The secret ingredient to the absolute best Broccoli Beef is Chinese black vinegar, which adds a mellow sweet tang. If you don’t have Chinese black vinegar, substitute it with a good, dark balsamic vinegar. Speaking of sauce, there’s nothing I detest more than goopy brown sauce that normally drags this dish down at most Chinese restaurants.I want my broccoli to be tender-crisp and taste like broccoli, not like cornstarchy brown goop. The secret is to cook the broccoli separate and to use minimal amount of cornstarch – but only in the steak marinade. We’ll simmer the sauce to let it thicken naturally.
Chinese Broccoli Beef Recipe
1 lb (460 g) top sirloin or flank steak, sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thin strips
For the marinade
1½ teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon cooking oil
For the Stir-fry Sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons black vinegar
For the Broccoli
1½ lb (700 g) broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Marinate the beef in soy sauce, cornstarch and the ½ teaspoon of oil for 10 minutes at room temperature.
In a small bowl, mix together the stir-fry sauce ingredients.
In a wok or large frying pan, add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and salt and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. Broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.
Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Heat the pan over high heat and when hot, add the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.
Pour in the stir-fry sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat a back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.
- To keep this dish vegetarian, replace the beef with fresh, thick, meaty shitake mushrooms (cut in half) or even Portobello (cut in ½ in/13 mm slices).