5-Spice Beef And Broccoli Recipe

Beef and broccoli is an ever-popular Chinese take-out order. If you've ever enjoyed the dish yourself, then you can attest to its worldwide acclaim. Of course, beef and broccoli isn't a dish limited to take-out or dining out, and it's pretty easy to whip up a batch right at home. This recipe, brought to us by developer Julianne De Witt, incorporates the classic flavors we know and love from beef and broccoli with another Chinese cooking staple: five-spice powder. 

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"Although recipes can vary, Chinese five-spice powder usually contains star anise, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon," De Witt explains. "It's used in Chinese and Taiwanese cooking. and legend has it that this blend was invented to encompass all five tastes — sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy." Such a spice blend lends itself well to beef and broccoli, which certainly packs a savory punch on its own but otherwise consists of two, blank-slate ingredients just begging for some pizzazz. Like most types of stir-fry, this recipe will come together quickly in a wok over high heat, so you can have dinner ready to go in less time than it would take to place and pick up a take-out order.

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Gather the ingredients for 5-spice beef and broccoli

Beef is one of the main components of this dish, and while the type you use can vary, De Witt opts for flank steak in particular. "I like to use flank steak in stir-fry because it has a rich, meaty flavor and works well when marinated," she explains, though she notes that "chuck and top sirloin steak make good substitutes for flank steak." Other ingredient necessities include broccoli florets, baking soda, salt, pepper, corn starch, five-spice powder, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce. When it comes time to stir-fry everything, you'll also need some canola oil, garlic, ginger, and diced scallions.

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Step 1: Slice the steak

Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the flank steak against the grain.

Step 2: Halve the steak slices

Slice the steak pieces in half widthwise to make strips 2–3 inches in length.

Step 3: Transfer to a bowl

Add the steak to a medium-sized bowl.

Step 4: Marinate the meat

Add salt, pepper, and baking soda to the steak. Using tongs, massage the marinade into the meat. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Add sauce ingredients to a bowl

Add corn starch, 5-spice powder, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce to a small bowl.

Step 6: Whisk

Whisk to combine and set aside.

Step 7: Heat up the wok

Add oil to a wok and place over high heat.

Step 8: Sear the beef

Sear the beef in batches on both sides until browned, adding more oil as needed. Set the beef aside.

Step 9: Saute garlic and ginger

Reduce the heat to medium. Add garlic and ginger to the wok and fry until golden.

Step 10: Add the sauce

Add the 5-spice sauce to the wok.

Step 11: Build the dish

Add beef, broccoli, and scallions to the wok and stir. Add water, if necessary, to thin the sauce.

Step 12: Cook the beef and broccoli

Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender and crisp.

Step 13: Serve

Serve with steamed rice, if desired.

What are some tips for cooking perfect beef and broccoli?

Though beef and broccoli is a pretty straightforward dish to make, there are some problems you might run into along the way — you overcook the beef, the broccoli gets too mushy, and so forth. Luckily, De Witt has some tips to ensure that the recipe turns out perfect each and every time. First, you want to make sure that you're handling the flank steak correctly. "Cut the beef into ¼-inch slices across the grain, then slice each piece in half so that the slices aren't too long (2–3 inches)," De Witt says. "Make sure to use a sharp knife. You can also put the steak in the freezer for 15 minutes — that can make it easier to cut." 

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Next, you want to be careful when cooking the meat, too. "When searing the meat, it's essential to have your wok or fry pan very hot — almost smoking," says De Witt. "Dividing the meat into 3 or 4 batches will ensure that the meat gets evenly seared. If you add too much meat at once, the meat will steam rather than sear." Keep in mind that, as your slices of flank steak are nice and thin, and they won't take all too long to cook — hot and fast is the way to do it!

How should you serve this 5-spice beef and broccoli?

Consisting of both meat and a vegetable and coated in a flavor-abundant sauce, you can easily enjoy this five-spice beef and broccoli all on its own — no extra side dishes or sauce drizzling required. Of course, there's no harm in rounding out your meal with something starchy. "Serve this with steamed brown or white rice, or on its own if you are looking for a lower-carb meal," De Witt says.

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As for when you should serve this dish, there's not a wrong answer to that question. Due to the quick and easy-to-make nature of the recipe, however, you might want to keep it in your back pocket for those hectic weeknights. "This is an easy recipe that can be put together quickly, making it a healthy dinner perfect for a busy weeknight," says De Witt. And, in case all of the beef and broccoli doesn't make it onto your plate right away, you can easily enjoy round two the next day — or perhaps even next month. De Witt says, "This dish will last for 3 days in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer — just make sure to cool it completely before storing."

5-Spice Beef And Broccoli Recipe

4.9 (14 ratings)

Give a homemade, zingy update to a take-out classic when you make this beef and broccoli, where Chinese 5-spice marinates the tender beef and vegetables.

Prep Time
35
minutes
Cook Time
8
minutes
servings
4
servings
two bowls of beef and broccoli
Total time: 43 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the marinade
  • 1 pound flank steak
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • For the sauce
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • For the stir-fry
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • ⅓ cup diced scallions

Optional Ingredients

  • Steamed rice, for serving

Directions

  1. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the flank steak against the grain.
  2. Slice the steak pieces in half widthwise to make strips 2–3 inches in length.
  3. Add the steak to a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and baking soda to the steak. Using tongs, massage the marinade into the meat. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  5. Add corn starch, 5-spice powder, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce to a small bowl.
  6. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  7. Add the canola oil to a wok and place over high heat.
  8. Sear the beef in batches on both sides until browned, adding more oil as needed. Set the beef aside.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium. Add garlic and ginger to the wok and fry until golden.
  10. Add the 5-spice sauce to the wok.
  11. Add beef, broccoli, and scallions to the wok and stir. Add water, if necessary, to thin the sauce.
  12. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender and crisp.
  13. Serve with steamed rice, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 342
Total Fat 20.5 g
Saturated Fat 5.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 77.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
Total Sugars 3.8 g
Sodium 1,170.6 mg
Protein 28.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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