It’s your favorite Chinese beef and broccoli dish, turned into soup! Strips of super tender beef, paired with broccoli in a rich broth. It is spicy, flavorful, and perfectly beefy. Totally hits the spot on cold winter nights! Originally published September 27, 2016.
Table of Contents
- Why we love this Beef and Broccoli Chinese Recipe
- Broccoli Beef Soup ingredients
- Beef and Broccoli Soup Recipe substitutions and variations
- How to make Chinese Beef and Broccoli Soup
- More tips to make the Best Beef and Broccoli Soup
- How to serve this Beef and Broccoli Chinese Recipe
- Storing Beef Broccoli Soup
- Broccoli Beef Soup FAQs
- Chinese Broccoli Beef Soup Recipe
The other day I opened my car door to get in, and found my car keys sitting on the seat. This means that I lost my keys and found them before I even realized it. WIN. Also, it happened on my birthday, as Truman and I were headed out to get some doughnuts. Yeah, it was a pretty good day.
Speaking of pretty good days, I just got back from a blogging retreat in San Francisco, which was so fun! When bloggers say, “blogging retreat” what they really mean is a glorified girls trip where we may or may not talk about blogging strategies. (Think more “may not” and less “may.”) Mostly it’s an excuse to get together and eat. And what better place to eat than in San Francisco?
Here we are: Lisa from Wine and Glue, yours truly (where are my sunglasses?? I’m so unhip), Lindsay from Life Love and Sugar, Trish in the back from Mom on Timeout, Julianne from Beyond Frosting, Holly from Spend with Pennies, Andi from The Weary Chef, Cathy from Lemon Tree Dwelling, Glory from Glorious Treats, and Dorothy from Crazy for Crust, our fearless organizer. Thanks Dorothy! Also not pictured: Averie from Averie Cooks, Tanya from Lemons for Lulu and Hayley from The Domestic Rebel.
One of the best things about blogging is all the people you meet, even if you’ve never actually met in real life. One of my favorite bloggers is Mary Younkin from Barefeet in the Kitchen. She has such simple down to earth recipes that are “real life.”
She just came out with her first book, The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook. It’s exactly what you would think: easy, FAST, no fuss dinner recipes that are super tasty and can feed some ravenous teenagers in a snap. The book is divided into sections: 15-25 Minute Meals, 30-45 Minute Meals, and 5-10 Minute Prep Meals. It is absolutely perfect and I’ve already cooked from it multiple times (more on that soon!) (UPDATE! Here is the other recipe from Mary’s book that I adapted a little.)
Why we love this Beef and Broccoli Chinese Recipe
I decided to make Mary’s Beef and Broccoli soup. It is SO good. Beef and broccoli is always one of my favorite dishes when we go out for Chinese. It’s just a classic. This is the soup-ified version.
Don’t be scared off by the oyster sauce and chili sauce. If you have an Asian section to your grocery store, I bet you can find these ingredients. This soup is a little spicy, but you can easily control that by adding more or less chili sauce. Mary says that depending on the ingredients that she has, she sometimes uses less beef and more broccoli. She also makes this using ground beef, which would be much cheaper. See note on the recipe if you want to try it.
If you would like to buy Mary’s book, here is the Amazon link. If you would like to read more about the book visit Mary’s blog for more info. Hooray for quick and easy cookbooks!! This one is definitely worth your time.
Broccoli Beef Soup ingredients
Here’s a quick shopping list to help you gather your ingredients. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions!
- Flank steak (or skirt steak), 1.5 lbs.
- Soy sauce
- Yellow onion
- Fresh ginger
- Olive oil
- Broccoli (2 large heads)
- Beef broth (I use Better than Bouillon Beef Base)
- Oyster sauce
- Sambal Oelek chili paste (pictured below!)
Beef and Broccoli Soup Recipe substitutions and variations
If you want to save a buck, you can substitute 1.5 pounds of ground beef for the flank steak. Cook and crumble the ground beef in the soup pot over medium heat. Sprinkle it with cornstarch and pepper as it cooks. Stir soy sauce into the beef as it finishes cooking. Leave the beef in the pot and then continue with the rest of the recipe.
You can also just use less steak (say, ¾ pound to 1 pound) and add a little more broccoli.
If you’d like to serve this over rice, you can use less beef broth–enough that the broccoli can cook in the broth, say around 4 cups.
How to make Chinese Beef and Broccoli Soup
Here’s a quick overview of how to make this recipe. Full instructions can be found in the recipe card below!
- Start by slicing the steak as thin as you can. Place the sliced meat in a bowl and mix in cornstarch, pepper, and soy sauce. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Thinly slice the onions. Mince the garlic and ginger.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add half (or a third) of the marinated meat in a single layer over the bottom of the pot. Cook without stirring for 1 minute.
- Stir and flip the meat. Cook for another 30 to 60 seconds and transfer the meat to a dish with a lid. Drain any liquid into the dish.
- Heat the next tablespoon of olive oil. Repeat the process with the remaining meat. Transfer meat and juices to dish and cover.
- With the burner still on medium high heat, add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Add beef broth and salt. Scrape up browned bits.
- Let the onion mixture cook for 3 minutes. Add broccoli and remaining 7 and 1/2 cups beef broth. Turn the heat up to high.
- When the soup boils, stir in the oyster sauce and chili paste. Simmer the broccoli for 2 minutes, until barely softened and still crisp. Adjust the salt, pepper, and chili paste as desired.
More tips to make the Best Beef and Broccoli Soup
- To make the steak easier to slice, toss it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes first. It’ll be firmer and won’t wobble and slide as you’re trying to cut it thin.
- Use a microplane grater for your fresh garlic. It’s so much easier than trying to mince it! If you hate mincing ginger AND you don’t have a microplane grater, some grocery stores carry a ginger paste near the fresh herbs in the produce section–you can use an equivalent amount.
- Don’t skip the cornstarch! Mixing meat or poultry with cornstarch and an acid (like wine, or in this case, soy sauce) before cooking is a technique called “velveting” and it makes the beef, pork, or chicken super tender.
How to serve this Beef and Broccoli Chinese Recipe
This soup is awesome as an easy weeknight meal on its own, packed with protein and veggies. If you like, you could do up some frozen egg rolls and really feel the takeout vibes.
Storing Beef Broccoli Soup
This soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you want to freeze it, you can, but the texture of the broccoli won’t be quite the same. That’s ok–it will still be really good, and it will last for 2-3 months in individual containers or gallon ziplocs, frozen flat for easier defrosting.
How to reheat Beef and Broccoli Soup
I definitely just microwave a bowl at a time, whenever I want leftovers. If you’ve got more than just yourself heating up this soup, you can do it on the stovetop. You want to avoid it boiling; just heat it until it’s the right temperature to eat.
Broccoli Beef Soup FAQs
It depends on how you’re cooking your soup. In slow-cooked soups, like my Beef and Barley Soup, chuck roast or stew meat are best because the long cooking time breaks down all the connective tissue for super tender meat. But this is a quick stovetop recipe, and we don’t have time for that. Flank steak and/or skirt steak are less expensive cuts of steak. It’s tender, it slices up just fine, and it’s available everywhere.
This beef and broccoli soup gets a ton of flavor from two favorites in Chinese cooking: oyster sauce and chili sauce. Oyster sauce has a great sweet-and-salty umami flavor and is easy to find in the Asian section of your local grocery store. Chili paste (I use Sambal Oelek chili paste) adds heat to your beef soup without overpowering the other flavors. It’s also easy to find these days, also in the Asian section. Don’t get me wrong, I love a more classic beef soup or stew, but I am also really excited about the sweet and spicy flavors in this new take on takeout.
Beef stock is made from animal bones; beef broth is made from meat and or/vegetables. If you’ve had beef stock before, you know that beef broth is thinner and has less depth of flavor than beef stock. It still works great in soups and other dishes where it’s not the star of the show. Now, if you have beef stock and want to use it in place of the broth, go ahead! It will create a different overall flavor but will still make quality soup.
Other soups you will love!
Beef Barley Soup << this is one of the top recipes on my site. With good reason!!
10 Minute Wonton Soup << 10 minutes, I swear.
Ham Mac and Cheese Soup << I just made this one again the other day, and couldn’t believe how many times Charlotte asked for seconds. It’s soooo good.
One Skillet Beef Meatballs with Rice and Peas << Here’s the other recipe from Mary’s book I tried (hers has kielbasa instead of meatballs).
Easy Vegetable Beef Soup from Diary of a Recipe Collector
Orange Beef Teriyaki Soup from Melanie Makes
Slow Cooker Winter Squash Beef Stew from Will Cook for Smiles
Chinese Broccoli Beef Soup
- 1 & 1/2 pounds flank , or skirt steak
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, fresh, more to taste
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium or regular
- 1 medium yellow onion, very thinly sliced (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (for browning the meat)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 cups beef broth, *
- 2 large heads broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1-4 tablespoons Sambal Oelek chili paste, **
- Start by slicing the steak as thin as you can. Make sure you slice against the grain (see photos). Ideally you want 1/8 inch slices that are about 2-3 inches long.
- Place the sliced meat in a bowl and mix in cornstarch, pepper, and soy sauce. Let sit for 10 minutes while you chop up the veggies.
- Thinly slice the onions. Mince the garlic. Mince the ginger.
- Place a bowl or dish with a lid next to the stove to hold the meat once it’s cooked.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- When the oil is shimmering, add half (or a third) of the marinated meat in a single layer over the bottom of the pot. Don’t crowd the meat! You want it to brown, not steam. Cook without stirring for 1 minute.
- Stir and flip the meat. Cook for another 30 to 60 seconds, until the meat is barely cooked and very tender.
- Transfer the meat to the dish with a lid. Drain any liquid into the dish.
- Heat the next tablespoon of olive oil. Repeat process with the remaining meat, in another couple batches if you can’t fit it in one. Transfer meat and juices to dish and cover.
- With the burner still on medium high heat, add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Add 1/2 cup of beef broth and salt. Scrape up those delicious brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Let onion mixture cook for 3 minutes until slightly softened and very fragrant.
- Add broccoli and remaining 7 and 1/2 cups beef broth. Turn the heat up to high.
- When the soup boils, stir in the oyster sauce and chili paste.
- Simmer broccoli for 2 minutes, until barely softened and still crisp.
- Adjust the salt, pepper, and chili paste as desired.
- Remove from heat and add the cooked meat and any juices. Stir and serve right away.