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 (cheap). 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 doin’ its thang, 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, anyways…) 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, the 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.
Ok, ready? Set. Go!
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!
Only slightly adapted from Simply Recipes
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 low-sodium 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
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?
Anyways, I’m off to go fight Ben for lunch leftovers. See ya!
“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!