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overhead shot showing a blue bowl filled with Chinese beef and broccoli stir fry. A spray of scallions in the center to garnish

Chinese Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


An excellent recipe for homemade Chinese Beef and Broccoli.

Adapted from a recipe in The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking by Barbara Tropp


Units Scale
  • 1 pound beef round steak or flank steak, sliced lengthwise into 2 1/2 inch wide pieces and then crosswise (against the grain) into 1/8 inch thick slices. Try freezing the beef for an hour or two to firm it up for easier slicing.
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce, divided (available gluten-free)
  • 5 teaspoon brown sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 5-7 tablespoon peanut oil, canola or corn oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (available gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese or Japanese sesame oil
  • 8 cups bite-sized broccoli florets (from 2 crowns)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Chinese Rice Wine (or substitute dry sherry)
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 small onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons finely minced ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 large cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  1. In a small bowl, whisk marinade ingredients to combine: soy sauce (2 tablespoons), brown sugar (1 tablespoon), cornstarch 4 teaspoons), and peanut oil (1 tablespoon). Put beef and marinade into a plastic bag. Massage the meat, through the bag, to coat it with marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag, leave to marinate for 30 minutes at room temp or up to 24 hours in the fridge. Bring to room temp. before using.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients: rice wine or sherry (2 tablespoons), brown sugar (4 teaspoons), soy sauce (4 teaspoons), hoisin sauce (1 tablespoon) and sesame oil (1 teaspoon).
  3. Heat a wok (or large heavy skillet) over high heat until hot enough to instantly evaporate a drop of water. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the wok and swirl to coat. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for a minute, tossing constantly. Sprinkle broccoli with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Toss well, to coat. Add the rice wine (4 teaspoons). After it hisses, give everything a good stir. Add water (5 tablespoons) and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the wok and let the broccoli steam for 3-4 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl and and wipe out the wok.
  4. Return wok to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat. Reduce heat to medium high. Add the onion and stir fry for a minute. Add ginger (4 teaspoons), garlic (1 tablespoons) and red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon). Stir fry for about 10 seconds, until aromatic. Add the beef and stir fry actively until 90 percent of the pink color is gone, adding more oil, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Give the sauce a stir and pour it into the wok. Toss the beef to coat  it with sauce. Return the broccoli to the wok and cook, tossing, until the beef is fully cooked and everything is heated through. Transfer the stir-fry to a large platter and serve hot, with white rice, if you like.


Make ahead strategies: 

  • The broccoli can be cut into florets, wrapped in a damp paper towel, stuffed into a ziplock baggy and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  • The beef can be sliced and marinated up to 24 hours ahead. Bring to room temperature before using.

[This post first appeared on Panning The Globe in February 2015. It was updated in May 2020 with added nutritional information, a few new photos, clarifying details in the written post and clearer instructions in the recipe.]

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: stir fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: Chinese beef and broccoli stir fry