Even though I grew up in a very Italian family, when I think about going out to eat or ordering takeout, Italian is usually one of my last choices. Instead, I tend to gravitate more to Asian and Mexican dishes (and pizza, of course). It’s just one of those things – it’s terribly difficult to find really good Italian food that rivals the dishes that used to come out of my grandma’s kitchen. I’m sure that those of other ethnic backgrounds feel the same way when eating out at restaurants. As a result, I’ve been trying my hand at quite a few Asian recipes over the last year or so. Most of my favorites (Sesame Chicken, General Tso’s and Sweet and Sour Chicken) are fried (no wonder they’re so good!); this beef and broccoli recipe is a lighter, healthier alternative that is still packed with great flavor.
I played around with a few different recipes for beef and broccoli before settling on this version. I wanted the broccoli to still be vibrant in color and crisp-tender, as well as a lot of soy and ginger flavors throughout the dish. I was thrilled with the final outcome from both accounts. A quick note on the sauce (which I mention at the bottom of the recipe, as well) – there is definitely enough sauce to coat all of the beef and broccoli, but if you prefer your dishes a little on the “saucy” side, I would definitely double the ingredients for the sauce.
Italian food will always mean comfort to my taste buds, but I love all of the new ethnic dishes that I’ve been experimenting with lately. Do you have a favorite Asian recipe?
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Pour it into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, add the beef, seal the bag and turn it so that all the pieces of the beef are coated in the marinade. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place 1 inch of water in a large sauté pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Drain the broccoli and set aside.
Wipe the pan dry and place it over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the vegetable oil and quickly swirl it to coat the pan. Add the beef in as even a layer as possible, taking care not to overlap the pieces too much. Cook until the edges are browning, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then flip over. Add the garlic and ginger and begin to toss the beef mixture in a "stir-fry" fashion until no pink remains.
Remove the beef from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and add to the pan, whisking and stirring until the sauce has thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add back the beef and broccoli to the pan and stir to coat it with the sauce. Serve immediately over white rice.
There is enough sauce to coat the beef and broccoli, but if you prefer more sauce, definitely double the sauce recipe.