flank steak, sirloin, or tenderloin. These cuts will result in more tender and juicy meat in your dish.
- Thinly Slice the Beef: To ensure quick and even cooking, slice the beef against the grain into thin strips. Cutting against the grain helps break down the muscle fibers and makes the meat more tender.
- Marinate the Beef: For added flavor and tenderness, consider marinating the beef before cooking. A simple marinade of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a touch of sugar can enhance the taste and texture of the beef.
- Precook the Broccoli: Blanch or steam the broccoli briefly before stir-frying it with the beef. This will help retain its vibrant green color and ensure it cooks evenly with a slightly crunchy texture.
- Stir-Fry on High Heat: Stir-frying beef and broccoli requires high heat to achieve that characteristic sear and retain the crispness of the vegetables. Make sure your wok or skillet is properly heated before adding the ingredients.
- Cook Beef in Batches: When stir-frying, it's essential not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the beef in batches to allow for proper searing and to prevent it from steaming and becoming tough.
- Prepare the Sauce in Advance: To save time during the cooking process, mix the sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl before starting to cook. This way, you can quickly add the sauce to the stir-fry when needed.
- Thicken the Sauce: If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix a slurry of cornstarch and water or broth and add it to the stir-fry during the last minute of cooking. This will help thicken the sauce and coat the beef and broccoli evenly.
- Don't Overcook: Be mindful not to overcook the beef and broccoli. Aim for the beef to be cooked to your desired level of doneness, and the broccoli to be tender-crisp. Overcooking can result in tough meat and mushy vegetables.
- Garnish with Sesame Seeds and Scallions: For added visual appeal and flavor, sprinkle sesame seeds and sliced scallions over the finished dish. The nuttiness of sesame seeds and the freshness of scallions complement the beef and broccoli beautifully.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove