Thursday, August 29, 2013

Broccoli beef

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.)


  1. That is similar to what I cook only your broccoli is wonderful. I just use ginger, garlic, soy sauce and then some sweet and sour sauce because I am usually in a hurry by supper time. But it works and is good for the kids to eat no matter if it isn't pizza.

  2. Looks yummy and alot easier than the recipes I have seen.

  3. How lovely to have fresh broccoli this time of year! We can't grow it in the summer, too hot/buggy/humid.

    I am about to plant my broccoli and then will harvest it all winter. What variety to you plant? I like "Di Ciccio" because it keeps putting out so many side shoots, and they just get more and more tender. Last year we ate off the same 4 broccoli plants at least once a week for months and months.

  4. That looks mighty amazing...

  5. Drool.

    I would add hot peppers to it.


  6. WOW sounds great! I will give this one a try.

  7. We buy broccoli from a local farmer and sometimes there are a few too many bugs for my comfort. I didn't know about soaking in salt water. I'll give that a try next time. Thanks!

  8. Hmmm...I've never done that "soak-the-broccoli-in-salt-water-a-few-minutes-to-get-the-bugs-out" thing.

    I always wash it thoroughly, of course, but have never done the pre-soak.

    I wonder how many of those little creepy crawlies I've ingested without knowing it....

    Just Me

  9. I have learned so much from you so I am going to return the favor in a very small way. I see the peeler near the ginger. I find that the best and easiest way to peel ginger is with a spoon. Use the dull edge to gently remove the ginger skin. There is much less waste and the best part is that it is easy peasy!--Jo

  10. If the girls don't want their plates please mail them to me. I'll pay shipping...

  11. Patrice,

    With such a nice broccoli harvest, have you tried making broccoli slaw? My kids are also not huge fans of broccoli, but I found they would happily eat it in the slaw form. They prefer when I make it with Crasins & sunflower seeds.

    Southern Gal

  12. I forgot to mention that I also blanch & freeze broccoli to make into quick cream of broccoli or broccoli & cheese soups for my busy days.

    Southern Gal

  13. Gotta say it: broccoli was one of the very few things about which I agreed with President Bush (41 not 43). UGH!
    Love your blog! Keep up the good work.