Authentic Chinese Beef and Broccoli Recipe

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Authentic Chinese Beef and Broccoli Recipe

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Creating an authentic Chinese beef and broccoli recipe involves a harmony of flavors and techniques that capture the essence of Chinese cuisine. This classic dish, known for its tender beef slices, vibrant broccoli florets, and savory sauce, is a staple in Chinese-American restaurants and households alike. Let’s delve into the preparation of this delicious dish, from ingredients to cooking method, to bring a piece of authentic Chinese culinary tradition to your kitchen.


To make authentic Chinese beef and broccoli, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Beef:

1 lb (450g) flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing wine) or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

For the Broccoli:

1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
Water for blanching
A pinch of salt
For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing wine) or dry sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup beef broth or water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Additional Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
Optional: Red pepper flakes for heat


Step 1: Marinate the Beef

In a bowl, combine the thinly sliced beef with 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.

Mix well to ensure the beef slices are evenly coated with the marinade.

Set aside for at least 15 minutes to marinate.

Step 2: Prepare the Broccoli

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt.

Blanch the broccoli florets for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until they are bright green but still crisp.

Immediately remove the broccoli from the boiling water and plunge it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Drain well and set aside.

Step 3: Prepare the Sauce

In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients: soy sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese rice wine, cornstarch, beef broth, sugar, and sesame oil. Ensure there are no lumps.

Set the sauce aside.

Step 4: Cook the Beef

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.

Add the marinated beef slices, spreading them out to ensure they are not overcrowded.

Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the beef is just cooked through. Remove the beef from the wok and set aside.

Step 5: Stir-Fry the Broccoli

In the same wok, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil.

Add the minced garlic and ginger, and if using, red pepper flakes. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add the blanched broccoli to the wok. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

Step 6: Combine and Finish

Return the cooked beef to the wok with the broccoli.

Pour the sauce over the beef and broccoli. Stir well to combine.

Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and coats the beef and broccoli evenly.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the beef and broccoli hot over a bed of steamed rice for a complete meal. This dish not only delivers a balance of protein and vegetables but also embodies the rich flavors and textures that Chinese cuisine is celebrated for.

Creating this authentic Chinese beef and broccoli at home allows you to enjoy a classic dish that’s as close to the traditional flavors as possible. By following these steps and using the recommended ingredients, you can bring a piece of Chinese culinary heritage to your dining table. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Beef and Broccoli

To elevate your authentic Chinese beef and broccoli, consider these additional tips that can make a significant difference in texture and flavor:

Slice the Beef Thinly: The key to tender beef in stir-fry dishes is slicing the meat thinly against the grain. This breaks up the muscle fibers and results in more tender pieces of beef that absorb the marinade and cook quickly.

Marinating the Beef: The combination of soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, cornstarch, and sesame oil not only adds flavor but also tenderizes the beef and gives it a velvety texture. Don’t skip the marinating step, as it’s crucial for achieving the authentic taste and texture.

Use High Heat for Stir-Frying: Authentic Chinese cooking often involves high heat to quickly cook ingredients while retaining their texture and nutrients. Make sure your wok or skillet is hot before adding your ingredients. This sears the beef and vegetables, locking in flavors.

Don’t Overcook the Broccoli: The blanching and stir-frying steps should leave the broccoli vibrant and crisp. Overcooking will result in mushy broccoli that loses its appeal both in texture and nutritional value.

Adjust the Sauce to Your Taste: While the suggested measurements for the sauce ingredients should provide a balanced flavor, feel free to adjust the soy sauce, oyster sauce, or sugar to suit your taste preferences. Some might prefer a slightly sweeter or saltier sauce.

Serve Immediately: Like most stir-fry dishes, beef and broccoli is best enjoyed fresh from the wok. Serving it immediately ensures you experience the full spectrum of textures and flavors, from the tender beef to the crisp broccoli and the savory sauce.

Variations to Try

While the recipe provided is for a traditional beef and broccoli dish, you can easily customize it to suit your dietary preferences or to add variety:

Vegetarian Version: Substitute the beef with tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian version. Make sure to press the tofu to remove excess water and marinate it just like the beef for flavor.

Different Vegetables: Feel free to add other vegetables such as bell peppers, snap peas, or carrots to the dish. This not only adds color but also different textures and nutritional benefits.

Spicy Version: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, adding more red pepper flakes or even a splash of chili oil or sauce can give the dish a spicy kick that complements the savory sauce.

Authentic Chinese beef and broccoli is more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of flavors, techniques, and the cultural heritage of Chinese cuisine. By following the steps and tips outlined above, you can create a delicious, authentic dish that pays homage to its roots while satisfying your cravings for Chinese food. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or explore variations, the key is to enjoy the process and the delicious results of your culinary efforts. Happy cooking!


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