Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce for Two

March 4, 2008 · 18 comments · Print This Post

in Beef, Dinner, Pasta / Grains

At Least I Don't Have to Tip Myself

When Chris and I spent a year living in “the burbs” recently one of my favorite places to eat definitely wasn’t fancy, far from it in fact. I really liked to drive over to EO Noodle on Route 9 in Framingham and stuff my face with a huge plate of Beef and Broccoli. Tender beef, crisp broccoli, perfectly steamed rice — who needs decor when your belly is full and the end of meal fortune cookie tells you that “your biggest dream will come true” … in bed (of course).

So I decided to attempt to recreate one of my favorite guilty pleasure meals at home. Like most Cooks Illustrated recipes it was more of a marathon than a sprint. I banged around in the kitchen for quite a while before I finally served up two dishes of food and promptly collapsed on the couch. It tasted good, but not EO Noodle “good.” On the upside I did get to use the super cute Chopsticks for Kids that Chris bought me last Christmas.

Beef and Broccoli: The Marathon

Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce for Two
(Reprinted with permission. Originally published in the April 12, 2007 edition of Cooks Illustrated)

1/2 pound flank steak, cut into 2-inch-wide strips with the grain, then sliced across the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
2/3 pound broccoli, florets cut into bite-size pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut on diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons water
1/2 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 medium scallions, sliced 1/2-inch thick on diagonal
Note: I also cooked white rice to serve with the dish

Combine beef and soy sauce in medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring once. Meanwhile, whisk sherry, chicken broth, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in measuring cup. Combine garlic, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon peanut oil in small bowl.

Drain beef and discard liquid. Heat 2 teaspoons peanut oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add beef to skillet and break up clumps; cook, without stirring, for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned around edges, about 30 seconds. Transfer beef to medium bowl.

Add 2 teaspoons peanut oil to now-empty skillet; heat until just smoking. Add broccoli and cook 30 seconds; add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes; transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil to skillet; increase heat to high and heat until just smoking. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until spotty brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Clear center of skillet; add garlic and ginger to clearing and cook, mashing mixture with spoon, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds, then stir mixture into peppers. Return beef and broccoli to skillet and toss to combine. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with scallions, and serve.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to the online version of Cooks Illustrated. The complete recipe for Beef and Broccoli is available only to paid users of the site and includes step-by-step illustrations and countless additional helpful tips.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kevin March 4, 2008 at 7:54 pm

That looks good! It has been a while since I have done a beef and broccoli stir fry. Now I am looking forward to making it again.


2 Elle March 4, 2008 at 9:04 pm

That looks fantastic! And I adore your chopsticks–I totally need those. I’m not good at all with “grown up” chopsticks, hehe.


3 rachel March 4, 2008 at 9:24 pm

This looks fabulous!


4 robin March 4, 2008 at 9:34 pm

This looks yummy and your chopsticks are adorable! You probably need more than a few tablespoons of oil for EO-good beef and broccoli, but at least you don’t have to feel guilty about what you’re eating!


5 Donald March 5, 2008 at 4:09 am

Nicely done Erin.

What do you think was missing so it wasn’t EO good? Whenever I cook beef using the flash method, it ends up being to tough for my taste. Do you think the soy soak for the beef made it tender?

I may give this one a try.


6 Chuck March 5, 2008 at 4:36 am

Very nice! The chopsticks for kids are awesome. They completely crack me up. I love Cook’s Illustrated, but you’re right, it is a marathon most of the time.


7 Deborah March 5, 2008 at 7:17 am

I have thought about subscribing online,but never have. I should really check it out now!


8 Erin March 5, 2008 at 7:36 am

Kevin & Rachel – Thank you!

Donald – The soy marinade definitely tenderized the meat. I think it wasn’t “EO Noodle” good mostly due to the lack of oil (just like Robin mentioned above). All of those dishes we love so much in Chinese restaurants are cooked in oodles of oil.

Elle – You know what, using those kiddie chopsticks is harder than using the real thing 🙂

Chuck – So glad you liked the chopsticks too! CI definitely exhausts me, but I feel like I’m the “Super Woman” of the kitchen once I’m through.

Deborah – I think you should give it a try! It’s a great way to cut down on unwieldy magazine clutter too.


9 Allen March 5, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I would gladly buy my take-out from your house! Your beef and broccoli looks great, and how can anyone not love those chopsticks 🙂


10 Erin March 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Well in that case Allen, I would actually expect to be tipped 🙂


11 FlaNboyantEats March 6, 2008 at 8:52 am

oh i just love the sticks! how cute. the dish looks soo “scrumptious”!


12 White On Rice Couple March 6, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Oh look at those cuuute chopsticks!! We want those to give out for Christmas!!
Love the tons of broccoli you put here!


13 kat March 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm

i like to prepare this meal (i do it at home as well) with chinese broccoli.


14 Erin March 6, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Beef and Broccoli is one of our favorites from our local take out place! This looks amazing!

And those chopsticks are adorable!!


15 michelle @ thursday night smackdown March 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm

i need those chopsticks! i’m a spazz and a half when it comes to those things. it’s embarrassing (and possibly illegal) to have to eat sushi with a fork!


16 Aaron R March 11, 2008 at 9:16 pm

I ran across your recipe on Taste Spotting (
I made this recipe for my wife and I tonight and I have to say it’s better than any Chinese restaurant around here could’ve made. Thanks for the great recipe and I’ve already told others about your site and your recipe!


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