Classic Beef & Broccoli

Sticking with our Cookbook Club selection, we made another recipe from Grace Young’s Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. This month has been incredibly fun, even though we didn’t join in until closer to the end of August. Ms. Young actually joined the club Facebook group and offered tips, suggestions, and kind comments on all of our home-cooking attempts! I got really excited to buy a wok – thanks to our friend/co-worker Lilly who gave me tips on buying the best one! We also spent way too much time in our nearby Chinese market, acquiring a bunch of new ingredients and pretending like we could read Chinese to tell the difference between the dozens of bottles of soy sauce!

All the ingredients lined up and ready to stir-fry!

Beef and broccoli is a classic of Chinese-American takeout, but let me tell you, it’s so much better homemade! The prep of the ingredients is very straight-forward, but is actually the most time-consuming part. I’m still a stir-frying novice, but it always goes so much more quickly than I think it will! You start stir-frying, and a few seconds later, you’re done and dinner is ready!

Classic Beef & Broccoli

(Adapted slightly from Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, by Grace Young)
  • 10oz flank steak
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp + 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 5 turns fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp beef broth
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black bean paste
  • 10 oz broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp oil, divided (we use safflower)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 of a large onion, thinly sliced
  1. Prepare all of your ingredients. This is essential for stir-frying, since the cooking process goes really quickly!
  2. Slice the beef into thin, bite-sized pieces and place in a shallow bowl.
  3. Whisk stir together the ginger, soy sauce, 2 tsp rice wine, cornstarch, pepper, and sesame oil. Once combined, pour over the beef and allow to marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, stir together the broth, the additional 1 tbsp of rice wine, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, and black bean paste.
  5. The broccoli florets, sliced onions, and minced garlic each get their own vessel.
  6. Bring a pot of water to a bowl. Add the broccoli and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until bright green. Remove, rinse with cold water, and drain. Set aside.
  7. Heat your wok over high heat until, as Grace Young says, “a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact.”
  8. Swirl 1 tbsp of oil into the wok. Follow this with the the garlic and stir-fry for just 10 seconds prior to sliding it up onto the side of the wok.
  9. Carefully place the beef with its marinade in a single layer on the bottom of the wok. Cook for 1 minute without disturbing and then stir-fry for another minutes. Then remove the beef and garlic to the side.
  10. Add the other 1 tbsp of oil to the wok. Add the onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Follow this with the broccoli and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Then, return the beef and any juices to the wok, and add the remaining bowl of combined liquid ingredients. Stir-fry for 30 more seconds and then remove from heat.
  11. Serve over rice or noodles if desired.
Serves 2

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