Beef and Broccoli Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Beef and broccoli is one of our new favorite inspired-by-takeout recipes. Savory beef and broccoli coated in a delicious sauce with a touch of sweetness and spice. Served over jasmine rice for a complete meal. Delicious and only takes about 25 minutes!

Finished savory beef and broccoli in a cast iron skillet topped with sesame seeds and green onion.

Why I Love This Recipe

The best part is this beef and broccoli recipe is healthier than your takeout alternative and also really easy to make. And no, healthier does not mean we’re sacrificing an ounce of flavor.

The sticky sauce is made with soy sauce, garlic, fresh ginger, sriracha, brown sugar, and sesame oil. It’s responsible for the entire dish’s flavor and brings everything together.

Learn how to make more of your takeout favorites like sweet and spicy chicken or popping chicken satay on the grill. I find there’s nothing that beats the ease and comfort of perfect fried rice or crab rangoons.

Ingredients

Raw, uncooked beef and broccoli ingredients laid out on a wooden cutting board.
  • Flank or skirt steak: Both flank and skirt steak are affordable meats that are flavorful. I prefer skirt steak for its tenderness and fat marbling but it can be a little harder to find.
  • Broccoli florets: one head of broccoli (about 1 pound) is sufficient. Be sure to break the larger broccoli heads down into several small florets and trim the stems so they aren’t too long.
  • Jasmine or basmati rice: this dish is phenomenal served over white rice however you can also serve alongside my fried rice!

Beef and broccoli sauce

  • Low-sodium soy sauce: I prefer low-sodium soy sauce since it’s lighter in flavor however richer soy sauce (dark or medium) can also be used.
  • Light or dark brown sugar: brown sugar acts as a sweetener and also helps the sauce caramelize. You can substitute for table sugar if you don’t have brown sugar.
  • Garlic cloves: I always opt for fresh garlic. Use a microplane to pulverize the garlic into a paste.
  • Corn starch: corn starch acts as a thickening agent that helps to turn the sauce into the perfect sticky glaze. Do not omit.
  • Sesame oil: sesame oil adds delicious sesame flavor found in a lot of Asian cuisines. I’ll help you put it to good use with my beef bulgogi bowls, sesame ginger salmon, and shrimp stir fry.
  • Sriracha: sriracha is optional but adds subtle spice and delicious flavor.
  • Freshly grated ginger: fresh ginger is so much better than ground ginger because it packs some serious punch and adds a lot of aromatics to the final dish. This is by far and away the most important ingredient in this recipe!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

Best Beef to Use

Beef and broccoli is best made with flank or skirt steak. Both cuts are typically on the larger side and come as long flat slabs with definitive graining throughout. Another good option is the flat iron steak.

All three cuts of beef can be incredibly tender and delicious if properly prepared. Skirt steak is chewy, yet tender thanks to the generous marbling throughout. Flank steak greatly benefits from proper slicing to ensure the muscle fibers easily pull apart.

An uncooked piece of flank steak on a cutting board with two thin slices sliced off.

Find the natural grain that runs through the flank steak. It should be really easy to spot. Cut against the grain into long thin strips. From here we can chop it into bite-sized pieces. This allows the beef to effortlessly pull apart. If you slice with the muscle fibers it will be very hard to bite (science).

Quick Tip

This recipe can be made with virtually any cut of beef. There’s no harm in using sirloin, NY strip, or ribeye. This is a great recipe to use up leftover steak in the fridge!

Preparing the Broccoli

The broccoli is prepared on the stovetop in a skillet for about 5 minutes to tenderize. You don’t want raw broccoli by any standards however a little snap adds the perfect texture.

I like to steam the broccoli with a little water to prevent any charring/burning. You can prepare it in the same skillet and transfer it to a plate until it’s ready to add back to the dish with the cooked steak.

Alternatively, you can blanch the broccoli by flash boiling it for 2-3 minutes until it’s bright green and just tender.

How to Make Beef and Broccoli

Step 1.

In a small bowl, combine sugar and warm water. Whisk to dissolve (image 1a). Add remaining ingredients and stir (image 1b). Set aside. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge.

Brown sugar dissolved in hot water in a glass measuring cup.
Beef and broccoli sauce ingredients mixed together in a glass measuring cup.

Expert Tip

Corn starch dissolves much easier in warm liquids. It tends to clump up in cool liquids.

Step 2.

Thinly slice the steak into 1/4-inch thick strips. If using flank steak, be sure to slice against the grain for maximum tenderness (image 2a). Break the broccoli into small florets (image 2b). Bite-sized pieces work best.

An uncooked piece of flank steak on a cutting board with two thin slices sliced off.
Raw broccoli florets separated into small florets on a wooden cutting board.

Step 3.

Meanwhile, bring the skillet to medium heat. Add 1/2 cup water and broccoli (image 3a). Cook broccoli, tossing occasionally until just starting to tenderize, about 5 minutes. The water helps steam the broccoli and prevents burning. If the water evaporates, add a splash more. Broccoli should be bright green and tender but still a little snappy (image 3b).

Raw broccoli florets in a shallow pan with water.
Steamed broccoli in a pan after it's finished cooking.

Step 4.

Transfer broccoli to a bowl and add oil to the skillet. Add steak in a single layer and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes per side or until no longer pink.

Raw flank steak seasoned with salt and pepper starting to cook in a enameled cast iron pan.

Step 5.

Add sauce to the skillet and bring to a simmer (image 5a). As soon as it bubbles, reduce the heat to low and let thicken for about 1-2 minutes. Return the broccoli to the pan and toss with the steak until everything is evenly coated (image 5b). If sauce gets too thick add a little warm water. Top with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve over rice.

Cooked flank steak in a pan and a hand pouring in a beef and broccoli sauce before simmering.
Adding steamed broccoli to cooked flank steak in a thickened beef sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best cut of beef for beef and broccoli?

Flank and skirt steak are the two most popular options. I prefer skirt steak because it’s naturally more tender and flavorful.

What can I substitute for brown sugar?

White table sugar is fine to use in place of brown sugar (cut quantity down to 1 tablespoon). It adds a subtle sweetness and helps the sauce thicken.

What is the purpose of corn starch?

Corn starch is a magic flavorless thickening agent. When heated, it helps to thicken the sauce to the desired consistency. Add more for additional thickening or thin with water.

Finished savory beef and broccoli in a cast iron skillet topped with sesame seeds and green onion.

More Asian-Inspired Recipes

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

Beef and Broccoli Recipe

Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Easy beef and broccoli bowl made with flank steak and broccoli. Stir-fried in a simple and delicious homemade sauce and served over white rice.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound flank or skirt steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1 pound small broccoli florets, about 1 head
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola/vegetable
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Beef and broccoli sauce

  • 1/2 cup warm/hot water
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, combine sugar and warm water. Whisk to dissolve. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Set aside. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge.
  • Thinly slice the steak into 1/4-inch thick strips. If using flank steak, be sure to slice against the grain for maximum tenderness. Break the broccoli into small florets (image 2b). Bite-sized pieces work best.
  • Meanwhile, bring the skillet to medium heat. Add 1/2 cup water and broccoli. Cook broccoli, tossing occasionally until just starting to tenderize, about 5 minutes. The water helps steam the broccoli and prevents burning. If the water evaporates, add a splash more. Broccoli should be bright green and tender but still a little snappy.
  • Transfer broccoli to a bowl and add oil to the skillet. Add steak in a single layer and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes per side or until no longer pink.
  • Add sauce to the skillet and bring to a simmer. As soon as it bubbles, reduce the heat to low and let thicken for about 1-2 minutes. Return the broccoli to the pan and toss with the steak until everything is evenly coated. If sauce gets too thick add a little warm water. Top with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve over white rice or with fried rice.

Notes

Look for the natural graining in flank steak and cut against the grain. If you cut with the grain, flank steak will be very tough to chew through.
This recipe can be made with virtually any cut of beef. There’s no harm in using sirloin, NY strip, or ribeye. This is a great recipe to use up leftover steak in the fridge!

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 29gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 688mgPotassium: 836mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 738IUVitamin C: 103mgCalcium: 111mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenswagger or tag #kitchenswagger!

About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very, VERY good. I used skirt steak, my fav! The whole family loved it, including the kiddos. Great dish for meal prepping.