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Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry

Adapted from The Make-Ahead Cook, America's Test Kitchen
2 servings
Prep info
45 min prep + 15 min cook
Prep time
45 minutes
Cook time
15 minutes
Time required
1 hour
Oven preheat
Mains - Beef


  • Sauce:
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 c water
  • 40 mL reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 75 g hoisin sauce
  • Lot 2:
  • 1 t canola oil
  • 1 T grated ginger (fresh; 15mL)
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 t crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Meat:
  • 1/2 T canola oil
  • 300 g sandwich steak (divided)
  • 1/2 T canola oil
  • Veggies:
  • 2 t canola oil
  • 220 g broccoli florets (cut into 1" pieces)
  • 70 g carrots
  • 35 g thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 c water
  • Garnish:
  • 1 t sesame seeds (toasted)


1. Place plates in oven at 200F to warm up.

2. Mix sauce ingredients (cornstarch, 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, and hoisin) together in bowl; set aside.

3. Combine Lot 2 (1 tsp oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes) in small bowl; set aside.

4. Cook the Meat. Heat 1/2 Tbsp oil in 12" nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of the beef, breaking up any clumps, and cook without stirring for 1 minute. Stir beef and continue to cook until beef is browned, about 30 seconds; transfer to separate bowl. Repeat with 1/2 Tbsp oil and remaining beef; add to bowl.

5. Cook the Vegetables. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in now-empty skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli, carrots, and onion; cook for 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/4 cup water, cover skillet, and lower heat to medium. Steam vegetables until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of skillet. Add Lot 2 (ginger-garlic mixture) to center of skillet and cook, mashing mixture into skillet, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Stir mixture into vegetables.

6. Add Sauce and combine everything. Return beef with any accumulated juices to skillet and stir to combine. Mix sauce to recombine, then add to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds.

7. Plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.


Note - Meat: Instead of sandwich steak, the original called for flank steak, trimmed and sliced thin across the grain.  To make slicing easier, freeze it for 20 minutes first (or only partially thaw it).

Note: When toasting the sesame seeds, be sure to shake the pan frequently to prevent them from burning.

Note from source: Why This Recipe Works: The key to stir-frying is ensuring that the pan is hot enough to sear the meat, deepen the flavors, and evaporate the excess liquid, all in a matter of minutes. We wanted to take advantage of this technique to make a flavorful beef and broccoli stir-fry. Because a stir-fry comes together so quickly, it was critical to get all the ingredients organized ahead of time. Slicing the steak very thin ensured that it was in and out of the skillet quickly, reducing the risk of overcooking. A simple combination of hoisin sauce, water, and soy sauce flavored with sauteed ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes gave our stir-fry bold flavor without making our ingredient list too long.

SJ Note 27 Jan 2015: Pretty tasty. Needs more sauce, so I've doubled that.  I didn't up the ginger or garlic; may revisit that after the next try. We halved the whole thing, and it made 2.5 servings, and the leftovers kept pretty well for lunch, so I've left it as 4 servings and it can make lunches in the future.

SJ Note 22 Dec 2019: Rewritten for clarity. Good amount of sauce now. Need to watch the sodium in this.