Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

As with any stir fry, this beef and broccoli is quick and easy to make. It's a perfect replacement for take out and will be on the table long before delivery arrives!

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Beef and broccoli stir fry on a bed of rice on a grey plate, with chop sticks, a glass of beer and a bottle of soy sauce.

Easy Beef and Broccoli

Sure, it’s easy to pick up the phone and place an order for some Chinese Beef and Broccoli, but it’s almost just as easy to make it yourself, and you’ll be eating dinner sooner! This meal can truly come together from start to finish in about 20 minutes. It will take longer to make the rice to go alongside, so start on that first.

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Ingredients on a counter - flank steak, red pepper, onion, broccoli, cornstarch and stir fry sauce.

Stir Fry Sauce

If you want to make this recipe even faster, be sure to have some stir fry sauce already on hand. You can purchase bottled stir fry sauce, but homemade stir fry sauce is also easy to make – you just put all the ingredients into a jar and shake it up. You can store stir fry sauce in your refrigerator for up to a week. Make a double batch of stir fry sauce for this recipe, which will leave a little leftover for a quick stir-fried vegetable side dish on another night.

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Hands slicing flank steak into strips on a green cutting mat.

What Beef to Use for Stir Fry

You can use almost any tender cut of beef for stir fry – sirloin, tri-tip, ribeye, tenderloin, but you don’t need expensive beef for a stir fry. Flank steak and skirt steak tend to be less expensive, but are full of flavor. The only challenge is they can be tough, but there’s a secret tenderizing step to this recipe that will give you tender strips of beef no matter what cut you use. Chilled steak is easier to slice than room temperature steak, so cut the beef as soon as you bring it out of the refrigerator, or pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes before slicing.

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Strips of beef in a bowl, tossed in cornstarch slurry, with tongs.

Secret to Tender Stir Fried Beef: Velveting

The secret technique that tenderizes the beef in this beef and broccoli stir fry is called velveting, and it’s a common technique in Chinese cuisine. The pieces of meat are tossed in cornstarch for just a short period of time. Coating the beef in cornstarch and then placing it into hot oil is a game changer when it comes to tender meat in a stir fry. Don’t skip this step! Do this once and you’ll become a believer. Good news is that you can apply the same technique to chicken and pork too.

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Strips of beef in a skillet.

How to Stir Fry

With all your ingredients prepped – your beef, your vegetables and your stir fry sauce – the most important part of stir-frying is to not overcrowd your pan. Cook in batches at a high temperature and then toss everything back together at the end. 

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Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry in a large skillet with tongs and a blue and white striped towel.

How to Serve Beef and Broccoli

I like to serve beef and broccoli over rice, but you could just as easily serve it over noodles or just eat it as is out of a bowl. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and then warmed up in a skillet or sauté pan until steaming and hot again. The broccoli will lose some of its color, but it will taste delicious all the same. Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top and enjoy!

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Hands using chop sticks to pick up a piece of broccoli from a plate of stir fry on rice.

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

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How to Stir Fry

A stir fry is the quintessential quick dinner that can be ready in minutes on any busy weeknight. It's easy...View Technique

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Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 10 m
  • Total Time: 20 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • pounds flank steak or top round sirloin steak sliced into thin, 3-inch long strips
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Vegetable oil
  • ½ onion sliced
  • 1 red pepper cut into strips
  • cups Stir Fry Sauce a double batch
  • 1 head broccoli cut into florets
  • Rice for serving
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a medium glass bowl. Add the sliced flank steak and toss to coat the meat. Let the beef marinade for 15 minutes to tenderize the meat.
  2. Prepare your stir fry sauce while the meat is tenderizing.
  3. Heat a wok or heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Drizzle with a small amount of oil. In two batches, sear the beef quickly on both sides. Do not overcrowd pan. Remove the beef and set aside.
  4. Add the onions to the pan along with some additional oil, if needed. Stir-fry for a few minutes and then add the red peppers. Continue to stir-fry until the onions start to brown and soften. Toss in the broccoli florets and stir fry for another minute. Pour in the stir fry sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and return the beef and its juices to the pan. Stir fry for a 1 to 2 additional minutes to heat the beef through.
  5. Serve immediately over rice or noodles and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
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