Broccoli Beef


Broccoli Beef is one of my favorite Chinese dishes to make at home. So good, you’ll never order takeout again!


Lately Ben and I have been craving Chinese food something fierce.

Sesame Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Beef & Mushroom (guess who), Chicken Lo Mein – you name it, we’re drooling at the thought.

But for a guy who’s watching his cholesterol, and a girl who’s hyper-aware of the fact that she’ll be wearing a bikini in about a month, a trip to the local Chinese food buffet is simply, some may say tragically, out of the question.

Yes, if we’re going to feed our far-east food fixation, there’s only one place where it’s going to happen – at home. In my kitchen to be exact, where I can control the amount of fat and salt in my Chinese food, and serve non-super-human sized portions, like in tonight’s dinner of Broccoli Beef.


This is hands down the best Chinese dish I have ever made at home. Ben yelled obscene things regarding it’s utter deliciousness after his first bite. Ok, me too.

Bonus: after some prep work it took less than five minutes to cook. Literally from the time Ben walked in the door, took off his shoes and changed, I had stir fried succulent strips of flank steak, added in tender spears of broccoli, and swirled it all together in a salty, savory sauce. AMAZING!!


Start the dish with that little bit of prep work I mentioned. First, thinly slice 3/4lb flank steak against the grain. I told you a couple weeks ago that flank steak is a pretty legit cut of beef in terms of tenderness (very), time it takes to cook (none), and price (relatively inexpensive). It’s also lower in fat than other cuts of beef, which makes it a great choice for Ben and me.

Place the slices in a plastic ziplock bag, add a mixture of cornstarch, mirin, and soy sauce, then mix it all around and let the beef marinate on the countertop for 10 minutes. FYI – mirin is a Japanese cooking wine that you should be able to find in most major grocery stores. Alternatively, you could use a little sherry in its place.


While the beef is marinating, steam 4 cups fresh broccoli for a couple minutes until it’s crisp-tender. Don’t overcook the broccoli (unless you really like mushy broccoli, which I actually do, just not in stir fry, anyway…) as it will cook a bit more later in the program.


Next create the sauce for the Broccoli Beef by combining mirin, soy sauce, chicken broth and oyster sauce together in a bowl.

Oyster sauce is one of those ingredients that you might feel irritated at having to buy because it’s not used in a TON of dishes, so here – use it in jaw-droppingly delicious Garlic Noodles, and all will be right with the world. :)


Ok, prep work’s over. Time to get cookin’! Whip out your electric wok, regular wok, or the largest skillet you own, and heat it on high – that’s about 350 degrees for you fellow electric wok’ers.


Next, lay out all the ingredients for the Broccoli Beef stir fry BEFORE you start cooking. In addition to the marinated beef slices, cooked broccoli, and sauce, we’ve got 2 teaspoons chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons corn starch dissolved in 2 Tablespoons water, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons Canola oil.


Add the oil to the wok, then gently add the beef slices and spread them out into a single layer. Do not touch the beef for 1 full minute.


After a minute, stir the beef around, add in the chopped garlic and stir continuously for 1 more minute.


Next pour in the sauce and broccoli, and bring the sauce to a boil.



When the sauce is boiling, pour the cornstarch dissolved in water into the wok, and let the sauce bubble until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes or so.




Cook up white rice for the side, if you so desire, and top it with the saucy Broccoli Beef.


Like I said – hands down easiest and most tastiest Chinese dish I’ve ever made at home!


Broccoli Beef

Serves 4


Broccoli Beef is one of my favorite Chinese dishes to make at home. So good, you'll never order takeout again!


  • 3/4 pound flank steak, sliced very thin and against the grain
  • 4 cups broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil like vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
  • cooked white rice
  • For the beef marinade:
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon mirin
    • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • For the sauce:
    • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
    • 2 teaspoons mirin
    • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth


  1. Place the sliced beef in a large ziplock bag. Stir together the marinade ingredients and pour into the bag. Smoosh to coat the beef in the mixture, then let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. Do not overcook as the broccoli will cook a bit more later in the recipe.
  3. Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat an electric wok, or very large skillet, to high heat. Add the oil then gently place the beef in the wok and spread into a single layer. Let the beef cook for 1 minute without touching it.
  5. Add the garlic and stir continuously for 1 minute, then add in the sauce and broccoli. Bring the sauce to a boil, then add in the cornstarch dissolved in water. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.


Only slightly adapted from Simply Recipes

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


I love how the soy sauce and oyster sauce lend a deep, savory flavor, while the mirin lends just a wee hint of sweet. The broccoli soaks up all that good sauce too and is so, so, SO good.

Making Broccoli Beef at home is so much better than getting it from a greasy takeout joint. This was actually really light tasting, with no remorseful groaning on the couch afterwards. You know what I’m talking about…


ps can we all talk about how people on TV shows and in the movies always eat their Chinese food right out of the takeout container? Do they mix their entrees with rice in a separate bowl, then dump it back into the container? How obnoxious would that be?


“My go-to order at a Chinese food restaurant is __________.”

Mine’s Kung Pao Chicken made with all breast meat! Did you know you can request only white meat at most Chinese restaurants?! It’s true!

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  1. Lauren 02.29.2012

    You’re the second person this week that posted about a smashing beef and broccoli dish. I think I need to make this with chicken. Looks fantastic!

  2. Arlene Jacobson 02.29.2012

    Must try. Looks yummy.

  3. j/k 02.29.2012

    My go-to order at a Chinese food restaurant is General Tso’s Chicken. Most definitely one of, if not the most unhealthy thing on the menu. Plus throw in a crab rangoon.

  4. Jessica 02.29.2012

    I love veggie fried rice.
    $7.99/pound for that meat? Holy crap, I am glad I don’t eat meat, I would be poor :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.29.2012

      Definitely not as cheap as beans/tofu/other sources of protein, but we like for an every once in awhile treat! :)

  5. Tina 02.29.2012

    I am fairly new to your site about 2 weeks. I love beef and broccoli so I can’t wait to try this recipe. Your photos are beautiful.

  6. Prairie Bee 02.29.2012

    I’ve been Pinning you like crazy. This is what I wrote on my Pin tonight: “Broccoli Beef ~ not only does it LOOK amazing, this Iowa Girl’s step-by-step instructions are clear, idiot-proof (for someone like moi), and inspiring! Only prob is that I get hungry every time I look at her mouth-watering food!”

  7. I used to go for lo mien or chicken and broccoli when I got Chinese food, but then I made the mistake of tasting my husband’s sesame chicken, and now that’s all I want! Thankfully we don’t get Chinese takeout often, but sesame chicken spends an obscene amount of time in my head :)

  8. Kelly 02.29.2012

    YUM! Trying this!! :)

  9. Looks a lot like my dinner tonight! I always go for the teriyaki steak or shrimp w/ brown rice and veggies. So delicious.

  10. Lindsey 02.29.2012

    Yum! Definitely making this!

  11. Kathy R. 02.29.2012

    This dish looks amazing and easy enough that I might even be able to make it. Can’t wait to try it!

  12. Julie 02.29.2012

    I’ll have to try this soon, it looks great! We did a stir fry tonight. La Choy soy sauce is gluten free!

  13. that broccoli looks amazing!

  14. Kyler 02.29.2012

    This looks delicious… I will definitely be trying! If you like kung pao chicken you should try the Sun Bird seasoning mix if you haven’t already. It is sooo good and also very easy. I just follow the directions on the packet except I don’t use all of the oil they recommend to cook the chicken. I’ve made it for my family and friends and everyone has loved it :) Here’s the link for what I’m talking about… most grocery stores sell it, although I haven’t had a lot of luck finding it at the Walmarts in my area.

  15. Lynsie 02.29.2012

    I just recently came across your blog not that long ago and find myself spending a LOT of time scrolling through your past posts when I should be studying for my Nursing midterms. I made your recipe for Minestrone soup last weekend and with a few changes it turned out a-mazing! Definitely saved it for my recipe box to make again – soon! I make a similar dish to this, however I make it into a stir-fry with all kinds of different veggies, even though I’m sure my boyfriend would love it with just the broccoli (his favourite). I use cornstarch, soya sauce, and ginger though for the beef, but am eager to try out the different ingredients incorporated into this dish. Thanks for all the posts and great recipes. I look forward to new ones each week. :)

  16. I’ve NEVER tried cooking flank steak – for some reason I always assumed it was really expensive. This looks so delicious. I am sending the link to my boyfriend so he can look forward to me making it for him when we see each other next :-)

  17. heather 02.29.2012

    the chinese food place a few blocks from me has the *best* veggie lo mein- but i actually like healthier chinese food the most and they serve my favourite broccoli in garlic sauce on the planet(the older lady who does phone and counter orders knows me by now, which is a bit sad, i suppose, and they always tack on an extra container of spicy sauce when a girl name heather orders broccoli in garlic, because i put it on everything i eat for the next three days). sooooo good…!

  18. Summer 02.29.2012

    NOM. Do you know if “oyster flavored sauce” actually CONTAINS oyster? My dad would love this, but is allergic to all fish/seafood… I’m kind of hoping it’s like those awkward “cock flavored soup” packets that don’t actually have chicken

  19. Amy 02.29.2012

    This.looks.FAB! Can’t wait to make it!

    My favorite Chinese dish is . . . honestly, almost anything. I really like orange chicken and I really like coconut shrimp. Coconut shrimp tastes like dessert! It’s crazy good. I’d love it if you could make a lightened up version of it. Hint, hint, hint!

  20. Culinarystorm 02.29.2012

    That looks beautiful! I love broccoli!

  21. Shellee 02.29.2012

    Black Pepper Chicken…yum!

  22. Looks super yummy and easy! Perfect! Love your site!

  23. Jane 03.01.2012

    I loovvvee Chinese food! I go to this wonderful mom and pop place-Golden House. It’s just the husband who cooks and the wife and/or grown kids who take the orders. I will not eat it from any other place! Sesame Chicken and Chicken fried rice rock there! And the crab rangoon, and beef broccoli! But none as healthy as yours is :)

  24. I love veggie lo-mein all the way! So delicious! AND fortune cookies…do they count? :-)

    xoxo from Trinidad

  25. Lesley 03.01.2012

    I’ve eaten Chinese takeout straight from the box. What you do is eat just enough to create room for rice, then portion in small servings of rice to eat with the entree. It works. I never would have thought to do it, but I have been with more than one guy that thought there was no point in ordering takeout and still having to wash a dish later, haha.

  26. Dee 03.01.2012

    OH MY!

  27. Melissa 03.01.2012

    Looks delicious! I will have to try this.

    Another thing I wonder about Chinese takeout on TV — why are they all using chopsticks? I use chopsticks, but in my experience anyway, I’m pretty rare. A ton of my friends can’t eat with them and always use forks instead. Is that weird? Does everyone else just have lots of chopstick-using friends?

  28. Susie Allen 03.01.2012

    Around our town, cashew chicken and rice is everywhere. And, it is so tasty. I have a recipe to make it at home and it is so good. Much more fresh tasting and you know what’s in it. Love your recipes every day! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  29. julie 03.01.2012

    oyster sauce! interesting! i’m definitely going to have to look into that. i’ve seen so many recipes using fish sauce and i knowwwww i need to get me some of that but oyster sauce i’m wondering if that’s along the same lines..

    anyways your turkey burgers from a few posts ago i want to eat 5,000 times. i’m DEIFNITELY making those this weekend. xoxo

  30. Anne Weber-Falk 03.01.2012

    Kung Pao Chicken is good but I have them add tons of extra vegetables.

  31. Susie Allen 03.01.2012

    Need to add, your beef and broccoli recipe sounds really good and the pictures make me want to fix it now. As soon as I get some flank steak, I’m making it. We love this kind of dishes, too.

  32. Elyse 03.01.2012

    YUM! I always order the honey sesame tofu with rice when I get Chinese take-out.

  33. I’m adding this to my next menu! Hubster and I have been enjoying Trader Joe’s frozen Beef and Broccoli meal as a quick weekend lunch option, but the beef in the last bag was so gristly we only ate about half :( So this recipe seems well worth the price of oyster sauce.

  34. Lori P 03.01.2012

    My go-to Chinese dish is usually beef and broccoli so I needless to say I am very excited about this recipe! I am going to pin it now and put it on my menu. Oh, and those turkey burgers with peanut sauce too!

  35. Stephanie L. 03.01.2012

    I LOVE chinese food, and broccoli beef is my absolute favorite chinese dish. I am super excited to try this recipe out this weekend!

  36. colleen 03.01.2012

    This looks amazing!

  37. Jodi N 03.01.2012

    Looks so good. I’m pregnant so chinese has been out of the question to eat but yet something I’ve been craving. I think this will be in my menu next week. Question though…can you use a regular skillet??? I don’t have a wok.

  38. Iowa Girl Eats 03.01.2012

    You should – just make sure to use a very large one, and crank the heat to high!

  39. My hubby LOVES Chinese food and we have finally found our go to take out place by us, believe me when I say it can be a challenge to find one that meets all of criteria. My go to order is beer with vegetables over fried rice and a side of crab rangoon, not the healthiest, but oh so yummy!

  40. Doug 03.01.2012

    I will have that tonight.

  41. elizabeths 03.01.2012

    Seriously am eating this right now and my taste buds are thanking me!! This is insanely GOOD!!!!!!!!!! You must make this people NOW!!,!

  42. elizabeths 03.01.2012

    I have to tell you that your recipes have been feeding my family for the last few months. I made the Tai turkey burgers yesterday soooo yummy!

  43. stacy 03.01.2012

    i no longer order chicken at all at asian restaurants!! too many funky pieces :/ i stick with either shrimp or tofu, and usually order chow fun noodles …. yummmmmmmmmmm

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.01.2012

      Did you know you can request all-white meat chicken at most Chinese restaurants? Try it next time!

  44. Wow that looks awesome!! My go to is shrimp fried rice… LOVE IT.

  45. I love oyster sauce and use it in many things. Wonderful ingredient. When I was younger I would eat right out of the container as well. You eat your fried rice. You eat your sweet and sour chicken. No mixing required.

  46. i am totally a beef and broccoli girl! what a great share!! looks sooo delicious!

  47. BridgetSoup 03.01.2012

    Mmmm made this tonight, it was so delicious! I didn’t have the mirin(or cornstarch, don’t get me started) but I found some substitutes! Will be delicious again and again.

  48. nom! nom! 03.01.2012

    I love The Big Bang Theory. Just started watching about 6 months ago.

    I love egg rolls and Kung Pao Chicken

  49. […] Broccoli Beef via Iowa Girl Eats […]

  50. Suzan 03.02.2012

    $7.99 is cheap? Wow. I have 7 people I cook for. I could never pay that price for meat! Sheesh…

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