How to Make Beef and Broccoli Chinese Style: A Step-by-Step Guide

Beef and broccoli is a beloved Chinese-American dish that features tender beef and crisp broccoli florets bathed in a savory brown sauce. While not authentic to China, it has become a favorite takeout menu item. Follow this guide to learn how to prepare beef and broccoli with an authentic Chinese restaurant flavor right in your own kitchen.

Select the Right Beef Cut

  • Flank, skirt steak, or sirloin are ideal cuts for beef and broccoli since they are lean and cook quickly.

  • Eye of round or top round steak also works well. Slice it thinly across the grain.

  • For economical cuts like chuck or round roast, use a baking soda marinade to tenderize.

  • Slice beef into 1/4-inch thick slices, or cut into 2-inch lengths and 1/4-inch thick sticks.

  • Cut across the grain for the most tender texture.

Prep the Vegetables

  • Broccoli florets are the most common, but you can also use:

    • Carrots

    • Bell peppers

    • Snap peas

    • Snow peas

    • Onions

  • Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until crisp-tender. Shock in ice water.

  • Other quick-cooking veggies can be stir-fried directly in the wok.

  • Cut uniform sizes for even cooking. Group florets and slice stems to similar thickness as beef.

Make the Velveting Marinade

  • Whisk together:

    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

    • 1 Tbsp oil

    • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

    • 1/2 tsp baking soda (optional for tenderizing)

  • Marinate beef 15 minutes up to overnight.

  • This firms up the exterior to seal in juices when stir-frying.

Prepare the Signature Sauce

  • Whisk together:

    • Soy sauce

    • Oyster sauce

    • Shaoxing wine

    • Sugar

    • Cornstarch

    • Chicken or beef stock

    • Sesame oil

    • White pepper

  • Balance sweet, savory, salty flavors to preference.

  • The sauce adds flavor during cooking and finishes the dish.

Heat the Wok Properly

  • Use a flat-bottomed wok or large skillet.

  • Electric stoves may require a wok with a wider base.

  • Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water sizzles and evaporates instantly.

Stir Fry the Ingredients in Batches

  • Swirl 2 Tbsp oil and coat wok.

  • Add marinated beef in a single layer. Cook 1 minute without stirring.

  • Stir fry until lightly browned but not fully cooked. Remove and set aside.

  • Return wok to heat. Add 2 Tbsp oil, garlic, ginger.

  • Stir fry broccoli 2 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove and set aside.

Bring it All Together

  • Return wok to high heat. Swirl sauce then pour it in.

  • Add beef and broccoli back to wok. Toss quickly to coat.

  • Simmer until sauce reduces and thickens.

  • Mix cornstarch slurry if needed to thicken sauce further.

  • Remove from heat once sauce coats beef and broccoli.

Serve Immediately

  • Serve beef and broccoli over steamed Jasmine or brown rice.

  • Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.

  • Enjoy with chopsticks and Chinese soup spoons for an authentic experience.

Tips for the Best Beef and Broccoli

  • Use a hot wok and cook ingredients in batches for best results.

  • Velveting the beef keeps it tender. Marinate for 15 minutes or up to overnight.

  • Blanch broccoli briefly until crisp-tender so it doesn’t overcook.

  • Slice beef thinly across the grain for tenderness.

  • Add aromatics like garlic, ginger, chili, and scallions.

  • Use authentic Chinese sauces and wine to get the restaurant flavor.

  • Balance sweet, salty, savory, spicy, and umami flavors in the sauce.

  • Don’t overcook. Stir fry over high heat and remove immediately once sauce coats ingredients.

Common Additions and Substitutions

  • Scallions – Add whites with aromatics and greens at the end.

  • Chili garlic sauce – Adds spicy kick.

  • Hoisin sauce – For extra sweetness and thickness.

  • Oyster sauce – Adds savory umami flavor.

  • Beef stock – Use if shaoxing wine is unavailable.

  • Rice vinegar – Sub for chili garlic sauce.

  • Sugar – White or brown depending on sauce color preference.

  • Cornstarch slurry – Thicken sauce as needed.

Full Recipe


  • 1 lb flank steak, sliced

  • 2 Tbsp oil for stir-frying

  • 4-5 cups broccoli florets


  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 Tbsp oil

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (optional)


  • 1⁄4 cup chicken stock

  • 2 Tbsp shaoxing wine

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce

  • 2 tsp brown sugar

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1⁄8 tsp white pepper

  • 1⁄8 tsp Chinese five spice


  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic

  • 1 tsp minced ginger


  1. Make marinade, sauce, and prep ingredients.

  2. Marinate beef for 15+ minutes.

  3. Blanch broccoli until crisp-tender.

  4. Heat wok over high heat. Swirl in oil.

  5. Stir fry marinated beef 1 minute. Remove.

  6. Stir fry broccoli 2 minutes. Remove.

  7. Swirl sauce into hot wok. Return beef and broccoli. Toss to coat.

  8. Simmer until sauce thickens.

  9. Serve beef and broccoli immediately over steamed rice.

Enjoy Takeout Flavor at Home

With the proper prep and the right technique, you can make restaurant-quality beef and broccoli at home. Use high heat, cook the ingredients separately, and don’t overcook. The flavorful sauce brings it all together for a quick and easy Chinese-style dinner.

Beef and Broccoli Recipe | How To Make Beef and Broccoli | Chinese Take Out Recipe Idea


What is beef and broccoli sauce made of?

Beef and Broccoli Ingredients Sauces and oils: This beef and broccoli recipe calls for oyster sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Sherry: Cooking sherry adds a sweet, nutty flavor to the beef and broccoli. Sugar: White sugar lends a hint of sweetness. Cornstarch: A teaspoon of cornstarch thickens the sauce.

What is the sauce made of from Chinese chicken and broccoli?

What’s In the Sauce for Chicken and Broccoli? Basic stir-fry sauce is made up of aromatics like ginger and garlic, dark and regular soy sauces, sesame oil, oyster sauce, sugar, Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing wine) and white pepper. Cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce enough to coat the chicken and vegetables.

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

The best beef cuts for stir fry are tender and lean. We love Flank Steak which is lean and easy to chew when thinly sliced against the grain. More great beef cuts for stir fry include: Top Sirloin Steak.

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