Classic Beef and Broccoli


Much to many people's surprise, I'm not big on keeping a stocked fridge. I'm very against food waste. My friends think it quite funny to see that in my fridge I only have wine, an exceedingly large amount of beers leftover from parties, and an impressive collection of international condiments on the fridge door. I believe food should be simple and shopping lists should be short. You'll be surprise how creative you can get with sauces at 1 am in the morning. 

I can whip up beef and broccoli with a quick run to the store and the sauce in my pantry. I usually grab whatever beef is cheap, in my case it is chuck roast. For greens at an American grocer, broccolini works beautifully. Broccoli florets works well too, but it gets a little brown quickly. To fix that, I blanch broccoli florets in boiling water for two minutes and then shock it in an ice bath and strain. It takes a little extra time but your broccoli comes out super crunchy and not soggy. In my recipe, I used baby gai lan that I found in chinatown. Its crunchy like broccoli but has a deep satiating green flavor like kale. You can cut this up into bite sized pieces, but I left mine whole for the look.

I always keep two soy sauces by Kwong Hung Seng on hand. A lot of my recipes are "optimized" for it. I saw that other really classic recipes call for oyster sauce. The only reason why I don't use oyster sauce is because I think there is a slight odor and don't want to introduce shellfish products where I don't have to. 

These are the two sauces that I swear by. I've been cooking with these for most of my life. I love the flavor of the orange cap because its darker, sweeter, and gives sauces a lot of body and color. The white cap I refer to as "thin or light soy sauce" is saltier, thinner in consistency, and brighter tasting. If you're in Chicago, Jong Boo in Avondale and Tai Nam in Argyle/Uptown both carry it.  I use these two a lot so you definitely won't be wasting precious cabinet space buying these two. 

Post your pics! Hope you guys keep this in your weekday repertoire. It is faster to make than waiting for take out.  This recipe is also featured on my instagram page. Click on the highlights and you'll see a stept by step guide to making this dish. 

Classic Beef and Broccoli

Prep Time 10 min (Marinade time 20 minutes)  | Cook Time 10 Mins

Printable Version


  • 8 ounces beef chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of minced ginger (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar

Dark Green of Choice

  • 2 cups of Chinese broccoli or gailan cut into three inch pieces. You can leave it whole, just be sure to trim the butts of the gai lan off. 
  • Chopped broccoli florets, or broccolini work great too.

Cornstarch slurry

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with ½ cool water


1.  Trim excess fat and membrane off of the beef. Slicing against the grain of the meat in ¼ inch thick or thinner pieces at a 45 degree angle. Placing beef in freezer for 20 minutes prior to cutting also makes it easier to slice.

2.  Add dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, ¼ tsp of salt, pinch of sugar and 1 tsp of cornstarch. Mix thoroughly and let marinate for 30 minutes. 

3.  When beef is almost cooked through, add the minced garlic and ginger.

4.  Whisk together the cornstarch slurry pour into pan.  Bring beef and cornstarch water to a boil. Add another half cup of warm water (tap water warm is fine). Sauce should resemble slightly clear golden brown gravy as the cornstarch cooks.

5.  Add your greens and cook until tender. Gai lan about 3-5 minutes.


Cooking notes:

To ensure brightness of your greens, you can take the extra step to blanch your green and shock them in ice water. Make sure to strain well after. Reduce your cooking time in the beef gravy sauce to 2 minutes.