There’s something about good Chinese takeout beef and broccoli. I never really think about it and suddenly it’s there. I can taste that slightly spicy and velvety, finely-sliced beef and the crisp, crunchy broccoli with a hint of ginger maybe. Followed by satisfying, sticky rice to cleanse the palate.
Wait, I didn’t actually just eat Chinese takeout…my senses tricked me into believing that, and now I want some! But here’s the problem: the closest Chinese restaurant that delivers to where we live is 30 minutes away. That means from order to delivery, it’s an agonizing 45 to 60 minutes. No way. Way too long. Cravings have to be satisfied quickly, that’s why they’re called cravings.
If you’ve followed my Essential Pantry series so far (Part 3 to come soon), then you’re only 30 minutes away from satisfying your craving! Actually, your nose will be rewarded in only 10 minutes, when the meat meets the oil. A couple of the ingredients I use in this dish will be covered in the Extended Pantry series. So stay tuned.
I was planning to make, refine, and publish this dish after having finished both Pantry series, but a craving is a craving, so I made it last night.
A Meat, a Vegetable, Rice, and Sauce
I chose one of my favorite cuts of beef for stir frying, grilling chimichurri steak, or other quick, high-heat cooking: Hanger steak. Incredibly flavorful and incredibly nicely priced. It’s an underrated steak that restaurants don’t always serve. Ask a butcher what cut he/she is taking home at the end of day and the chances are they’ll say: Hanger steak. It’s not a coincidence that hanger steak is also called butcher’s steak. Butchers often keep it for themselves rather than offer it for sale. A hanger steak is a cut from the diaphragm in the lower belly. It typically weighs from 1 to 1-1/2 pounds. If you can’t find it in your store, a flank or skirt steak will be a good substitute.
When the craving hit me the other day, I didn’t have any broccoli (fresh or frozen) but I did have a bunch of asparagus that I kept in the fridge, standing up in a glass of water, staying fresh for the last 3 days.
Whatever you like. I used my go-to long grain rice. If I start with heating up the water for the rice first and then simmer the rice for about 20-25 minutes, the meat/vegetable part will be ready in time.
This is were the “Chinese” part comes in. As we don’t use salt and pepper in this recipe, we have to create a lot of flavor by using other ingredients. One of my favorite sauces for these kinds of dishes is oyster sauce (I’ll cover that in more detail in the Expanded Pantry series), as well as Sambal oelek, a Thai chili sauce.
I would normally use my wok for a stir fry, but I wanted to make sure it also works in a Lodge frying pan. And it sure did. I just had to stir fry the beef in two batches, so the pan wasn’t overcrowded & I could still get a nice sear on the meat.
Serve with your favorite grain, garnish, and herbs, and enjoy!
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Chinese Beef & Broccoli: Delivery Made at Home and Ready Before the Doorbell Rings
- 1 lb hanger steak, thinly sliced against the grain
- 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 c peanut oil (or any neutral oil with a high smoking point)
- 12 oz chopped broccoli (or chopped green asparagus)
- 6 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 c oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sambal oelek (or your favorite chili sauce)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger (optional)
- 2 c rice
- Thinly slice beef against the grain and mix in a bowl with rice wine vinegar and 2 Tbsp soy sauce. Mix the remaining soy sauce with the oyster sauce and set aside.
- Start cooking rice according to package instructions.
- Bring peanut oil to a simmer over high heat and add the beef. Stir fry until browned, about 2 minutes. If using a smaller pan, stir fry the beef in two batches, using half the oils each time.
- Set the beef aside and clean out your pan with some paper towels.
- Bring 1 Tbsp oil to nearly smoking (high heat, but no smoke) and stir fry your vegetable for 2 minutes, until slightly charred. Add 2 Tbsp water and let the vegetables steam for 3 minutes.
- Return the beef to the pan and add the sauce. Stir everything together until nice and smooth, for less than a minute. Add the butter, and within less then another minute, you’re done.
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