With lots of ripe broccoli in the garden, I decided to make a batch of broccoli beef for dinner. Unlike me, my kids aren't wildly crazy about broccoli, but this is one recipe guaranteed to get them to eat their veggies.
I base my broccoli beef recipe very loosely on a recipe found in a Chinese cookbook I found at a thrift store.
I say "loosely" because if I followed all the detailed directions, it would take me hours to make this dish. So I wing it instead.
I started by cutting a good amount of ripe broccoli.
Garden-fresh broccoli should be soaked in salt water for a few minutes to weed out any critters.
So I filled a bowl and dumped in a few tablespoons of salt, then soaked the broccoli for a few minutes.
Pretty clean broccoli. A couple of little worms, that's all.
I set the girls to cutting up the broccoli.
Meanwhile I took some meat out to defrost.
I like to cut the meat up into very small pieces.
I marinate the meat for a few minutes in a bit of oil, along with equal parts salt, sugar, cornstarch, and soy sauce. By "equal parts," I wing the amounts. I usually put in less salt, for example, and more soy sauce.
While the meat is marinating, I boil a pot of water. When the water is boiling, I drop the broccoli in to cook for about two minutes.
Then I drain the broccoli and rinse it right away with cold water.
Into the same pot that held the broccoli, I add a bit of oil and start cooking the beef. A wok would work well for this step.
While the beef is browning, I add garlic, a bit more soy sauce, and ginger.
While ground ginger works fine, I just happened to have some fresh ginger on hand, which adds a lot more zing. I peeled the ginger and grated it.
The recipe calls for chicken stock and oyster sauce. I keep homemade chicken stock on hand, but oyster sauce must be bought commercially. Can't skip that ingredient, it makes all the difference.
To about a cup of chicken stock, I had a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch for thickener.
Then I started combining everything together. Broccoli...
...spices, and then the entire bottle of oyster sauce.
In fact, to make sure I get ALL the oyster sauce out of the bottle, I take a bit of the chicken stock (mixed with cornstarch) and pour it into the bottle, give it a good shake...
...and pour everything into the broccoli beef.
Then I pour in the rest of the chicken stock mixed with cornstarch. We like our broccoli beef to have sauce with it since we eat it over rice.
It let it simmer a few more minutes so the cornstarch can do its thickening magic.
I also made a fresh pot of rice.
(By the way, my apologies that the photos are a bit dark. I had my camera on the wrong setting.)