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Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli

Yesterday, like millions of other people, I flipped my calendar to March.  For most, present company included, that means Spring is right around the corner.  Looking out my front window this morning, I’m hard-pressed to believe that to be the case. I will try to remain optimistic.  IT. IS. NOT. WORKING.  I blame it on that rodent.

I need Spring to arrive soon.

I need it to come so I can ride my new bike.  I need it so I can see the trees and flowers in bloom.  I need it so I can take that first hike along the beautiful trails of Western Pennsylvania.  I need it so I can open the windows and feel a decently warm breeze.

But mainly I need Spring to arrive so I can properly wash the cars.  They are filthy!

Now granted, I’m not the best when it comes to keeping my car clean year round, but I do love when I rid myself of the reminders of the cold winter.  Be gone salt and grime and make way for bird crap!



I often hear that making good Chinese food at home is difficult.  This recipe will prove to you that its not.

I adapted this recipe from the bazillion beef and broccoli recipes scattered all over the Internet.

The one common theme I found to have great success with this dish is to slice the beef against the grain then marinade it.

Slicing against the grain is simply examining the beef  to find the lines that are all running in the same direction.  This is the grain.  Now cut against it (not with it). Cutting with the grain will ensure that your beef is extremely “stringy” and tough to chew. This isn’t very tasty.

Taking these steps will ensure your homemade beef and broccoli is Chinese take-out tender.


Ingredients:For the meat marinade:

  • 2 pounds flank steak, sliced across the grain in thin strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce and olive oil.
  2. Add the strips of flank steak.
  3. Coat all of the meat with the marinade.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  5. Continue with the next steps below.

For cooking:

  • 1 head of broccoli, florets only
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (if you don’t have low sodium, use 1/4 cup of regular)
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Zest of half of an orange
  • 1 squeeze of a quarter of the orange
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour and vinegar until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan (or wok if you own one, I don’t), heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over high heat.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add broccoli and saute 3-4 minutes, stirring often until bright green and slightly tender.
  4. Transfer broccoli to a plate.
  5. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the hot pan.
  6. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the meat is barely cooked through (its ok to be slightly pink).
  7. Add the orange zest and juice.  Stir.
  8. Stir in the broccoli and remaining sauce and saute for another minute or so.

Serve with rice or noodles.

My wife wasn't impressed with my presentation

My wife wasn’t impressed with my presentation

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