Sunday, February 6, 2011

A classic Chinese dish
Recipe #63: broccoli beef

One time, my mother had a party. All of the food was very good except for the broccoli beef. I couldn't resist, so I asked her, "How did you cook this beef? It's very old and tough!" Before she could answer, another guest piped up, "Oh, I'm the one who made it!"

That turned out to be the only dish that was not made by my mother.

Ah, no wonder.

However, broccoli beef isn't all that hard to make, as long as you use the right methods.

The method my mother taught me does not use any sauce, so it's very light, tasty and healthy.


1. 3 oz. flank steak, sliced
2. beef marinade: 1/2 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. cooking wine (sake), 1 tsp. corn starch, 1/2 tsp. cooking oil
3. 2 stalks of broccoli
4. salt to taste
5. 1 Tbsp. cooking oil


1. Mix the ingredients the marinade and place beef in for a few minutes.
2. Cut broccoli into bite-sized florets.
3. Fill a 4- or 5-qt. pot half full with water and boil. Dip broccoli in for about a minute; drain and set aside.
4. In a saucepan, add cooking oil. When it is hot enough, add beef.
5. When beef is medium-well, add broccoli.
6. Add salt and sautee.
7. Meanwhile, add about 1 tsp. hot water to the remaining marinade and pour into saucepan.
8. Continue sauteing for about half a minute, or until beef is well done.
9. Serve hot.


1. Be sure to cut the flanks against the grain and put into small bowl; otherwise, the beef will be very hard to chew.
2. Flank steak is best fit for this dish. Some restaurants use regular beef instead of flank steak, and then use baking soda to tenderize the meat. Afterwards, they use sauce to cover the baking soda. However, this causes the beef to lose its original flavor, and it is also less healthy.
3. The broccoli only needs to be boiled for about a minute. This lets it stay green without being overcooked, yet still has a crispy and tender texture.
4. Adding hot water to the marinade lets the dish cook faster, and also improves the taste.