This classic Chinese beef and broccoli recipe is quick and easy to make homemade, and tastes even better than the restaurant version!
There’s so much broccoli in my life lately!
First off, my fridge has been overflowing with multiple kinds of broccoli from my CSA, grown by my lovely Burmese friend Si Si who works with this cool organization. I must say, her organic broccoli is some of tastiest I’ve ever tried, and I’ve been choppin’, sautein’, roastin’, and slawin’ it like crazy lately. So good.
But then, I’ve also got to tell you the cutest thing. When Si Si first heard that I was dating Barclay last summer, she was soooo excited about it and couldn’t wait to meet him. But English is her second language, and his name (pronounced bar-klee) was a tricky one to remember. So I told her to just think of broccoli, and I still remember how her eyes lit up and she broke into the biggest smile. “I love broccoli!!” she exclaimed.
And the nickname was born. :)
Now, whenever I go to see her or we chat on the phone, she always makes sure to tell me again and again to be sure to “say hi to Broccoli” for her. Or she’ll invite me and Broccoli over for some Burmese noodles. Or — one of my favorite little moments — when Barclay came to visit the CSA-kickoff party a few weeks ago at her garden, she got a big kick out of him purchasing some of her broccoli to take home. Some broccoli for Broccoli. Made me so happy.
Anyway, all that said, this week I randomly was craving some retro beef and broccoli. I used to always love ordering this stuff at Chinese restaurants back in the day, and love how easy it is to make at home. So I whipped up a quick batch and snapped some photos just in case you might ever have a nostalgic craving for this stuff too.
Beef and Broccoli Recipe | 1-Minute Video
Barclay (“Broccoli”) and Si Si
Here’s a cute pic I snapped of Barclay out in Si Si’s garden before we made our way to her actual broccoli. These two. ♥
Alright, back to this recipe. I’ve gotta say — I’ve had some good beef and broccoli in my day, but probably more not-so-good beef and broccoli in my day.
Oof. Has anyone else had the same experience?? I feel like this dish starts with so much potential, based around two of my favorite ingredients. (Here’s lookin’ at you fresh broccoli, and — my forever guilty pleasure — tender steak.) But after that, it seems like so many restaurants just phone in the sauce, making what could be an awesome dish instead totally bland and soggy and “meh”.
My homemade version, on the other hand, is everything I always hope that broccoli and beef will be when I see if on a menu. It’s made with tender-crisp broccoli (and lots of it), marinated and perfectly-cooked flank steak, and lots of sauce that’s actually bursting with savory flavors. So good!
And even better? It can be on the table easily in 30 minutes. (Or if you’re a super-efficient multi-tasker, closer to 20!)
optional garnishes: toasted sesame seeds and/or thinly-sliced green onions
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
optional: 1-3 teaspoons sriracha, to taste
To Make The Beef and Broccoli:
Add the steak to a large bowl, along with the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Stir to combine, then let the steak marinate for at least 10 minutes (or up to 1 hour).
Meanwhile, fill a large stockpot halfway full of water, and bring it to a boil. Stir the broccoli florets into the water, and cook for 30-45 seconds. Drain (or transfer the broccoli to a strainer), and set aside.
Prepare the sauce (see instructions below).
Once the steak has finished marinating, add the peanut oil to a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the steak and garlic, and saute — stirring occasionally — until the steak is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Add the sauce and broccoli, and toss to combine. Continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes, or until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens.
Remove from heat and serve immediately, topped with optional garnishes if desired.
Looks excellent! Could you use fish sauce instead of oyster sauce?
Thanks Tyffanie — we hope you love it! And yes, we think you could use fish sauce instead of oyster sauce.
This looks so tasty! I will have to try this recipe out!
Thanks Karen — we hope you enjoy!
Yum! Loving how simple this is. I would use some veggie beef since I don’t eat meat but I think it would be just as delicious!
The more broccoli the better!I will say it always bums me whenever restaurants skimp on the veggies.
This looks great, can’t wait to try it, say Hi to Broccoli
I love this recipe and this sauce is my go to for both beef and chicken! Thanks for such a yummy recipe!!
I always order beef with broccoli. It’s one of my favorites!
This looks delicious! Love how easy it is and so much better than take-out!
Thanks Lindsay — we hope you enjoy!
what a lovely looking meal!
Thank you Pia — we hope you enjoy! :)
This looks great I’m going to try it for tea.
Is it fresh ginger please?
Hi Anne! We actually used ground ginger, but you could totally use fresh instead! We hope you enjoy!
This is one of my favorite Chinese meals to get when I go out! I can’t wait to try it out!
Awesome, we hope you love this recipe Charlsi! :)
Looks delicious! Can this be made with out peanut oil? Some of my family is allegric to nuts. Thanks!
Thanks Zahra — we hope you enjoy it! And you can totally use a different oil — in this case, we’d suggest coconut, grapeseed, or vegetable oil.
Always always always ALWAYS steam your broccoli… always. velveting the beef is the best way to go with your beef. Slice it thin against the grain so the meat stays tender, and never go higher than med-med/high on the heat
We appreciate your feedback Marcus!
Um, yes. Just yes. This is the perfect to satisfy my (very frequent) Chinese cravings! YUM!
Thank you Karly — we hope you enjoy this!
Oooh this was sooooo good! I added water chestnuts because my family loves them. But yum!!!
Thank you Cynthia — we’re glad you and your family enjoyed this!
Made this last night and it was very good. The only thing I would do differently is use half of the water called for in the sauce. It seemed to be too much and the sauce never really thickened despite the cornstarch. But the flavor was excellent and I liked the idea of blanching the vegetables and marinating the meat before putting in the wok. It really helped get the textures of those items right. Another solid recipe Ali thank you!
Thanks for sharing with us Rachel — we’re happy you enjoyed it!
Was very tasty I will definitely make this again.
Same, I just made it, it is very good, but I had to add more cornstarch to thicken it, just was a little too loose, but the flavor was really excellent. Easy fix.
Love Marcus’s suggestion to steam the broccoli. We have an awesome rice cooker that allows you to steam veggies at the same time–so convenient! The veggies turn out perfect, never soggy or mushy. Then if needed, I can toss them in my recipe, or serve them as is. Can’t wait to try this recipe!
Thanks Ashley — we hope you enjoy this! :)
Really good beef n broccoli and really cute story! I appreciate you didn’t include brown sugar like most do….I doubled the recipe so I didn’t have to decrease the water but added a pinch more cornstarch but this sauce should not be thick. I complemented this dish with brown rice and Japanese noodles because…just cause. DELISH!
We’re so happy you liked it, Kiana! :D
On a whim, I searched for broccoli supper ideas (to get rid of a giant Costco bag of florets) and this popped up. The “this is BETTER than a restaurant” line is what convinced me to try it. We JUST finished it off and it didn’t disappoint!!! I have you bookmarked and will be returning for more. Nothing says success like having to turn a forlorn looking adult male away from the kitchen because there isn’t any food left for a 3rd helping! Hah! Thank you so much for posting!
Thanks for sharing, Rebecca — we’re so happy you enjoyed it! :)
Is it necessary to velvet the beef or can I marinate overnight instead, and will it turn out tender like in the restaurant? If need to velvet first, what is the best method?
Nope, no need to velvet the beef unless you’d like to. Mine turned out plenty tender! :)
I made this for dinner tonight and my whole family loved it! It really does taste like it came straight out of a Chinese restaurant. I’ll definitely be making this again. The only thing I’ll do different is make more sauce cause I live in the south and we love our gravy and sauces lol thanks for sharing!
We’re so glad to hear that, Tarrin! :D
My husband/son devoured this! I used the sesame seed/green onions as garnish. Will never order takeout again.
We’re so glad to hear that, Sheila! :)
First, this tastes SO. GOOD.
The sauce: insane delicious.
The broccoli: perfect crispness.
A couple notes on my experience (I’ve made it twice): Both times it took much longer than 1-2 minutes for the sauce to thicken up, and I had to use more cornstarch than listed.
The second time I reduced the water in the sauce to 1/2 cup and still had to use (almost) another Tbsp of corn starch, and cooked for maybe 6-8 minutes after adding sauce. That being said, even with the additional cook time the broccoli was still perfect and did not get soggy at all, so if the same happens to you, have no fear. It will still turn out great. So good!!!
Thank you for sharing, Alia — we’re so happy you enjoy the recipe!
This looks tasty–wondering if it will freeze well and at what step should I freeze? I’d like to have as little work as possible after it is thawed… Thanks
Thanks, Bekah — we hope you enjoy! And yes, you should be find to freeze this.
Made this for lunch today. I was debating ordering take out or making it at home. Since I’m trying to eat healthier, I decided to make it at home. I had all the ingredients except the flank steak. This turned out delicious. Better than the local take out restaurant in town. I did add a little more soy sauce and a little bit of sugar to mine, but otherwise followed directions. I have pinned and will definitely make it again. Thank you for the recipe. :)
Thanks for sharing with us, Melanie — we’re so happy you enjoyed it! :)
Made this last night, it was so good! I also doubled the sauce like others did. And I added extra garlic(we love it) This will be our heavy rotation!
Thanks for sharing, Steve — we’re so glad you and your family enjoy this!
Sadly, this recipe did not meet my expectations. The thick, delicious sauce turned out to be more like meat soup. I’m not sure what went wrong. I used a wok. There was a decent amount of liquid in the wok before I added the sauce from cooking the meat. Should I have drained this? I know some people reduced the amount of water in the sauce mixture but I decided to follow the recipe. It didn’t look like too much.
We’re sorry to hear that, Lindsey, and we appreciate your honest feedback. It sounds like the sauce just didn’t thicken enough, so it likely needed to cook longer to reduce down some more.
This was awesome. Great flavors. I made this for about 25 people and there was zero left over. I would agree it would be best served immediately, I made it about 2 hours before I served it and the broccoli was mushy but still tasted great.
Thank you, Celeste, we’re so glad it was a hit with everyone!
My first time on your site…l am loving your writing…and the pics of Broccoli and SiSi….adorable ! I think I’m going to like your site..and you ! : ) can’t wait to try this . L am picky about my food too…having had some so so beef and broccoli and some terrific one too. But l find it is always better to try making it yourself . L will let you know how we like it !
Thanks for your kind words, Doris — we hope you enjoy the recipe! :)
Made this tonight and it is delicious! It will be added to my recipe binder with all my others.
Very tasty! The sauce is delicious. Made it 5 or 6 times. Only change after first time was doubling the sauce because we usually have more than 1.5lb of flank steak.
Excellent! I made this tonight and everyone loved it. I did double the sauce except for the oyster sauce and the sesame oil, steamed my broccoli first, and added an onion cut in large chunks, sauted in the oil before the meat. Thank you!
I plan on making this recipe in a couple of days. I bought the flank steak today. My neighbour use to make an excellent beef and broccoli too, but just like the restaurants, she use to tenderize her flank steak with a meat tenderizer. If I do this with flank steak, will it alter the texture in anyway? Meaning will it turn out tough? I am hoping for a nice piece of meat that is tender and easy to chew, plus I like it thin as possible. . Feb 01/18 please reply,
This is a fantastic recipe. The whole family loves it. Easy and very tasty. Thank you
Best beef and broccoli ever! My friends thought so, too. It is so easy to make. I didn’t have any oyster sauce so I doubled the soy sauce. I also used 1 and 1/2 cups broccoli. I will be making often. Thank you for a great recipe.
FINALLY found a keeper recipe for what would seem to be a very simple dish! Thank you so much! No leftovers! Got a great “chop suey” gravy? Thanks again!
Let’s just say we won’t be ordering Chinese take-out anymore. This recipe was so good, my boyfriend finally agreed to leftovers!
This was amazing! I used brown rice, and beef tenderloin instead. Easy directions, my husband said the best he’s had ever (and he’s 68!)
This is better than any Chinese restaurant in our area!
I made this excellent recipe today. The sauce is simply WONDERFUL- with one substitution and slight twist: I substituted 1/2 C. beef bone broth plus 1/4 C. water for the 3/4 C. water called for. And- I did NOT add the 1 T. Cornstarch to the mix. I dissolved the cornstarch and 2 T. COLD water in a separate little bowl. AFTER adding the sauce to the meat and broccoli, I brought it to a low boil, stirred in the cornstarch mixture, and – stirring constantly – let the entire dish simmer for TWO minutes, removed from heat, stirred before serving over JASMINE rice. EXCELLENT!
My husband and I loved this, my daughter did not bc I went a bit heavy with the Sriracha but this is an awesome recipe. I subbed fish sauce for oyster sauce, it is quite salty but my family was ok with it. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
Surprisingly I had all of the ingredients. The sauce is delicious! I will definitely make this again. Like some others I doubled the sauce and added green and red peppers, white onion and water chestnuts. I sautéed the beef and onions a little and then put everything but the broccoli, peppers and water chestnuts in my instant pot for 15 minutes on meat/stew. Once done, I added the peppers, broccoli and water chestnuts and turned it to Sautee for 10 minutes.
I’ve researched, begged for, bought books about and stolen some secret recipes for Chinese food. Many years ago I thought I’d finally discovered the missing ingredient. The secret ingredient that I thought added authenticity to my creations was MSG by way of the spice known as Accent. While it definitely did add flavor to my recipes, they still didn’t taste like I wanted them to. My idea of perfect Chinese food is, fresh vegetables, flash fried hot but still having some crunch or snap in them, bold fresh garlic, vegetable variety and most of all, a delicious, full flavored, slightly sweet, slightly spicy brown sauce. A dish can meet these specifications in just one of these aspects and be off the mark in others and still be good but to be great, it must meet them all. This recipe is very good. I’ve used the sauce for many dishes now and even altered it for some and I find it to be the perfect brown sauce base for all of my creations. This coupled with the fried rice recipe I borrowed from this site h my has afforded me honors among my friends and family. I recommend it highly.
This was so good ! Did ( what someone suggested ) poor in the cornstarch mixed with water after putting the sauce in the wok
So many recipes don’t include oyster sauce and it’s what makes Broccoli Beef flavor superior. Thank you
Just found this recipe. It is recipe is spot on! We ate almost the entire batch the first time I made it. That says a lot as hubby is very particular eater.
Delicious and better than takeout!
Easy and delicious.