beef and broccoli in bowl

Beef and broccoli, if you can believe it, doesn’t have to be an unhealthy dish. As a matter of fact, it can actually be quite healthy, with both beef and broccoli providing their own health benefits. When you order take out, however, you don’t necessarily know what’s going into your food, or just how much excess sugar and fat can pile up in a single dish. Thanks to this delicious beef and broccoli recipe, courtesy of developer Ting Dalton, you can enjoy the classic dish all while knowing that it’s a pretty healthy alternative to take out.

"This is a simple but filling, healthy meal full of staple Chinese flavors," Dalton says. "From the saltiness of the soy, to the aromatic ginger and garlic, this easy beef stir-fry will be a winning any time of the week." The real flavor in beef and broccoli comes from the sauce, and with this recipe, you don’t have to worry about too much butter, oil, or sugar making its way in there — in fact, there’s only a whopping 1 teaspoon of sugar in the sauce! So give your favorite takeout order the night off and opt for this healthy beef and broccoli recipe instead.

Gather the ingredients to make healthy beef and broccoli

ingredients for beef and broccoli

To make this recipe, you’ll of course need both beef and broccoli. For the beef part, Dalton uses flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain. And, for the broccoli part, she simply opts for a head of fresh broccoli, cut into florets and cooked. "To cook the broccoli, just boil [the florets] in water for around 3 to 4 minutes, so they are still firm," Dalton says. You’ll also need both light and dark soy sauce, cornstarch, oyster sauce, a little bit of sugar, Shaoxing wine, water, minced garlic, minced ginger, and just a splash of vegetable oil.

Marinate the beef

raw beef marinating in bowl

To get started on this recipe, you’ll first make a marinade for the beef. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, the oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, ¼ cup of water, and cornstarch. Whisk to combine, then add the beef strips to the bowl. Make sure that each strip is evenly coated in the mixture, and allow them to sit and marinate for at least 20 minutes.

While you are marinating the beef during this step, you’re also velveting it, a special technique that Dalton credits for perfectly tender meat. "Velveting is adding cornstarch, which helps break down the tissues of the meat so it’s tender to eat and not chewy," she explains. She adds that the longer the beef sits in this velveting marinade, the better; "around 30 minutes is a perfect time," Dalton says.

Begin cooking the beef

beef cooking in wok

Once the beef is adequately marinated, you can begin cooking. Into a large wok or skillet, add just a small splash of vegetable oil, then heat it on medium-high. Throw in the beef in a single layer and cook for a minute. Once it begins to brown, you can give the beef a toss and add both the minced garlic and ginger to it.

Add the sauce and broccoli

broccoli in wok

Now it’s time to finish up the sauce. Add the remaining water, light soy sauce, and dark soy sauce into the wok; allow all of the liquid to bubble and thicken. At that point, add in the broccoli, stir everything together, and let the dish simmer for another minute or so.

Serve your healthy beef and broccoli with rice

beef and broccoli with rice

Once the whole dish has had a moment to simmer, you’re ready to serve up this healthy beef and broccoli. "I would suggest serving this with plain boiled rice, egg fried rice, or with some plain noodles," Dalton suggests. Of course, the beef and broccoli would also be delicious on its own, but it’s always helpful to have something starchy to absorb some of that delicious sauce.

If you have leftovers, Dalton notes that you can easily keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days; just reheat them in the microwave. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 2 months.

  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound flank steak, sliced thinly against the grain
  • vegetable oil, for stir-frying
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets and cooked (boiled or steamed)
  • rice or noodles, for serving
  1. In a bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, the oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, ¼ cup of water, and the cornstarch.
  2. Add the beef strips to the marinade and combine well. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.
  3. When you’re ready to stir-fry, heat a splash of vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high. Add the beef strips to the wok in a single layer and cook for around 1 minute, until they begin to brown. At that point, toss the beef for several seconds, then add the ginger and garlic.
  4. Add the remaining water, light soy sauce, and dark soy sauce. Let the mixture bubble.
  5. Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the broccoli. Give everything a good stir and let it simmer for another minute.
  6. Serve hot with rice or noodles, if desired.