Beef with Broccoli

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Learn how to make Chinese-style beef with broccoli: tender strips of steak with crisp broccoli in a rich ginger and garlic sauce.

beef with broccoli

Here’s an easy recipe for when you’re craving Chinese food but don’t want to go out. It’s the quintessential beef with broccoli: tender strips of steak and crisp broccoli florets in a rich ginger and garlic sauce.

Beef with broccoli is traditionally made with flank steak, which can be a bit tough if not cooked perfectly. I prefer to use a flat iron steak, a lesser-known yet incredibly tender cut of beef that is usually sold near the flank and skirt steaks. You don’t need a wok for this recipe – just a large skillet – and the ingredients are all easy to find at most supermarkets.

What you’ll need to make Beef with Broccoli

ingredients

How to make Beef with Broccoli

Begin by slicing the beef into 1/4-inch slices.

slicing-beef

Add 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry) and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

marinating-beef

Next, chop the scallions, garlic, and ginger. It’s important to have all of this done before you start cooking because the dish cooks very quickly.

mise-en-place

Next, prepare the sauce. It’s a blend of Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry), soy sauce, oyster sauce (a viscous dark brown Asian condiment), chicken broth, sugar, and sesame oil.

sauce-1

First, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce with the cornstarch and stir with a fork until the cornstarch is dissolved. Then add the remaining 3 tablespoons of Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry), oyster sauce, chicken broth, sugar, and sesame oil. Stir and set aside.

sauce-2

When you’re ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat until smoking. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the water.

stir-frying-broccoli

Cover the pan with a lid (or tightly with foil) and lower the heat to medium; steam the broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

steamed-broccoli

Wipe any excess water out the pan. Increase the heat to high and heat another tablespoon of oil in the pan until smoking. Add half of the beef, so that it is in a single layer.

searing-beef

Cook without moving until the beef is well seared, about 1-1/2 minutes. Continue cooking while stirring until the beef is lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.

seared-beef

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat until smoking. Put in the remaining beef and cook without moving until the beef is well seared, about 1-1/2 minutes. Next, add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites.

adding-ginger-garlic-scallions

Cook, stirring constantly with the beef, for about 30 seconds.

stir-frying-garlic-ginger-scallions-and-beef

Return the reserved beef and broccoli to the pan, along with the reserved sauce and scallion greens.

adding-cooked-broccoli-beef-and-sauce

Cook, tossing and stirring constantly until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 45 seconds.

ready-to-serve

Serve with rice and enjoy!

beef-with-broccoli-1

Note: The sauce for this recipe (not the method) is adapted from one of my favorite food columns, The Food Lab on Serious Eats by J. Kenji López-Alt. You can see his recipe here.

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Beef with Broccoli

Learn how to make Chinese-style beef with broccoli: tender strips of steak with crisp broccoli in a rich ginger and garlic sauce.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound flat iron steak, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips (flank steak, skirt steak or hanger steak may be substituted, but won't be as tender)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Asian/toasted sesame oil
  • 4 scallions, whites finely sliced, greens cut into 1/2-inch segments on the diagonal, reserved separately
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound bite-size broccoli florets, from about 1-1/2 pounds broccoli crowns
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  1. Combine the beef with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of the Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry) in a bowl and toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce with the cornstarch and stir with a fork until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry), oyster sauce, chicken broth, sugar, and sesame oil. Stir and set aside.
  3. Combine the scallion whites, garlic and ginger in a bowl and set aside.
  4. When you're ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat until smoking. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the water. Cover the pan with a lid (or tightly with foil) and lower the heat to medium; steam the broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
  5. Wipe any excess water out the pan. Increase the heat to high and heat another tablespoon of oil in the pan until smoking. Add half of the beef, so that it is in a single layer, and cook without moving until the beef is well seared, about 1-1/2 minutes. Continue cooking while stirring until the beef is lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat until smoking. Add the remaining beef and cook without moving until the beef is well seared, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the scallion whites, garlic and ginger mixture and cook, stirring constantly with the beef, for about 30 seconds.
  7. Return the reserved beef and broccoli to the pan, along with the reserved sauce and scallion greens and cook, tossing and stirring constantly until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with rice.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 369
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Sodium: 1523mg
  • Cholesterol: 77mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • This was by far the best and most successful Chinese recipe I’ve tried. I have found that most recipes end up being too sweet and the beef is tough. Not so with this recipe! Even my picky 11 year old who hates Chinese food liked this dish! It was truly delicious! This recipe is a keeper!

    • — Marsha on October 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi, Could you use a roast? I have many and don’t really care for them. Bought a side of beef. Hoping I could use this meat for this recipe. Thanks, Trisha

    • — Trisha Esnard on September 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Trisha, I haven’t tried it but I suspect it should work. Just make sure not to overcook the beef. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2021
      • Reply
      • Jenn, I used Sirlion Steak and it was very tough. I enjoy cooking your recipes they are so delicious. Thank you so much, Trisha

        • — Trisha Esnard on September 10, 2021
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    • Made variations of this dish a few times. This was really easy to follow, but most importantly it turned out fantastic! Thanks. I put a squeeze of lime juice in the marinade and a fist full of chopped coriander before serving. Worked really well.

      • — Frank on September 19, 2021
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  • I loved this, so did most of the family. Only 1 didn’t like the sauce, but i thought it was the best part!! I will definitely be making this again. For sure, a keeper!

    • — Hokiesmama on May 31, 2021
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  • Hi Jenn, what can I substitute for the oyster sauce?

    • — Jane on May 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, Hoisin sauce is a reasonable substitute for oyster sauce. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2021
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  • Made this yet again – this time with chicken. So easy and delicious! Did the prep work in advance and cooked the broccoli. Then when we were 15 minutes away from dinner time, pulled everything out and it was on the table in no time! Everyone cleaned their plates, including my super picky 5 year old and some went back for seconds! I don’t usually like standard American Chinese food – but this is super flavorful without all the heaviness of what you might get at a restaurant. Had some wild rice I needed to use up, so served that which added nice nutty flavor to the dish. As with ALL of Jenn’s recipes, highly recommend this one. Oh, and buy her second cookbook – I was a recipe tester for it and you will be THRILLED with what’s in there!

    • — Elizabeth on April 26, 2021
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  • Very good recipe! Made it with ‘Outer Skirt Steak’ which came out beautifully tender…the Flat Iron Steak is a ‘special order’ from the small grocery store in our area and forget about the larger grocery stores which seem to be clueless on this cut of beef.
    Made using Sherry and would like to try this dish using the Chinese rice wine next time.
    Also appreciated the tender crisp broccoli and technique for achieving it.
    thank you!

    • — Negar Ameli on March 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • We like spice in my family, what would you recommend we add to really give it a kick? A chili sauce or hot peppers?

    • — Kelley Smith on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelley, I think I’d just add a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is a fantastic recipe. If you have not tried it you must! My trick is to have my beef really cold when I cut it so I can cut it thin. I will pop the beef in the freezer while I am getting all of my ingredients together and measured out. Then take it out and slice it. I get really good slices that way. My husband loves this dish! He asks for it often.

    • — Natalie on January 30, 2021
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  • Why order from a restaurant when you can make this lovely beef at home. It’s a favorite of ours. Just love your recipes and this is wonderful.. some people like to add ingredients but your recipe need no adjustments.

    • — Judy Schell on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • The Flat Iron cut of beef put the dish over the top because the meat component was more succulent and tender than the standard choice. Even with marination, the flank still doesn’t get tender and is also less flavorful. Highly Recommend!! Jenn really does have the best recipes on-line!

    Gemma

    • — GEMMA on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is on regular rotation in our house and every guest I have served this to (remember when we could have guests over for dinner?) asks for the recipe. Tastes so much better than what you get at a restaurant and even though it seems like there are a lot of steps, it goes very quickly once you’ve made it once or twice. Have your mise en place ready!

    Also works really well with snow peas and green beans when they’re in season.

    • — Leah K on January 29, 2021
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  • Beef and broccoli over some brown rice is a wonderful dinner. A complete meal. Lots of ingredients and steps, but Jenn recommends prepping all in advance, and then it goes very quickly. I use whatever tender beef steak is available at the supermarket. A favorite recipe in the rotation.

    • — JoAnn Wagner on January 28, 2021
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  • I usually steer clear of steak dishes because my meat often tastes like an elastic band. This was fantastic. Thanks for the tip on the cut. I lucked out and found flat iron steak at the store. This also came together fairly quickly (after marinating the steak) which was great. My kids cleaned their plates and with broccoli involved I declare that a hit in my house.

    • — Tracy Scott on January 28, 2021
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  • Wonderful dish. Will use more
    Chili garlic sauce next time. My husband even enjoyed the broccoli!!

    • — Marcia on January 28, 2021
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  • Restaurant Quality!

    That was my husband’s reaction after I made this. The sauce has a great umami flavor that I find hard to replicate. The technique for cooking the beef and veggies take make it perfect. We will definitely make this again.

    I used what I had: subbed 16 oz sirloin for flat iron (flat iron would have made it more tender), added in some bell pepper and carrots because I only had about 1/2 the required amount of broccoli, used shallots because I was out of scallions. In the future, I think I could easily reduce the amount of beef to 10-12 oz and up the veggies. Thanks, Jen, for another great recipe!

    • — Shelli H. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Just made this again last night! I discovered your site recently and have been so grateful to have recipes that turn out great every time. It’s given me the confidence to invest in good, quality ingredients and try more adventurous recipes. I also received your cookbook as a gift for Christmas and have enjoyed adding new recipes to my family’s rotation.

    For this recipe, I substituted thin strips of sirloin, so the cooking time for the meat was longer, but it still came out great. I think I’ve forgotten to add the sugar in the past, so it was a bit sweeter than before. Decided I might just leave the sugar out in the future. Also, I’m still having trouble mincing fresh ginger and have been using the paste. I wonder if a garlic press would work for ginger as well?

    • — Katie on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked this and have been enjoying the recipes from the blog! Unfortunately, I think ginger is too hard to work in a garlic press. I do have a tutorial on how to mince and grate ginger. Hope you find it helpful!

      • — Jenn on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much! That is really helpful! ❤️🎶

        • — Katie on January 29, 2021
        • Reply
  • Great Chinese take-out alternative! My husband asked why we order Chinese when we can make it even better at home. I used Mirin instead of the Chinese cooking wine because that’s all I had on hand and it still turned out delicious. I also used flank steak. Served over some rice with a side of bell peppers and dinner was done.

    • — Jocelyn on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this….it was very good…restaurant quality!

    • — pattyf on January 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight and my entire family loved it. Everyone went back for seconds! Definitely a keeper. Thanks for the fabulous recipe.

    • — Jennifer W. on January 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • I would love to make this recipe, however the sodium is way too high. My father is on a low salt diet. If I used low-sodium soy sauce, what would be the total sodium per serving? Any other way to lower it? Thanks

    • — Belinda on November 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Belinda, If you use low-sodium soy sauce, it looks like it will bring the sodium down to 1197 mg. I see online there is also lower-sodium oyster sauce, so you could give that a try. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is sooooo good and so worth the effort! I used pregrated ginger in tube and sirloin steak because there was no flat iron. Still great.

    • — Nancy Mueller on October 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • Jen, I I’ve never made Chinese food. This was the absolute best. The broccoli was excellent. Please come up with more Asian dishes.

    • — Karen Kaylor on October 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • Top notch recipe. Easy to follow instructions with great flavour. We love Chinese food but finding great recipes is hard to come by. I know you have a fair number of Thai recipes. I really hope you will tackle more of the Chinese restaurant favourites.

    • — Marlynne Potter on September 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • A total winner! 5 stars plus, and so easy to make.

    • — Kelly G on August 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn — I just made your beef and broccoli and loved the taste (and so did my family)! At first I thought I’d made a mistake because the sauce was very thin — but now I see from the picture accompanying this recipe that you intended for the sauce to be thin. For those of us who like a thicker sauce, what change would you recommend we make? Is it as simple as adding a bit more cornstarch, or would you suggest another method?

    Thank you again for the unparalleled recipes you make available to us home cooks for free. I know I speak for many when I say how grateful I am for you!

    • — Monique on August 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, if you want the sauce a little thicker, just add a bit more cornstarch. (And so glad you like the recipes!)

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. Excellent recipe! Only thing I did different was use formerly grilled rib roast from freezer. I thawed it, sliced it and let it sit with soy sherry and a little extra cornstarch. Wow what a way to use leftover excellent meat and get the broccoli in diet.

    • — Shannon on July 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this twice now and there’s just one thing I cannot get right. The sauce will just not thicken up at the final step. I am not sure if it’s the type of pan I used (Dutch oven) or if the heat was not high enough. Both times I have ended up with a very thin sauce (still delicious!). Hope you can help!

    • — Michael on July 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Michael, are you making any changes to the recipe?

      • — Jenn on July 22, 2020
      • Reply
    • I had this same problem. I agree that the flavor was delicious but the meal would have been even better if I had been able to get the sauce to thicken. I will make again and maybe add a bit more cornstarch next time

      • — Monique on August 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can I use arrowroot powder to sub for cornstarch? Haven’t made this yet, but it looks delicious.

    • — Mary on July 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Mary, that should work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 9, 2020
      • Reply
  • I liked this dish a lot, but had some issues, which were probably my fault. I anticipated a more flavorful sauce. I almost forgot the sugar, and added it a bit too late, but still, I thought the sauce would have a deeper flavor. I didn’t get a lot of either the ginger or garlic flavor in the sauce. I looked at several local stores, but was unable to find the Shaoxing rice wine (I used a more generic rice wine). That may have been the culprit. I will continue to look for it….perhaps in an Asian market.

    • — PaulainVA on June 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was the best version of this I’ve every had! I used hoisin instead of oyster sauce. So happy to have found this site!

    • — Clifford Vaught on June 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, as I have allergies what can I substitute for the oyster sauce or just leave it out? Thank you

    • — Mim on June 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Mim, Hoisin sauce is a reasonably good substitute for oyster sauce. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 15, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn I’ve been making beef and broccoli for a long time but this was by far the best recipe I’ve ever used. It came out perfectly and my wife and I enjoyed it very much. Usually I have enough left over for a lunch or 2 but tonight we ate it all. Well done!

    • — Jeff Londoner on May 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is a very easy recipe, so delicious and authentic. Couldn’t find a flat iron steak so I used Rib Eye and it was very tender. Also microwaved the fresh broccoli florets for half the time indicated in the packaging then added them at the end with the sauce. Thank you for another great recipe.

    • — Niki on May 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • My daughter gave me your cookbook for Christmas. I had been making your recipes for some time and we love them all.
    Jenn, what is skirt steak/hanger steak? I am making this with sirloin steak. Hope it is OK. Your Asian Beef Bowl is a big hit in our house.

    • — Shirley Limoges on May 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! I’ve never made this with sirloin but a few readers have commented that they have and have been happy with the results. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this with flap loin steak sirloin tips that I was subbed for a grocery delivery and frozen broccoli. I will use the remainder of the meat for the Carne Asada dish which I also love. i had made this beef with broccoli before and even though tonight’s broccoli was a bit soggy as it wasn’t fresh and with an unknown meat cut, the meal was still delicious, and my broccoli-hating husband loved it and said the broccoli makes it better. My 13 year old also said my (aka Jenn’s) Asian dishes are really good!

    • — Janet on May 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Was too salty the first time so I waited until the end to put in the soy sauce this time and only used 1 TB. I added 1/4 cup of half and half at the end to further tone the saltiness down. Also used 1/2 of the fresh ginger. Served with fried rice. It was good.

    • — Cheryl Graham on April 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have been making this recipe several times a month since I first saw it. Wife and I both love it. Had been making it using Skirt steak until last night when I used the Flat Iron steak. I won’t be going back to using Skirt anymore. Another Delicious Recipe!!

    • — Robert H. Gibbs on April 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Would not make this again! Waste of money and time making this recipe. I have had great results with all the other recipes on this site.

    • — Pat on March 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Can you explain why you didn’t like it.

      • — Karen on March 30, 2020
      • Reply
      • Made this for dinner tonight, it was absolutely delicious! Better than takeout!😁

        • — Lisa on April 5, 2020
        • Reply
      • AMAZING! We made this tonight with chicken (no beef in the house) It was gorgeous and perfect beats takeaway hands down (other than the dishes after 😂) thank you!

        • — Alison on April 19, 2020
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      • Wonderful recipe. I used gluten free (tamari) soy sauce and doubled the sauce. My kids love sauce on their rice and the flavor was on point. They asked for seconds and we make this almost weekly. A helpful tip is to cover your pan with a lid to help “steam” the broccoli for 1-2 minutes. Helps to infuse the sauce into the broccoli and makes the broccoli a bit more cooked through. Thank you!

        • — Lana on January 28, 2021
        • Reply
      • What can I use in place of the wine? Thanks Jen!

        • — Dom on June 13, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Dom, There’s not a perfect substitute for the wine. You could try replacing it with chicken broth. Also, one reader used sake and was happy with the results. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on June 14, 2021
          • Reply
  • This was delicious! and will be a repeat at our house! I could not find flat iron steak in my town so used flank steak. Next time I will double the sauce as it was so good. Thanks Jenn!

    • — JE on March 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, is Flank steak usable in this recipe?! I couldn’t find Skirt steak. #bummer
    ALSO there was NO fresh Ginger, can I use powdered ginger?!? Thanks!
    PS. I’ve made this before and it was DELISH!!!

    • — Gigi B on March 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Gigi, just be careful not to overcook it. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 22, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn! Loving your recipes! I haven’t made this one yet but can’t wait!!!
      I’m unsure what the alternative is to flat-iron steak in South Africa? Would fillet work instead? Thank you! Krystle

      • — Krystle on September 16, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Krystle, Glad you’re enjoying the recipes! You can use flank steak in place of flat iron but try this tenderizing technique first. Please let me know how it turns out!

        • — Jenn on September 16, 2020
        • Reply
  • I made this recipe tonight for dinner. It was excellent! My hubby doesn’t like ginger, so I halved the amount. I’ll definitely be making it again.

    • — Bonnie on March 3, 2020
    • Reply

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