Stir-Fried Ginger Beef and Broccoli


August 31, 2016 by Lauren

I have a personal belief that I should leave certain foods to the professionals.  Could I learn to make gnocchi?  Sure.  Do I want to?  No.  Chinese food usually falls into this category for me and largely still does.  Beef and broccoli seemed so simple, though, and it was in the America’s Test Kitchen 10th Anniversary cookbook (which has so many of my favorites in it).  I looked at the amount of ginger and peanut oil involved and I was happy to sign up.  I will warn you that I suggest doing a really good job of mis en place for this guy ahead of time, and know that it will take up every bowl you own somehow.  When we make cauliflower rice at the same time I literally don’t have any more containers left.

Click on any picture below to see them larger and get a play by play (click any picture to close and return):

Stir-Fried Ginger Beef and Broccoli

Active Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Cook Time: 10 minutes
Recipe Adapted From: America’s Test Kitchen 10th Anniversary Best Recipes
  • Sauce:
    • 5 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce (in the asian aisle, I promise it doesn’t taste like oysters)
    • 2 tablespoons chicken stock
    • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 lb + Flank Steak cut thinly against the grain (or “stir-fry” pre-cut meat is just fine)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1 lb + broccoli, trimmed into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • Scallions
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Toss the beef with the soy sauce and let sit 10 minutes (or as much as an hour).  Don’t go over an hour or you’ll have super soy filled meat.  I like to do this while I cut all my other stuff.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons of peanut oil in a skillet over high heat until just smoking – if you have a wok, great!  If not – that’s ok!  Try something that has tall walls and the ability to get pretty hot.  Cook the beef in two batches, about 3 minutes each.  Some beef will let off a lot of water, don’t worry.  Remove beef from pan and set aside.
  4. Add 1 more tablespoon of peanut oil to the pan and allow to get hot.  Add the broccoli and cook, not moving, for 30 seconds (trying to sear).  Add the water, cover the skillet, and lower the heat to medium.  Cook until broccoli is still bright green and pretty crisp, about 2 minutes.  Remove the broccoli to a plate (ideally paper towel lined).
  5. Add 1 teaspoon peanut oil and return to high heat.  Add the bell pepper and cook, about 5 minutes, until the pepper develops a little color.  Push the pepper to the side and add the garlic, ginger, and a little bit of oil.  Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the broccoli and steak back to the pan (along with any accumulated juices).  Whisk to recombine the sauce and pour over the mixture.  Toss together, waiting for the sauce to “tighten” up a bit.
  7. Once the sauce has thickened, serve over rice or cauliflower rice, topping with chopped scallions.  If your sauce won’t thicken, add a teaspoon of cornstarch to a little bit of water (1 tsp) and mix – adding to the pan and stirring around.

Cornstarch works by being activated by heat.  When it hits your warm pan it’ll start to tighten up.  Unlike flour which takes a while to thicken, if your sauce is still loose after it warms up – add some more cornstarch.  Remember that corn starch must be mixed with water before putting it in – no one likes corn starch clumps!  The sauce that comes out of this thing is so delicious (you can reduce the amount of ginger if you don’t like ginger).  Try to keep your broccoli crisp as this stuff is amazing on day 2.

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