Recipe of the week: Chinese-American Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

Sunday dinners are a big deal in our family and I usually go all out with them. We usually have chicken/ham with potatoes, a salad, rolls and some sort of veggies. But today, a friend of mine offered to take my 2 older kids (B and Z) to a splash pad with her two children (they are very good friends with them). So, BK and I decided that we would do Chinese. B and Z can’t stand homemade Chinese (but love takeout…go figure) and R is going through a super picky 2-year-old phase (she only eats chicken nuggets….sigh), so I figured that this would be the best time to make this recipe.

Chinese-American Broccoli with Oyster Sauce (please note that any commentary/changes that I have done will be written in black font)

Prep time: 3 hours 20 mins (I am including the time for the marinade that is given in the recipe. Be warned, though, this is a guesstimate).

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 3 hours 30 mins

Serves: 4


1 lb flank steak, skirt steak, hanger steak or flap meat, cut into 1/4 inch thick strips (I don’t remember the name of the steak I used, brain fart time,  but I do remember that it could be used in burritos and was very thin. It wasn’t any of the above steaks though.)

1/4 cup soy sauce (divided)

1/4 cup xiaoshing wine or dry sherry (divided) (I didn’t use either wines but I substituted. I used 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (listened to BK on that, I wanted to use distilled white but he said that apple cider would be better…pfft), 1 tbsp sugar and 1/4 cup water, mixed)

2 tsp cornstarch

1/3 cup low sodium homemade or store-bought chicken stock (I used the chicken bullion cubes since I had a ton of them hanging around)

1/4 cup oyster sauce (FYI: Oyster sauce is like ketchup coming out of a glass bottle. Be a little patient with it or it will coming flying out and splatter everywhere. Found that out the hard way)

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp sesame seed oil (So I had to google this because when I went to make the recipe, I didn’t have sesame seed oil. Any light oil will work. I ended up using EVOO.)

2 medium cloves garlic,finely minced (about 2 tsp) (I used garlic out of the jar and it’s the same measurement)

2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger

3 scallions, white finely sliced, greens cut into 1/2 inch segments, reserved separately (used small glass ramekins for that purpose. Love those!!!)

4 tbsp vegetable oil, peanut or canola oil (I used vegetable oil)

1 lbs broccoli florets (about 1 1/2 quarts) (We didn’t have fresh broccoli, so I used frozen. I just let it defrost a little on a paper towel before using)

How to make:

  1. Combine beef, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp xiaoshing wine in a bowl and toss to coat. Place in the fridge and let marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature and up to 3 hours (So I used the substitution stated above and then I let it marinate overnight. Yes, overnight. The meat was delicious (I had a bite when stir frying) but you could taste the apple cider vinegar. So for the future, I would use the wine or the sherry and only marinate to what it says in the recipe).
  2. Meanwhile, combine remaining soy sauce with cornstarch with a fork to form a slurry. Add remaining xiaoshing wine, chicken stock, oyster sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Set aside. Combine garlic, ginger and scallion whites in a bowl and set aside. (Because I marinated overnight, I just remade the substitution and took out 1 tbsp (same with the soy sauce, poured the 1/4 cup and then took out 1 tbsp).  I did have to look up and see what a slurry was. I had never heard that term before. Put it this way, it looked like a root beer slushie).
  3.  To Grill With a Wok Insert: Light one chimney of charcoal (. When all the charcoal  is lit and covered with gray ash, our out and arrange the coals in a pile on the center of cooking grate. Place Weber 8835 Gourmet BBQ System Hinged Cooking Grate on grill and set wok in center. Add oil and heat until smoking. Add beef and cook, stirring and tossing until beef is lightly charred but still pink in spots, about 1 minute. Push beef to sides of wok to clear space in center. Add broccoli and cook, stirring in center until lightly charred, about 30 seconds. Toss with beef and push up sides of wok. Add garlic/ginger/scallion mixture to center of wok and immediately push ingredients into center, tossing and stirring until beef is cooked through and broccoli is just barely tender but still crunchy, about 30 seconds longer. Stir sauce and pour into wok (it should immediately start to boil). Add scallion greens. Toss all ingredients to coat in sauce and cook until lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and serve. (Now I didn’t do this but I thought it was a great idea!!!)
  4.  To Cook On A Burner: When ready to cook, heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok over high heat until smoking (good idea to turn off smoke alarms first!!). Add half off beef and cook without moving until well seared, about 1 minute. Continue cooking while stirring and tossing until lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with 1 more tbsp of oil and remaining beef, adding beef to same bowl. Wipe out wok. Repeat with 1 more tbsp oil and half of broccoli. Transfer to bowl with beef. Repeat with remaining oil and remaining broccoli. Return wok to high heat until smoking. Return beef and broccoli to wok and add garlic/ginger/scallion mixture. Cook, tossing and stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sauce and scallion greens and cook, tossing and stirring constantly until lightly thickened, about 45 seconds longer. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and serve. (Serious Eats). (I did not use a wok, we actually don’t have one. Instead, I used a large, seasoned cast iron pan and it seemed to work just as well as a wok.)

How many stars will I give Chinese-American Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce? 4

Why? This is a dish that is packed with taste and protein. I am a big fan of Chinese (as I said above) and this dish nailed it. We served it over white rice and had egg rolls and pot stickers on the side.

How did the kids and the man like it? B and Z didn’t eat it. R had a bite of the rice and then demanded chicken nuggets. BK really liked it but we both agreed that the apple cider vinegar should NOT have been used.

Is it a keeper? Yes

Experience level?  Intermediate/Advanced

Where to find this recipe? Serious Eats

Next recipe:

Cheesecake Swirled Carrot Bundt Cake






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