My Mom's Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

By Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
August 29, 2016
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Author Notes: The velvety strips of marinated beef stir fried with tender-crisp broccoli in a flavorful brown sauce are perfect served over steamed white rice.

The best part is the marinade, which ends up becoming the sauce after it's stir-fried with the beef. It's already quite fragrant due to the soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil, but my mom adds a secret ingredient that really brings it over the top: cinnamon! Such a tiny amount is added that you can't really taste it, but the aromatic spice somehow boosts all the other flavors in the sauce in a way you wouldn't expect.
Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy

Serves: 4
Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 15 min

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound flank or sirloin steak, sliced thinly against the grain
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, minced garlic, and cinnamon. Toss with the sliced steak and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high and add the broccoli florets. Season with salt and stir-fry until bright green. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Steam until the broccoli is cooked through but still crisp and not mushy. Transfer the broccoli to a bowl, and wipe down the pan.
  3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and heat on high again. Add the steak and marinade to the pan. Rinse out the container that the beef was in with 1/2 cup water and add that liquid to the pan. Stir-fry until the beef is just done and no longer red. Add the broccoli back into the pan and continue to stir fry for another minute or two to combine. Serve hot, over steamed rice if desired.

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