Which vegetable do you recall when you think about healthy eating? We can bet that you think about juicy yet specific broccoli. This veggie became an iconic part of most dietary menus yet not everyone loves it in its natural form. Not tasty, not rich in flavor, annoying – that’s only a part of the impressions broccoli haters give it. Yet, we can say for sure that you may change your point of view against broccoli when you taste a single bite of beef & broccoli.

Let’s discover that classy US dish and consider how to cook it with ease.

Enclosing the Roots: The Original Recipe That Transformed Into American Classics

The first thing to consider is what beef & broccoli. That’s a mix of sliced beef steak and broccoli florets seasoned with rich-in-taste spices and sauces. The roots of this dish come from the Chinese stir-fry tradition, which helps to save tastes and flavors along with healthy features of the product with the help of rapid high-temperature frying of ingredients in vegetable oils in a special pan called a wok.

In its origin, beef & broccoli occurred in China long before the XIX century when it was brought to America.

Chinese cooking traditions used the stir-fry technique to create nutritious meals which were rich in protein, vitamins, and microelements. The principles of stir-fry were simple and remain the same until nowadays:

  • Combine protein sources and vegetables
  • Cut all the ingredients into similar in size pieces
  • Fry them in a wok using vegetable oils that have high smoking points
  • Add some fermented sauces and seasoning.

That’s what was the basis for what we now know as beef and broccoli. Yet, the difference was in one of the main ingredients. Instead of broccoli which was not ubiquitous to Chinese cuisine, in its origin that meal was cooked using Gai lan, a special kind of leafy cabbage with juicy large leaves and an intense taste with a bit of bitterness which is quite similar to the taste of broccoli.

Due to the ease of cooking and high nutritional value, Chinese immigrants brought the recipe with them to America, and in the XIX century, the dish became a real bombshell! With time, it came from the Chinese bistros’ and restaurants’ kitchens, and it got a new breath in the kitchens of another huge diaspora of the US. It was adopted by American Italians and transformed into what is known today as beef and broccoli.

Why broccoli, you may ask? Original Chinese kale was a seasonal product which was not endemic to the US, yet broccoli, which was developed over 26 centuries ago in the Mediterranean region, was suited to substitute it tip-top. In 1926, when the first package of broccoli was launched at the port of the East Coast, it conquered the hearts and the stomachs of Americans.

So, it became a perfect match for beef slices in the beef & broccoli dish.

Beef and Broccoli

The Secrets of Success: How to Cook Beef & Broccoli?

Since the inception of the XXI century, beef and broccoli have become synonyms for healthy eating. It became a real must-try for people who want to eat healthy. Besides, it is quite an easy-peasy thing to cook. What do you want for this? Just a couple of ingredients!

  • Fresh broccoli florets;
  • Beef tenderloin;
  • High-quality vegetable oil (better use corn oil, sesame oil, or cotton oil which are characteristic of Chinese cooking traditions, yet, sunflower or extra virgin olive oil also play good);
  • Soy sauce;
  • Oyster sauce;
  • Fresh or dried garlic cloves;
  • Chili peppers (optionally);
  • Honey or brown sugar;
  • Corn starch;
  • Ginger.

To cook beef and broccoli you need to marinate beef tenderloin with salt, pepper, ginger, chili pepper flakes, and soy sauce. Then cut it into slices. Wash broccoli, disassemble its florets, and dry a bit.

Heat the stovetop and put some tablespoons of oil into a wok or a pan with high trays and a dense bottom. Put your beef slices into the wok and stir it quickly to create a crust. Then add broccoli pieces, garlic flakes or cut cloves, some chili flakes, and ginger slices or small cubes. Cook for a couple of minutes and stir in a non-stop regime. Add sauces, and a teaspoon of starch, mix everything, and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add sugar or honey and cook for 5 minutes more. Then you need to take it off the fire, and you can add some sesame seeds or leek pieces to add fresh flavors.

Evaluating the Benefits: What Makes Beef & Broccoli a Must-Try for HLS

What is so special about beef and broccoli? There are a couple of reasons to call it one of the healthiest meals in Chinese American cuisine.

  • Beef slices are a perfect protein source, and additionally, beef is a source of iron.
  • Broccoli is a leader among veggies with an overwhelming amount of vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, and Potassium.
  • Vegetable oils used for cooking are a source of fat acids and vitamins.
  • Due to extra-fast cooking, beef and broccoli saves all the vitamins almost at the same levels as raw broccoli has.
  • The level of calories in that dish is moderate. Broccoli has only 34 calories in 100 grams, and with beef and oils, and honey, it forms a balanced dish with more proteins and fats and low carbs.

So, when you want to eat healthy, beef & broccoli are your choice! Even if you are not sure about your cooking skills, you can get it to your daily meals using our healthy prep & delivery service. We’ll ship the freshest and the most intense flavors of beef and broccoli to you any time you want it.