At least once a week, Zach craves Chinese take-out. And who would blame him? Chinese food has become almost a comfort food for Americans. His go-to order: beef and broccoli. My go-to order: anything but beef and broccoli, which I always end up not liking as much as his, so I end up eating a lot of his. I am sure it is annoying for him, but marriage is, after all, about sacrifice.
So when I picked up an issue of Cooking Light in the airport on the way back from Texas, and I came across a beef and broccoli recipe, I got super excited to make a homemade version for my take-out craving husband and make up for the fact that I always eat way too much of his whenever we get Chinese!
And, um, this was AMAZING. Seriously, way better than take-out. And so much more incredibly healthy. Cooking at home is cheaper and healthier than takeout, always. Even if you cook something that has 3 sticks of butter in it, you are aware that it has 3 sticks of butter in it, and moderate your intake of said butter accordingly. You can control the salt you add, and make modifications within your control to make a real-food friendly dish.
In this case, I modified the original recipe from Cooking Light by substituting white rice for brown, peanut oil for olive oil, and I used more broccoli and less beef than the recipe called for. I also made double the amount of sauce, because… well, sauce is amazing, and I didn’t want the rice to be lonely.
So here you are… a 100% real (with the exception of a little cornstarch as a thickening agent, which can be easily left out) version of the Chinese staple beef with broccoli! The most excellent thing about this recipe: the five-spice powder. It is a great flavor combination that you can most likely find at your grocery store. If you can’t find it, here’s how to make it yourself, or you can buy it on Amazon.
The spice combo pairs so well with the zing and sweetness of orange juice and zest, and it has a hefty bite to it from the crushed red pepper.
I’m definitely making this again- this one’s a keeper. Maybe next week. Or tomorrow. We’ll see!
|Five-Spice Orange Beef and Broccoli|| |
- 1 lb. shaved steak (or flank / other cut of steak, sliced thinly)
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups small broccoli florets
- 2 small onions (or 1 large onion) thinly sliced
- zest of one orange
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup beef stock (or chicken/vegetable stock)
- juice of one orange
- ⅓ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup dry)
- ½ cup sliced green onions
- Cook rice according to directions, if not already cooked.
- Heat a large skillet or wok with 2 tablespoons olive oil; add beef.
- Season with five-spice powder and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until cooked. Transfer to plate.
- Into the skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil on high heat. Add broccoli, orange zest, and onions. Saute until slightly browned and tender; about 2 minutes. Add garlic; saute until tender, about 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine stock, orange juice, hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and sesame seeds in a small bowl or pyrex measuring cup. Add to skillet; saute for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
- Add beef back to skillet; heat through (approximately 1 minute).
- Spoon some rice in a bowl and serve beef on top of rice. Garnish with chopped green onions.