Broccoli Beef

by Apr 5, 2022


My son and I adapted this recipe from a Cook’s Illustrated page I had ripped from the September & October 2003 issue—before he was born! So my file of paper recipes is good for something after all!

Thanks to the freezer we got during the pandemic, and the weekly supply of fresh vegetables from Root Cellar Foods, putting this dinner together was easier than motivating for takeout. And it’s really good! Trust me.

We used a wok, but a big skillet will do. Put the effort into getting everything prepped—”mise en place” as they say—the cooking happens very quickly. So, get a pot of rice cooking, and slice the beef so it can marinate while you get the sauce and veggies ready. Reserve the green scallion tops for garnish.

Broccoli Beef

adapted from Cook's Illustrated, September & October 2003

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Beef and cooking

  • 1 ½ pounds beef steak (flat iron, flank, sirloin, or even skirt works), cut into 3-inch pieces with the grain then across the grain into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided or other high-heat cooking oil

Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce light or regular
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce light or regular
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce or substitute regular soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or substitute sake or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sake
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water

Vegetables and finishing

  • 2 or 3 heads broccoli, cut into florets, large ones cut in half use the stems too, peel and cut into thin slices
  • cup water
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil or other high-heat cooking oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced and mashed
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane
  • 3 scallions, white part chopped, greens thinly sliced on the diagonal and reserved for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Mix marinade with beef strips in bowl and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. Stir together the sauce ingredients in a glass measuring cup or jar and set aside.

  3. When ready to cook, heat the wok and drizzle in 1 ½ teaspoons peanut oil. Cook the beef in two batches, letting the pieces sizzle on the hot pan—don't move them around too much, but get the pieces seared and just shy of being cooked to your liking—edges should begin to brown. This will go quickly, about a minute or two per side depending on the size of your pieces. Transfer to plate and repeat with additional 1 ½ teaspoons peanut oil and second batch of beef.

  4. Scrape and wipe out wok, add the broccoli, stir fry it 30 seconds then add the water, cover with any lid, and let steam about 2 minutes until tender crisp. Transfer to a plate. (Do not overcook your broccoli or you will be sad.)

  5. Add fresh 1 ½ teaspoons peanut oil to wok. Add chopped garlic, ginger, and white part of scallions and stir fry for 20–30 seconds then add back the broccoli and the beef. Stir the sauce then pour it over everything in the wok and stir fry a minute or two to thicken the sauce. Drizzle in the sesame oil and toss.

  6. Serve with rice and sprinkle some green scallion slices on top. Enjoy!


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