Sunday, April 11, 2010

Beef & Broccoli

One important ingredient I've learned to always have in the kitchen is soy sauce. Growing up, my mom could make something spectacular with soy sauce incorporated in the dish and it's definitely a staple in our pantry today. One such dish is Beef & Broccoli, that has both sweet and salty notes.

When it comes to Asian dishes, it's easy for me to whip something up since it's a cuisine I learned to cook early on and one I grew up eating. In fact, I find cooking Asian dishes to be easier than recipes of other cultures because many of the ingredients used in Asian cuisine are used similarly in so many recipes. Soy sauce is pretty much a standard in any Asian pantry and in my Beef & Broccoli, it's used to marinate the beef to impart some depth of flavor.

Believe it or not, this recipe consists of only a few ingredients, many of which are staples in any kitchen. The only item that may not be in your pantry is oyster sauce, but it can be found at many general supermarkets these days. Another reason why I like this dish is that it can be prepared in advance. The beef is marinated in a mixture of sugar and soy sauce (for the sweet and salty flavor) overnight. When you're ready to cook the dish, just saute the marinated beef with the remaining ingredients and serve of your choice of rice or noodles. I found this dish is a great way to get your family to eat some vegetables too!

You're welcome to use low sodium soy sauce if you're mindful of sodium content. If it's too bland, you can always add more salt... versus having to deal with it being too salty! I've found the brown sugar really cuts the saltiness.

Beef & Broccoli
original Joelen recipe

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce (regular or low sodium)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb boneless round steak, cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
salt & pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine the sugar, soy sauce, water, garlic powder, and beef. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

When ready to prepare, warm up a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil to heat up. Once hot, saute the garlic and onion until softened.

Add the marinated beef and marinade to the skillet. Saute the beef until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the water, oyster sauce and broccoli florets. Let it come to a boil and allow the liquid to reduce and the broccoli cooks from the steam.

When the liquid has reduced almost completely, season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve over steamed rice or noodles.