If you like Chinese takeout-style beef and broccoli, I think you’ll also really enjoy this spicy, Sichuan version of the dish. Beef with broccoli can sometimes be bland, but not this recipe, which incorporates ingredients like star anise, spicy chili sauce and Sichuan peppercorns to enliven the dish. You can find items like garlic chile oil, rice wine, Sichuan peppercorns and such in most Asian markets like Ocean Mart. This dish cooks very rapidly – in about 5 minutes – so make sure you have all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start to cook.
For the beef and marinade
- ¾ to 1 pound flank steak, sliced thin
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. oyster sauce
For the stir-fry
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced finely
- ½ onion peeled and chopped
- 2-3 whole star anise
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 Tbsp shaoxing rice wine
- 1-2 tsp. spicy chili garlic sauce (depending on how spicy you want it)
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. white pepper
- 1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns crushed in mortar and pestle
- 1 Tbsp chile oil with black beans
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch for cornstarch slurry
- 2 Tbsp water for cornstarch slurry
- In a bowl, add the sliced beef, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, and 3 tablespoons water (if you don’t want your beef tenderized too much, omit the baking soda). Massage the beef with your hands until all the liquid is absorbed. Mix in 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a separate small bowl combine the following Sichuan spice mix items together: garlic chili sauce, soy sauce, sugar, white pepper, Sichuan peppercorns, spicy black bean paste, and set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet and saute onion, ginger root and garlic until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Add the beef and cook, stirring and tossing, until no longer pink.
- Add the star anise, broccoli, shaoxing wine and stir-fry for a minute or so.
- Add the Sichuan spice mixture to the stir fry while stirring continuously. (This is a very quick process – only about 1- 2 minutes as you want the broccoli to be crunchy and bright in color).
- Add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the beef and broccoli and remove from heat.
- Remove and discard the star anise and serve the beef and broccoli with steamed rice.
Photos by Ted Scheffler
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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