Beef and Broccoli better than takeout while still being a healthy Chinese food option with flank steak and broccoli in less than 30 minutes!
Beef and Broccoli Recipe
We do have Panda Express Beef and Broccoli copycat recipe on the site but this recipe is different than that recipe and more like your local favorite restaurant.
What’s the difference? Well in a more classic restaurant setting you’ll find more oyster sauce, less brown sugar which Panda Express uses for depth of flavor that’s less expensive than oyster sauce.
Much of the Asian recipes we love are made with chicken because cooking with beef can be intimidating or costly. Some ways to combat this are to shop on sales. When flank steak is on sale buy the 1 pound. Then if you want to make the slices even thinner than you think you can cut, add the beef to the freezer for one hour.
When the beef is partially frozen (you should still be able to push in on the beef with your finger) you can take it out and slice much thinner slices against the grain.
In addition to cutting really thinly you can double up on your vegetables. In this case double the broccoli is great (make more sauce too!) but you can also add in carrots or zucchini to add bulk without adding more beef.
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HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BEEF AND BROCCOLI:
- Get the pan or wok nice and hot because you’ll only be cooking the meat for 1 minute on each side.
- Cut against the grain. This is the most important way to make lean cuts of beef tender.
- Do not crowd the beef in the pan even if that means cooking in batches. If you crowd the pan the beef will steam instead of sear.
- Do not leave the beef in while the sauce reduces, this will make the beef very tough.
- Have all the ingredients ready to add so nothing burns, this cooks fairly quickly.
What cut of beef is best for beef and broccoli?
The best cut of beef for beef and broccoli is flank steak. Hands down, no need to test otherwise, in Chinese restaurants around the country they’re using flank steak.
The most important thing about the recipe is the beef. If you use the pre-cut stir fry meat or any tougher/leaner cut of meat you’ll end up with a chewy beef and broccoli. No amount of delicious sauce is going to save tough meat.
If you’re looking to make the beef even more tender I highly recommend a longer marinating time. I call for 15 minutes in the directions but I always just leave it overnight. Then drain the beef really well (I leave it in a strainer over the bowl of marinade while I get all my other ingredients and the pan ready before cooking. This minimizes the amount of liquid in the pan.
- Add everything except the canola oil, garlic, ginger and broccoli into a large bowl and mix well, and let marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- In a wok add canola oil on high heat and add in half the beef and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side before cooking the second half of the beef another 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Add in the garlic and ginger, stir and cook for 30 seconds and pour in the marinade and broccoli, cover and cook until the sauce thickens before adding the beef back in to coat with sauce.