This is one of the original recipes in the cookbook that I made for my mom’s Christmas gift 8 years ago. I would’ve shared it earlier, except I thought I’d shared it already! It’s a classic dish to order from a Chinese restaurant–velvety strips of marinated beef stir fried with tender crisp broccoli in a flavorful brown sauce–and perfect served over steamed white rice.
To keep the beef tender and not chewy, it’s important to slice the strips against the grain. The addition of cornstarch in the marinade further helps improve the texture of the beef. Since the broccoli takes a lot longer to cook than the beef, it is cooked separately while the beef is marinating and then added back in at the end. You’ll want to use a large pan with a lid so that you can steam the broccoli after a quick stir fry.
My favorite part about this recipe is the marinade which ends up becoming the sauce upon stir frying with the beef. It is already quite fragrant due to the soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil, but my mom adds a secret ingredient that really brings it over the top: cinnamon! Only a tiny amount is added that you can’t really taste it, but the aromatic spice somehow boosts all the other flavors in the sauce in a way you wouldn’t expect.
My Mom’s Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
1 lb. flank or sirloin steak, sliced thinly against the grain
1/4 cup tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons rice wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
6 cups broccoli florets
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup water
Whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, minced garlic, and cinnamon. Toss with the sliced steak and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on high and add the broccoli florets. Season with salt and stir fry until bright green. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Steam until the broccoli is done. Transfer the broccoli to a bowl, and wipe down the pan.
Add another 2 tablespoons of oil and heat on high again. Add the steak and marinade to the pan. Rinse out the container you used to hold the beef with 1/2 cup of water and add to the pan. Stir fry until the beef is just done and no longer red. Add the broccoli back into the pan and continue to stir fry for another minute or two to combine. Serve hot.
Next: Zucchini Pizza
Previously: How to Make an American Flag Cake
Two Years Ago: Cleveland Cassata Cake (Bonus: In a Jar!)
Three Years Ago: Backyard Mint Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Freckles
Six Years Ago: Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Seven Years Ago: Curried Carrot Soup