Blue Eyed Mama's Blog – Family Recipes, Crafts, and Homeschool Ideas

Easy Beef and Broccoli

Tasty Dish For Even Those Busy Nights

Chinese new year recipes
This is us celebrating Chinese or Lunar New year in 2013!

When my kids were babies, we often visited a local Chinese restaurant where the ladies there loved my children. They probably just loved children in general but they wanted to hold our babies and carry them around. Some might mind but I didn’t, and neither did my husband. Whether they loved all kids or just ours, their attention was genuine. 

The attention changed as the kids became toddlers but the women were still very sweet and this opened a door for my kids to appreciate the women at the restaurant and the food, it also opened the door for them to learn more about the Chinese culture.

Small things can really bridge gaps or open minds.

Anyway, as the kids got older, one dish that was always popular with them was Beef and Broccoli. 

Chinese culture is full of dishes with meat, vegetables, and rice, however, it is more likely Beef and Broccoli might have originated during the uprising of the Chinese Restaurants in the early 20th century. That is still a long time ago and so it has become a staple of the cuisine today.

During a homeschool study on the Great Wall, I set out to make Beef and Broccoli at home and came up with an easy, authentic-ish recipe, that could be done with beef, shrimp, chicken, or veggies, but for this recipe, we are using beef. If you do want to substitute, simply switch the ounces of beef with the desired substitute.

What You’ll Need

  • flank steak
  • broccoli
  • white onion
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • low-sodium soy sauce or Coconut Aminos 
  • brown sugar
  • cornstarch (thickening agent)
  • oil, I recommend coconut, sesame, or olive oil
  • pepper flakes (optional)

Quick notes here…

  1. Flank steak isn’t always available and it can go by different names. You might see it as London Broil, which is how I usually find it, but if neither is available, you can use skirt steak, flat iron steak, sirloin steak, tri-tip steak, and hanger steak… in that order. To read more about flank steak and substitutions, as well as how to marinade different steaks, check out this article from What Molly Made. I don’t know Molly, but she sure seems to know her cuts of beef.
  2. If you want to ensure a more tender, before starting the dish mix 1 tsp of baking soda and 1/4 cup of water and massage the beef with the liquid by hand until most of the liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 1-2 hours and then, rinse the meat thoroughly, and begin the recipe
  3. Coconut Aminos are a gluten and soy-free alternative to soy sauce. It has much less sodium and tastes great, even adding a sweetness. I use this to limit the soy intake my boys and husband have and they don’t seem to mind. It is not keto or low-carb friendly, whereas soy sauce is, so there is that to consider. You can use them interchangeably, so use whichever you’d like. I buy the organic Coconut Aminos from Kroger and here is a little more about Coconut Aminos from Eating Well.
  4. The sauce must come to a boil for the cornstarch to work as a thickening agent.
  5. You can serve this with white rice, any sort of noodle, or even brown rice and fried rice… while usually you will see this with white rice you can make what you like. I use jasmine white rice with this dish.
Beef and Broccoli

Quick and easy dish if you are craving some Chinese influenced foods!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: easy, Kid approved
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch divided
  • 1 pound flank steak or substitute a pound of other meat or veggies
  • ½ cup soy sauce or coconut aminos use the lower sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger you can use powder, read the bottle to make the substitution equivalent
  • 2 tbsp oil divided
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • ½ cup white onion sliced
  • rice or noodles optional
  • pepper flakes optional
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water.

  2. Add the beef to the bowl and toss to combine.

  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch with the soy sauce or coconut aminos, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. Set the sauce aside.

  4. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and once it is hot, add the beef and cook, stirring constantly until the beef is almost cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate and set it aside.

  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and once it is hot, add the broccoli florets and sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender, about 4 minutes.

  6. Return the beef to the pan then add the prepared sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the sauce thickens slightly. Serve with rice or noodles and sprinkle with pepper flakes if you want to spice it up a bit!

Recipe Notes
  • Flank steak isn't always available and it can go by different names. You might see it as London Broil, which is how I usually find it, but if neither is available, you can use skirt steak, flat iron steak, sirloin steak, tri-tip steak, and hanger steak... in that order. To read more about flank steak and substitutions, as well as how to marinade different steaks, check out this article from What Molly Made. I don't know Molly, but she sure seems to know her cuts of beef.
  • If you wanted to ensure a more tender, before starting the dish mix 1 tsp of baking soda and 1/4 cup of water and massage the beef with the liquid by hand until most of the liquid is absorbed. Let stand 1-2 hours and then, rinse the meat thoroughly, and begin recipe
  • Coconut Aminos are a gluten and soy-free alternative to soy sauce. It has much less sodium and tastes great, even adding a sweetness. I use this to limit the soy intake my boys and husband have and they don't seem to mind. It is not keto or low-carb friendly, whereas soy sauce is, so there is that to consider. You can use them interchangeably, so use whichever you'd like. I buy the organic Coconut Aminos from Kroger and here is a little more about Coconut Aminos from Eating Well.
  • The sauce must come to a boil in order for the cornstarch to work as a thickening agent.
  • You can serve this with white rice, any sort of noodle, or even brown rice and fried rice... while usually you will see this with white rice you can make what you like. I use jasmine white rice with this dish.

Enjoy!

And that is that… an easy and tasty Beef and Broccoli dish to enjoy at home. Perfect when craving Chinese food, when celebrating Lunar New Year, or like in our case… when learning a bit more about China.

And for those that might use this to aid in a homeschool lesson, check out this list of children’s books about China or grab our favorite, Where is the Great Wall, which gives quite a bit of information on China too!

If you make this please let me know what you think! You can comment below or head over to Instagram or Facebook and share your pics… tag me @bemandfam!

 

BEM and Fam 🙂 

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