Beef and Broccoli

Ditch the takeaway and whip up this Chinese-American classic. Bursting with delicious flavours, tender beef and crisp broccoli, this saucy stir-fry is sure to be a hit with friends and family! Serve with steamed rice or, for a low carb option, try cauliflower rice.

The secret to making a Chinese restaurant-style stir-fry at home is velveting. Velveting is a technique used in Chinese cooking to tenderise meat. There are different variations. The method I’ve used in this recipe consists of tossing the beef in baking soda and letting it sit for 30 minutes. It makes the beef incredibly tender, just like it is in your favourite Chinese takeaway. It’s a game changer!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Meat


For the beef:
  • 600 g skirt steak (or fillet or rump)
  • 2 tsps bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
For the sauce:
  •  tbsps corn flour (cornstarch)
  • 6 tbsps water
  • 2 tbsps light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsps Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsps garlic paste
  • 2 tsps ginger paste
  • 2 tsps sugar
For the stir-fry:
  • 500 g broccoli florets
  • vegetable oil
  • 400 ml water


  1. Slice the beef into ½ cm-thick slices. Place the beef slices in a bowl. Add the bicarbonate of soda and toss to coat. Let sit 30 minutes. This technique is called velveting – it tenderises the beef, giving it the soft, velvety texture you find in many Chinese restaurant stir-fry dishes.
  2. While the beef is velveting, make the sauce: place the corn flour in a bowl. Add the water and mix until smooth. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Use the remaining velveting time to blanch the broccoli florets: bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the broccoli. When the water comes back up to a boil, cook for 1 minute then drain. The residual heat will continue to cook the broccoli while it sits in the sieve.
  4. Rinse the beef and pat dry with kitchen towel. You’ll notice that it’s now a vibrant reddish colour – don’t be alarmed, this should happen.
  5. Now it’s time to get stir-frying. Heat a splash of vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok over high heat.
  6. Add the beef and spread out in a single layer. Leave it undisturbed for 1 minute, to get some browning, then stir-fry until no longer pink.
  7. Give the sauce a quick whisk to re-incorporate the corn flour. Add the sauce and water and stir to combine.
  8. When the sauce starts bubbling, add the drained broccoli and stir to coat. Simmer for 1 minute, or until the sauce is thickened. Taste and season with salt, if necessary.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat. Serve with steamed rice or, for a low carb option, try cauliflower rice.

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