Beef and Broccoli can be so hit or miss, right? Sometimes it’s transcendent, other times it’s gloopy and chewy. I’ve figured out the secrets! If you’re a Chinese food lover, make this easy homemade Beef and Broccoli recipe for a healthy dinner that’s faster (and cheaper) than takeout. A few Asian pantry staples are all you need to make this stir fry that is seriously SO GOOD. Healthy (check) one-pan meal (check) done in less than an hour (check!) Make it with 20 minute Rice or Cauliflower Rice!

Close up of Chinese food beef and broccoli, with sauce and sesame seeds and rice.
Table of Contents
  1. Beef and broccoli stir fry
  2. Beef and broccoli recipe ingredients
  3. How to make beef and broccoli
  4. What to serve with beef broccoli stir fry
  5. How to store beef and broccoli
  6. Can you freeze beef and broccoli?
  7. Beef and broccoli frequently asked questions
  8. Easy beef recipes
  9. Beef and Broccoli Recipe

I went out of state to visit my brother last weekend, who just bought a meth house. Kidding! Kind of. He was halfway through the purchase when he randomly (or maybe inspired!) thought to pay extra for a meth inspection and it came back positive. Gah!!

It’s all cleaned out now. The previous owners took care of decontamination (a tenant was the culprit.) The house was condemned by the state right away after the test came back. I was worried they would raze it to the ground! I’m so glad they were able to get it scrubbed, because the house is so cool!

Want to save this recipe?
Just drop your email here and I’ll send it right away! Plus you’ll get new recipes from me every week. Yes please!
plate of beef strips with sauce and broccoli and cucumbers.

It was built in 1923, and is sooo beautiful. One hundred year old houses have such a vibe, but they are a lot of work. We spent the weekend deep cleaning his kitchen cupboards and rummaging local antique shops for furniture that will fit the energy of a 1920s bungalow.

It was such a nice change of pace! It’s always so much more fun to clean someone else’s house than to clean your own, you know?? Why is that? If I had half that amount of energy for organizing my own house, we would be eating off the floor over here.

But alas, my 4 children conspire against me daily. Just yesterday I found a baggie of goldfish smashed all over the carpet upstairs, exactly 30 seconds before I had to be in a zoom meeting. You better believe I just left that nonsense right there. Hi, welcome to my house, would you like to clean it? Because I REFUSE.

saucy beef strips and broccoli florets close up

Beef and broccoli stir fry

I’m so excited to tell you about today’s recipe for Beef and Broccoli, and how it blows away any takeout Chinese I’ve ever had.

Honestly guys, I’ve never been a huge Beef and Broccoli fan. I love beef, and I love broccoli, so what’s my deal?? Turns out it’s the sauce I wasn’t in love with, which can sometimes be overwhelmingly sweet, cloyingly thick, or overly…fishy?

side angle shot of beef with broccoli on a plate with rice.

My BFF Sarah helps me with recipe development, and she discovered in testing that it’s the high amount of Oyster Sauce I find a little overwhelming when it comes to some recipes for Beef and Broccoli.

Oyster sauce is pretty magical stuff, and an absolutely essential ingredient for classic Beef and Broccoli. It adds amazing umami flavor, so I didn’t want to leave it out. I love this article all about Oyster Sauce, and reading about how it was made accidentally back in 1888 when someone left Oyster soup on to cook for too long 😂 .

It’s a very concentrated sauce that really amps up the flavor of Beef and Broccoli, I just wanted it to be less of a highlight and more of an accent, if that makes sense. Sarah adjusted the final recipe to have a little less Oyster sauce, and I was absolutely astonished by how much I loved it the next time I made it. The final dish is well balanced; not too sweet, not too salty, but just a perfect blend of rich flavors that is so uniquely Chinese, you will feel like you’re sitting in the restaurant. (Where are my fortune cookies??)

Beef and broccoli recipe ingredients

Is your pantry stocked for Asian cooking? If not, you will need to visit the Asian aisle at your grocery store, but won’t need to make a special trip to an international store. This is an overview, the recipe is at the bottom of the post!

ingredients laid out on a table, including flank steak, brown sugar, broccoli, hoison sauce, salt, sherry wine.
  • 1 pound beef (flank steak, skirt steak, flat iron steak, or ribeye if you’re really treating yourself!)
  • fresh broccoli
  • Shaoxing wine (or sherry cooking wine)
  • low-sodium soy sauce
  • oil
  • oyster sauce
  • hoisin sauce
  • chili paste (like sambal oelek)
  • brown sugar
  • sesame oil
  • cornstarch
  • rice, for serving

How to make beef and broccoli

First things first: pop your beef in the freezer for a few minutes so it gets partially frozen on the edges. This makes it 1000x easier to slice it as thin as we need it for this recipe.

Then we are breaking the cardinal rule of meat butchering: we’re going to slice this baby WITH THE GRAIN. Just once, like this.

flank steak sliced in half with the grain, then sliced into strips against the grain.

THEN we slice against the grain. The first long cut was so that we don’t have like 10 inch long strips of beef. Cutting against the grain means that your knife is perpendicular to where the lines of the meat are running. Can you see it in the photo above?

Meat is made up of long strands, and cutting against the grain means that our KNIFE is doing a lot of the cutting work, instead of relying only on our poor omnivorous teeth. Cutting a fantastic piece of meat very poorly will result in meat that has a chewy, tough texture no matter how much it cost, or how well you cooked it.

strips of beef marinating in shaoxing wine.

Toss your beef into the marinade for a few minutes. This marinade is so stupid easy, it’s just 3 ingredients: cornstarch, low sodium soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine. I had never heard of this wine before! It’s a classic ingredient in Chinese cooking. I had a heck of a time finding it! You can buy it online here, or an international market is probably your best bet. Shaoxing wine is of course traditional and brings the most authentic flavor, but I subbed Sherry cooking wine, and thought it tasted amazing.

Also, have you heard about cornstarch marinades in Chinese cooking? It’s a technique called “velveting” because the cornstarch reacts with the meat and basically acts as a meat tenderizer. It makes the beef so, so tender and perfect.

how to chop broccoli into florets.

Take a hot minute to chop up your broccoli, before things get real over on the stove. If at this point you decide “I want more vegetables!” you could totally slice up some mushrooms, carrots, or peppers to cook along with the broccoli. It’s your thing, do what you wanna do.

Don’t forget the rice. Start the rice now, before we cook the beef, so it has time to steam. Did you catch my last post all about how I make rice for my family? It’s so easy. I usually make white rice for the kids and Cauliflower Rice (or Asian Cauliflower Rice) for me and Eric, because we like to eat low-carb dinners most nights. I often buy the pre-riced frozen cauliflower, because it’s so easy, just heat it up in a pan with some oil and salt.

Now it’s time to sear!

searing strips of beef in a black skillet.

I love to sear my beef in half veggie oil, half sesame oil. Sesame oil is strong but I love love love the flavor. You can skip it and use regular oil if you like.

Whichever way you sear it, just make sure you are leaving enough space in the pan! The meat strips should not be touching each other. If you crowd them all in at once, it will cook but it will not get brown, and you miss out on tons of flavor. It’s so tragic. Don’t do it. Sear in batches and be patient.

You don’t even have to be that patient, this meat is so thin that it cooks in about 1 minute for each side! Remove it all to a plate and make way for some broccoli.

overhead shot of stir frying broccoli in a cast iron skillet.

I also saute my broccoli in half sesame oil, half veggie oil. It’s so good! The other tip for doing the broccoli is to stir the pan constantly, and add water 1 tablespoon at a time. The pan is so hot by this point that the broccoli may start to scorch before it’s cooked all the way through. If you add water, a little bit at a time, it will sizzle and evaporate right away, creating steam that helps cook the broccoli. Keep going 2-3 minutes until you see the florets change color to a darker green. We want crisp-tender, not mushy!

Here are all the ingredients for the final sauce. It’s oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, chili garlic paste, brown sugar, sesame oil, cornstarch, and salt and black pepper It’s sooo good.

sauce ingredients in a bowl, adding sauce to beef and broccoli in black pan.

Add the meat back to the pan, douse the whole thing in sauce, stir it up, let’s goooooo

close up overhead of white plate with stripc of beef, sliced shallot, broccoli florets, and sesame seed.

Don’t forget all the goods! Green onions, sesame seeds, Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad, and some sriracha mayo to round it all out. I’m tellin you guys.

What to serve with beef broccoli stir fry

Beef and broccoli is such a classic takeout pick. I love serving it with White Rice or Cauliflower Rice and calling dinner done. But I also love doing sides or making it a “fakeout” night (get it? fake takeout, cause you’re making it at home) and doing more of my Chinese restaurant favorites. Here are some ideas:

overhead shot of beef with broccoli in a black cast iron skillet.

How to store beef and broccoli

If eating leftover Chinese food straight from the container in the fridge is your thing (raises hand), this recipe is perfect for meal prep. Store it in sectioned containers with rice and you’re done. Make sure your tupperwares are airtight so your lunch doesn’t dry out. It’ll last for 4-5 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for about a minute, depending on your portion size and microwave strength.

Sometimes leftover rice can be dry, but if you heat it up in the microwave along with the beef and broccoli, the moisture from your main dish will help freshen up the rice. You can also sprinkle a teaspoon or so of water on the rice and it helps a ton. Read more about reheating rice here.

Beef and broccoli close-up with rice, onions, and sriracha mayo.

Can you freeze beef and broccoli?

I’m going to say hard pass this time, guys. I don’t recommend freezing your leftovers. The texture of the broccoli is going to be pretty weird after defrosting, so just don’t go there. The reason we love Beef Broccoli is because of the crispy-tenderness of the whole situation. Don’t mess with it.

Beef and broccoli frequently asked questions

What is beef and broccoli sauce made of?

Beef and broccoli sauce is made from Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Sometimes ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, and chili garlic sauce are added. If you know you love one of these ingredients you can add a little more (or, if it’s not your favorite, a little less.)

What kind of beef for beef and broccoli?

Flank steak is my favorite. Sometimes the best cut of meat is the one you already have, though, or what you can afford. If you’re at the store, decide how fancy you want to go. Ribeye makes an incredible beef and broccoli. All that beautiful marbling means the meat is super melt in your mouth and tender. Cheaper options (but still excellent ones) are flank steak, skirt steak, or flat iron steak. I tried London Broil but didn’t love it for this recipe. Another good choice, although a leaner one, is sirloin.

How do you thicken beef and broccoli?

Cornstarch is the perfect thickener for beef and broccoli sauce. Just a couple teaspoons added transforms the sauce to have a phenomenal creamy texture!

How TO MAKE BEEF TENder for stir fry?

To tenderize the beef we’re using a traditional Chinese method called “velveting.” Meat is marinated in an easy cornstarch slurry for 20 minutes or so, and the cornstarch makes it so incredibly tender.

is beef and broccoli healthy?

Heck yes! All that protein AND the veggies, in one pan?? Yes please. I’d definitely call this a healthy dinner, especially served with Cauliflower Rice, but even with regular white rice it’s still a pretty healthy option!

beef and broccoli stir fry in an orange clay bowl.

Easy beef recipes

Steak might be a special occasion dinner, but cheaper cuts of beef can make a weeknight meal feel just as fancy without the fancy price. Here are some of my favorites meals using high-protein, juicy beef!

Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram


Beef and Broccoli

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 50 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people
Beef and Broccoli can be so hit and miss, right? Sometimes it's transcendent, other times it's gloopy and chewy. I've figured out the secrets! If you're a Chinese food lover, make this easy homemade Beef and Broccoli recipe for a healthy dinner that's faster (and cheaper) than takeout! A few Asian pantry staples are all you need to make this stir fry that is seriously SO GOOD. Healthy (check) one-pan meal (check) done in less than an hour (check!) Make it with 20 minute Rice or Cauliflower Rice!


  • 1 pound flank steak*, (or flat iron, skirt, sirloin, or ribeye steak)
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, 2 heads broccoli

For the marinade:

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, for the marinade
  • 4 and 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce**
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine***, or substitute sherry wine

For the sauce:

For searing

  • vegetable oil
  • sesame oil

For serving:

  • batch white rice
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
  • crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
  • 1 batch Asian Marinated Cucumbers, optional


  • Freeze your beef: Put your beef in the freezer so it's easier to slice. 30 minutes is just about perfect.
  • Prep your broccoli. Separate the florets from stems. I like using just the florets, but feel free to cut the stems into small pieces and use them too. You need about a pound of broccoli once it's chopped, about 2 medium heads.
  • Prepare the marinade: Add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, 4 and 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine* to a medium bowl.
  • Slice the beef: We want thin strips or beef that are cut against the grain. If you are using a flank steak or other long cut of beef, make one long vertical cut WITH the grain before you start slicing, so that the strips are not like 8 inches long. See photos.
    Slice the beef against the grain very thin, no more than 1/4 inch for each piece. Each piece should be about 4 inches long. Add the beef strips to the marinade, stir, and set a timer for 20 minutes.
  • Prepare the sauce: While the beef is marinating, prep the sauce in another small bowl. Whisk together 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1/3 cup Hoisin sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. (Use less salt if all you have is table salt.)
  • Rice: If you plan to serve this with rice, start making it now so it can simmer and steam while you sear the beef. Here's How to make Rice.
  • Stir fry the beef: Heat a cast iron skillet (or the largest heaviest skillet or wok you have) over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom.
  • Lift the slices of marinated beef one at a time, letting the marinade drip off. Add the beef to the pan in a single layer, with 1-2 inches of space in between each strip of beef. (We will be cooking this in several batches) Be very careful not to drop the pieces, this oil is hot and you don't want to splatter yourself.
  • Let the strips cook for 60-90 seconds, until they are browning on the bottom. Use tongs to flip each piece individually. As soon as the second side is browned, remove the beef to a plate. The slices are thin, so they only need a minute or so on each side, and remember, this is steak, so it doesn't exactly need to be well done.
  • Continue to sear the rest of the beef. Add more vegetable and sesame oil as necessary in between batches. If you add too much beef at once, there will be too much liquid being released from the beef. This prevents the browning process. The beef needs space to allow that liquid to evaporate; the liquid evaporating is the only way the beef gets in contact with the oil, which is what does the browning. Science!
  • Stir fry the broccoli: Once all the beef is seared and removed, add 1 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the skillet, still set over medium high heat. Add the chopped broccoli florets all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until you see the florets change color to a darker green, about 2 minutes. We want crisp-tender broccoli, not mushy, so keep an eye on it and don't overdo it.
  • Add water to the broccoli, 1 tablespoon at a time once you notice that the bottom of the pan is drying out. The water will evaporate right away and this will help the broccoli to steam. I usually add several tablespoons of water, at least 3-5. Don't let the liquid pool. It should be hot enough that it evaporates immediately.
  • Finish the dish: As soon as the broccoli is cooked (and, let me say it again, NOT MUSHY) add the beef back to the skillet, followed by all sauce. Scrape it all in there. It will immediately begin to bubble. Give everything a quick stir so the beef and broccoli is coated with the sauce, then turn off the burner and remove the pan from the heat so the cooking process stops.
  • Serve hot with the rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with a garnish of Asian Marinated Cucumbers, it's so good! You can also serve this with Sriracha mayo (1/2 cup mayo stirred with 1 tablespoon sriracha, or to taste.)
  • If you really want to go all out, crisp up some frozen egg rolls in the oven while you're cooking the beef and broccoli, buy some fortune cookies, and it's a whole takeout feast.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Don't freeze!


*I tested this with flank steak, skirt steak, and ribeye and they were all amazing. Of course ribeye was the most amazing but if this is just a weeknight, no need to splurge! I also tested it with London Broil but I can’t recommend it. It’s just too lean. Sirloin might be the right choice for you if you prefer your beef on the leaner side. 
**If you use regular soy sauce, cut the salt from the recipe.
***If you can’t find Shaoxing wine (it’s tough to find if you’re not at an international market) then you can use a dry sherry wine instead. Cooking sherry wine is also a good substitute!)
****Not a big fan of oyster sauce? Me neither. Just leave it out and add an extra tablespoon or two of hoisin sauce. Your beef and broccoli will still have great flavor. I included it in the recipe because it’s just so classic and people who are already beef and broccoli fans-for-life would miss it too much if I left it out. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1180mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 709IU | Vitamin C: 101mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Calories: 313
Keyword: Asian Food, Beef
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Categorized as , , , , , ,

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

You May Also Like...


    1. I’m so happy to hear it was a hit Becky! Beef and Broccoli forever right. Good to know it’s still flavorful leaving out the oyster sauce, that’s helpful for others who might not be into that deep flavor. Thanks so much for chiming in, you’re a star!

    1. Hi Kathy! I’m so happy you loved this recipe! Thank you so much for trying it out and letting me know, you are amazing for coming back to comment, that’s so helpful and kind 💕

  1. 5 stars
    This is soooo good. Not too much of anything, just the right flavors, really liked this version with less oyster sauce a lot. I will definitely be coming back to this one the next time I want nostalgia food and don’t want to spend the $$ on takeout. I have happy childhood memories of eating Chinese takeout on New Year’s Eve and my parents ALWAYS got beef and broccoli. Surprisingly I loved it (even though I was a super picky kid).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.