Chinese Beef And Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe

Chinese Beef And Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe:- In my world, copycat Chinese takeout foods are a firm favorite. foods such as Chow Mein, Cashew Chicken, Fried Rice, and Egg Foo Young are on heavy rotation, and this Beef and Broccoli recipe is also on heavy rotation. At the beginning of a Chinese dinner, you should begin with an appetiser consisting of potstickers or spring rolls. Plus, don’t forget to try the stir-fried chicken and broccoli!


Chinese Beef And Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe

Beef and broccoli that are tender and juicy, and they are coated in a distinctive sauce-like sauce. When you have a dish for beef and broccoli that takes its inspiration from a Chinese restaurant, there is no need to order takeout.

Close up of Chinese Beef and Broccoli in a skillet.


Beef and broccoli recipe

I’ve attempted on several occasions to wheedle recipes out of my local Chinese restaurant – with little to no success.

I’m beyond the age of hair flipping and lack the lashes for batting my eyes to any effect, but I do dial up the charm – full wattage smile, laying on the compliments, hitting them up after I’ve ordered a truckload of takeout.

Alas, I’ve gotten nowhere.

In light of this, you can imagine how excited I was when I came across a Chinese food blog called Woks of Life, which is managed by a Chinese-American family who had owned a Chinese restaurant. In addition, the Woks of Life Beef and Broccoli stir fry served as the inspiration for this recipe, which was derived from that dish.A recipe for a restaurant that is, in fact, authentic!!


See Also: Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins Recipe


Beef and Broccoli Sauce

The sauce base for Chinese Beef and Broccoli is extremely simple. They key here is the right ratios:

  • soy sauce;
  • Chinese cooking wine OR Mirin (see recipe for subs);
  • sugar;
  • cornflour/cornstarch for thickening; and
  • Chinese Five Spice Powder – a hint of this is the signature flavour in Beef and Broccoli!


What is Chinese Five Spice powder?

Cinnamon, cloves, Szechuan pepper, fennel, and star anise are the five spices that are included in this spice blend, which will definitely come as a surprise to you.It is a popular spice blend that can be bought in stores these days, and it does not cost any more than other regular spices.


Chinese Five Spice Powder


The sauce has a dual purpose: it is the primary sauce for the stir fry, and it also imparts a little bit of flavor directly to the beef. Because it does not require marinating, you can just leave it aside while you prepare the other components of the dish.


Best beef for stir fries

In the video and the photos of the finished dish in this post, I’ve used an economy beef eye fillet (Australia – Harris Farms sells it for $20/kg) which is beautifully juicy and tender, perfect for stir fries.

Any quick cooking cut of beef is suited to this recipe. Basically, the rule of thumb is: if you’d throw it on the BBQ and eat it as a steak, it’s great for stir fries.

But you can also make a Beef and Broccoli dish with inexpensive beef – even stewing cuts (!!) – by employing a little-known Chinese restaurant secret method to temper meat with baking soda. This approach is used to make the beef more soft.Simply said, it is easy to use, it is highly efficient, and it will make your beef extremely soft in every stir fry you prepare – exactly like your favorite Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood!


Beef and Broccoli – not authentic, and that’s ok!

I haven’t travelled extensively throughout China but in the time I did spend there, I can say with certainty that I never saw Beef Broccoli on any menu. Broccoli is actually very expensive in China!

So I’m pretty sure Beef and Broccoli is a westernised version of a Chinese dish, or just a Western Chinese dish.

Either way, it’s a big Chinese takeout favourite – with good reason. Tender beef with juicy broccoli generously smothered with a savoury Chinese brown sauce with the signature hint of Chinese Five Spice Powder, this is one of those dishes that’s a crowd pleaser for all ages!

Try the noodle version one day – Beef Broccoli Noodles. It’s everything you know and love about Beef and Broccoli – with noodles!  – Nagi x

PS Update – also try the new Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry. Extra saucy!



  • 2 tbsp cornstarch / cornflour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (Note 1)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce (Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) (Note 2)
  • 1/8 tsp Chinese five spice powder (Note 3)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp tsp black pepper



  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 12 oz / 360g beef fillet, flank or rump (Note 4 for tenderising option)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 – 5 cups broccoli florets (1 head), cooked (Note 5)
  • 1 cup water



    1. Sesame seeds (optional)


  • Place cornflour and water in bowl then mix. Add remaining Sauce ingredients.
  • Slice the beef into 1/4″ / 0.5cm thick slices. Place the beef and 2 tbsp of the Sauce into a bowl and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add beef and spread out, leave for 1 minute until browned.
  • Stir beef for 10 seconds, then add garlic and ginger. Stir for another 30 seconds or until beef is no longer pink.
  • Pour Sauce and water into the skillet and quickly mix.
  • When the sauce starts bubbling, add broccoli. Stir to coat the broccoli in Sauce, then let it simmer for 1 minute or until Sauce is thickened.
  • Remove from heat immediately and serve over rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.


Recipe Notes:

1. Dark soy sauce makes the sauce colour darker and it has more flavour than light soy sauce.  Can use all-purpose soy sauce or just light soy sauce in place of both the soy sauces but the sauce colour will be lighter. Do not use all dark soy sauce – flavour will be too strong.

2. Chinese cooking wine is an essential ingredient in Chinese stir fry sauces and without it, it will lack that true “restaurant” edge. Dry sherry is a terrific sub, or cooking sake. Mirin can also be used but omit the sugar.

If you cannot consume alcohol, replace 3/4 cup of the water with low sodium chicken broth.

3. Chinese Five Spice Powder is a mix of five spices. It is available in the herb and spice section of supermarkets and it costs no more than other spices.

4. Beef – As with all stir fries, this cooks very quickly so you need to use a decent cut of beef for it. Rump, flank, sirloin, t-bone and scotch fillet are excellent for this recipe.

Slice the beef against the grain. When you look at the beef, you will notice that the fibres are mostly going in one direction. Place the beef in front of you so the fibres are going left to right. Then cut through the fibres i.e. cut perpendicular to the direction of the fibres (see here for illustrative image). Cutting it this way makes the beef more tender!

Slow cooking cuts, like chuck, are not suitable unless you tenderise it (see How to tenderise beef the Chinese restaurant way)

5. If par boiling, place the broccoli into a pot of boiling water, then when it comes back up to a boil, let it boil for 40 seconds (for just cooked) or 1 minute (for tender) then drain. The residual heat will cook the broccoli through while sitting in the colander.

6. Adapted from this recipe from Woks of Life, my “go to” resource for Chinese takeout recipes!

7. Nutrition per serving, excluding rice.

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