Beef and Broccoli

3.50 from 4 votes

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This classic Beef and Broccoli recipe has lots of tender marinated beef in a savory sauce with perfectly steamed broccoli and served with rice. There is nothing worse than trying to chew through tough pieces of meat, so I’ve outlined a few key steps to ensure tender beef every time. Be sure to check out all of my other Asian-inspired recipes as well!

beef and broccoli plated

Easy to Make + Even Easier to Eat

Get ready for this classic Beef and Broccoli recipe that is easy to make and even easier to eat. With a 30-minute marinade I’ve ensured that you get tender beef every single time. The tender beef mixed with steamed broccoli in a delicious sauce guarantees happy bellies. Not only is it a great make-ahead meal but you can also freeze it! Plus you can serve it alongside a multitude of side dishes (I’ve got some ideas for you below). Ready? Let’s get cooking!

beef and broccoli ingredients

Beef and Broccoli Ingredients

Ok I admit it, this list looks scary, but it’s really only 11 ingredients! I’ve broken this Beef and Broccoli recipe down into four main parts: the marinade, the sauce and the frying ingredients, plus of course, the two main ingredients: broccoli and beef.

  • broccoli florets
  • bottom round steak (or flank steak)

For the Marinade:

  • soy sauce
  • cold water
  • baking soda
  • cornstarch

For the Sauce:

  • chicken broth
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce

For Frying:

  • vegetable oil
  • garlic
beef and broccoli in large skillet with wooden spoon

How to Make Beef Tender

There are 3 main techniques I employed to make sure my beef was nice and tender for this dish.

  1. Slicing the meat: Slice your meat very thing AGAINST the grain to shorten the fibers, resulting in more tender pieces.
  2. Marinate with baking soda: Marinating your meat already helps make it more tender by breaking down the meat’s proteins and connective tissues, but when you add a bit of baking soda it raises the pH of the meat. This weakens the protein structures in the meat, resulting in a more tender texture.
  3. Cook at high temperature: Stir-frying the beef quickly at high heat preserves its tenderness. Overcooking can make the meat tough, so it’s crucial to cook it just until done.

How to Make Beef and Broccoli

For full recipe details, including ingredients needed and measurements, see the recipe card down below. Here’s step by step what you can expect when making this recipe:

Marinate the Beef

Place beef into the freezer for 15 minutes. This is an optional step that will help you cut it a little easier. While beef is freezing, stir soy sauce, cold water, baking soda and cornstarch together for the marinating liquid.

Remove meat from the freezer and cut it into thin strips against the grain. Toss in marinating liquid and set aside for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. * See the FAQ section below about how to find and cut meat against the grain.

Steam Broccoli

Prep your broccoli by cutting it into florets and steaming until crisp-tender. You can do this on the stove with a steamer basket or you can steam it in the microwave. To do so, arrange it on a large microwave-safe dinner plate, add 1/4 cup cold water, cover with plastic wrap leaving a portion open to vent, and microwave 2-3 minutes or until steamed to your liking.

Pro Tip: Fresh broccoli is best for this recipe, but you could always use frozen broccoli florets as a shortcut.

Make the Sauce

In a liquid measuring cup, stir chicken broth together with soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.

Stir Fry

Heat a large wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add vegetable oil (or canola oil) and garlic and cook 20 to 30 seconds. Add in beef strips and all of the marinade, then cook until browned and almost thoroughly cooked. A little pink here-and-there is fine. Add in steamed broccoli (drain if necessary before adding to the pan) and the sauce. Cook another 2-3 minutes.

Serve!

Serve with white rice or lo mein noodles.

beef and broccoli in a skillet

Make-Ahead + Storing Instructions

Luckily for you this Beef and Broccoli lasts for up to 4 days in the fridge, which makes it a great make-ahead meal! Simply store alone in an airtight container or spread it out into multiple containers with rice on the bottom. The rice will soak up all of the excess sauce, making this a quick and easy meal prep dish for the week ahead.

To Freeze – To extend the shelf life of this meal even further, consider making a double batch and freezing half of it for up to 4 months! Simply store in a freezer safe, airtight container. Then when you are getting ready to serve it, thaw in the fridge overnight and warm up in a pan.

Beef + Broccoli Cooking Tips and FAQ

What Cut of Beef is Best for Beef and Broccoli?

I used Bottom Round Steak for this recipe. It was pretty easy to thinly slice! Flank steak is another option. Both are very flavorful, usually reasonably priced and easily found in the grocery stores.

How do I make sure I get tender beef?

Add meat to a HOT skillet. This sears and seals in all those juices. Don’t overcrowd your pan. Doing so will steam your meat, rather than cook it. For tender beef, you’ll want to slice it against the grain as thinly as possible. Like mentioned above, I suggest putting the cut of meat you’re using, in the freezer for 15 minutes. This makes slicing into thin strips a bit easier.

What does cutting against the grain mean?

The grain of meat is referring to the long muscle fibers in a piece of meat. In steaks, you’ll be able to see parallel muscle fibers running through the cut of meat pretty easily. You’ll want cut AGAINST the grain – so OPPOSITE of the way the grain runs – get tender strips of steak. This shortens the fibers and allows them to break down faster when cooking them. If you end up with tough, chewy meat, it might be because it wasn’t cut correctly.

Can I substitute teriyaki sauce for soy sauce?

Yes, you can. I mean it won’t have the exact same flavor results, but it will add a bit of sweetness to your beef and broccoli. You can add the same amount of teriyaki sauce as you would soy sauce.

Is there a low salt substitute for soy sauce?

There are low-sodium soy sauce options that you can find in your local grocery store. You can also substitute Hoisin sauce for soy sauce. It has a sweet and savory flavor that enhances recipes similar to the way soy sauce does.

beef and broccoli on a plate

Side Dishes to Serve with Beef and Broccoli

I traditionally serve this dish with plain rice as a base. But feel free to serve with whatever you’d like. Here are a couple of suggestions:

More Asian-Inspired Main Dishes to Try!

If you liked this Beef and Broccoli recipe be sure to check out these other killer recipes:

I hope your family loves this Beef and Broccoli as much as we do! It’s a perfect weeknight meal! The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day, friends!

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

beef and broccoli on a plate with chop sticks grabbing a piece of beef
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3.50 from 4 votes

Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli is tender marinated beef in a savory sauce with perfectly steamed broccoli, Serve over rice or noodles.
servings 6 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • 1.5 pounds bottom round steak or flank steak

For the Marinade:

  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

For the Sauce:

For Frying:

Instructions

Marinate the Beef

  • Place beef into the freezer for 15 minutes. This is an optional step that will help you cut it a little easier. While beef is freezing, stir all ingredients for marinating liquid together. Remove meat from freezer and cut into thin strips against the grain. Toss in marinating liquid and set aside for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    beef marinating in marinade in a bowl

Steam Broccoli

  • Prep your broccoli by cutting into florets and steaming until crisp tender. You can do this on the stove with a steamer basket or arrange on a large microwave safe dinner plate, add 1/4 cup cold water, cover with plastic wrap leaving a portion open and not tucked to vent and microwave 2-3 minutes or until steamed to your liking.
    broccoli steaming in a pot

Make Sauce

  • In a liquid measuring cup, stir chicken broth together with soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
    beef and broccoli sauce in a liquid measuring cup with a whisk

Stir Fry

  • Heat a large wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat to high heat. Add vegetable oil and garlic and cook 20 to 30 seconds. Add in beef and all of the marinade, then cook until browned and almost thoroughly cooked. A little pink here-and-there is fine. Add in steamed broccoli (drain if necessary before adding to the pan) and sauce. Cook another 2-3 minutes and serve with white rice or lo mein noodles.
    beef and broccoli in large skillet with wooden spoon

Notes

The more accurate macros for 1 serving (1/6th of this recipe) are as follows: 214 calories, 7g F/8.1g C/29.1g P. Log any steamed rice separately.  

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 811mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 474IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: beef and broccoli

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Recipe Rating




4 Responses
  1. Ms Peppercorn

    3 stars
    Not enough flavor for me. I added some ground ginger and more soy sauce. I also had to add more cornstarch to make it less soupy. Not the fault of this recipe but I still can’t figure out how to find the grain of the meat to cut against it.

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