Easy Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry – Better Than Take-Out!

beef broccoliBeef Broccoli is probably the most ordered type of Chinese food.  I mean who hasn’t had beef broccoli?

You know that dish with thinly sliced pieces of beef and crunchy broccoli in savory soy sauce, yes that’s beef broccoli.  It’s such a popular dish that I’m pretty sure all Chinese restaurants in the US and possibly around the world have it on their menus.

Beef Broccoli, or as others say Beef with Broccoli, is arguably the most popular stirfry around.  It’s the first thing that pops in our mind when we pick up the phone to order Chinese take-out, stand in line at Panda Express, or sit down at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  But it’s so easy to make at home, that if you’re a real fan you could make it every day if you wanted to.

The secret to this dish is to use flank steak that is sliced very thin against the grain.  Easy right?

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 lb flank steak trimmed of fat and sliced thin against the grain

1 head broccoli cut into small florets

1 onion thinly sliced

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tsp fresh ginger minced

3 tsp minced garlic

2 tbs sesame oil

1/2 cup beef stock

2 tbs cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Mix soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a bowl.

Add the beef and toss to cover in sauce mixture.

Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Heat sesame oil in wok or large skillet.

Add onions and fry about 1 minute.

Add marinated beef and cook about 2-3 minutes stir in constantly.

Stir in beef stock.

Add broccoli and cook until tender.

Slowly stir in cornstarch mixture until the sauce thickens.

Remove from heat and serve with steamed white rice or noodles.

 

Easy Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry - Better Than Take-Out!
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Easy Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry - Better Than Take-Out!
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Instructions
  1. Mix soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a bowl.  
  2. Add the beef and toss to cover in sauce mixture.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Heat sesame oil in wok or large skillet.
  5. Add onions and fry about 1 minute.
  6. Add marinated beef and cook about 2-3 minutes stir in constantly.
  7. Stir in beef stock.
  8. Add broccoli and cook until tender.
  9. Slowly stir in cornstarch mixture until the sauce thickens.
  10. Remove from heat and serve with steamed white rice or noodles.
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Sesame Tofu Side Dish

Sesame Tofu Side Dish

tofuWhat is Tofu and is it good for you?  Tofu is coagulated soy milk in short soy bean curd.  The curd is then pressed into a block and is used in many different Asian and Vegan dishes.

I use it in my stirfrys and egg rolls.  I feel that tofu with its soft cheese like texture makes a great protein substitute or addition.  I think the verdict is still out on whether or not Tofu or bean curd is healthy or not.

I’ve read arguments for pros and cons.  I don’t pay too much attention to them as I did grow up eating Tofu, it’s an Asian thing I guess.  Regardless of the debate I see it this way, tofu like anything can be good or bad for you depending on how much you consume regularly.  I mean babies allergic to lactose, like my grandson Jett, pretty much live off soy milk for the first year of their lives, so I’m guessing tofu made from soy milk isn’t a bad thing.  But like I always say too much of anything is bad for you so I’m thinking Tofu falls into this category.

Having said that here is a tofu side dish I make that the whole family enjoys.  It’s super easy to make and can actually be eaten as a main dish when paired with steamed rice.   By the way you can serve it hot or cold.  On hot summer days I chill it in the fridge and serve very cold.  It’s a great side dish that goes well with my Spicy Kalbi Kabobs!  The some what bland creamy tofu taste tempers the spiciness of the beef kabobs and kimchee!

Sesame Tofu

Ingredients:

1 Block Firm Tofu – sliced into 1/2″ cubes

1 Tbs. Sesame Oil

1 Tsp. Finely Minced Garlic

1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

1/4 Cup Sesame Oil

1 Tsp. White Sesame Seeds

1 Tbs. Chopped Green Onions optional

Directions:

Heat oil

Sautee garlic until they start to brown

Gently add tofu cubes

Cook until all sides turn slightly brown – gently turning cubes with a spatula – about 5 -10 minutes.

Remove cooked Tofu cubes from heat and transfer into serving bowl

In a small bowl stir together soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds until well mixed

Pour over tofu

Gently toss tofu cubes until well coated with soy sauce mixture

Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving

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Sesame Tofu Side Dish
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Sesame Tofu Side Dish
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat oil
  2. Sautee garlic until they start to brown
  3. Gently add tofu cubes
  4. Cook until all sides turn slightly brown - gently turning cubes with a spatula - about 5 -10 minutes.
  5. Remove cooked Tofu cubes from heat and transfer into serving bowl 
  6. In a small bowl stir together soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds until well mixed
  7. Pour over tofu 
  8. Gently toss tofu cubes until well coated with soy sauce mixture
  9. Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving
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Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kabobs

Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kabobs

Kalbi KabobsOne of our favorite food is Korean Kalbi, or barbecued beef short ribs.  We usually order this at one of the local fast food Korean restaurants, but it’s pretty pricey; you get 3 thin short ribs, a couple of scoops of steamed white rice, and a choice of 4 side dishes (kim chee, bean sprouts, tofu, etc.) for a over $12 a plate.

My husband’s main complaint about the local restaurants isn’t the the price or the serving size of the kalbi, it’s about the flimsy plastic utensils they provide which usually snaps in half the moment you try to cut into the meat.  Hence he has decided not to patronize any of the fast food style Korean barbecue joints.

There are sit down Korean restaurants where you can grill your own meats, the meal comes with many side dishes, soup, and steamed rice; but they also come with a hefty price tag.  The last time my girlfriend and I stopped at one for lunch it cost us a little bit over $65, and that’s without drinks or tip! Not to mention that was the least expensive barbecue dish on the menu!  The food was good, specially the kalbi, but I’m sure we won’t be repeating it often.

To solve all these issues I’ve found a great Korean Kalbi recipe to make at home.  I make it of our Sunday barbecue and it was a big hit with my family.  I used thin cut boneless beef short ribs which I threaded  on to bamboo skewers to make them into kebabs.  You can use bone-in short ribs and don’t have to thread them on to skewers, I do however recommend that you use the thinner cuts so that the marinade will infuse the meat better.

I served this with steamed white rice, macaroni salad, and kim chee cabbage;  it was even better than the plates we get at the Korean restaurants at less than half the price! (The short ribs cost $6.97 a pound, if you get the thin cut that’s 6 short ribs).

Another way to serve this is on small white corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, just like the Korean Kalbi Tacos from the food truck in L.A.!  We served it this way for my mom’s 80th. birthday party a few years ago.

Just in time for your Labor Day barbeque!  Here’s my recipe!
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Makes 18 skewers
Ingredients:
3 lbs. thin cut boneless beef short ribs (you should get 18 short ribs.  You can use bone-in ribs if you prefer)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbls. fresh ginger – finely grated
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 tbls. white sesame seeds
1 tbls. black sesame seeds
2 stalks green onions – chopped
Directions:
1.  Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don’t cut them.
2.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Mix until sugar dissolves.
3.  Pour marinade into large ziplock bag.
4.  Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
5.  Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness.  If you’re not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Serve hot immediately off the grill.
Looking for more grilling inspiration?  Check out PersonalCreations.com and see how people grill around the world!

 

 

 

Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Skewers
Instructions
  1. Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don't cut them.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour marinade into large ziploc bag.
  4. Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
  5. Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness. If you're not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
  6. Serve hot immediately off the grill.
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Cashew Chicken with Asian Veggies

Cashew Chicken with Asian Veggies

Who cashew chickendoesn’t love Asian cuisine?  I mean the “normal” dishes we’re accustomed to, not the more “exotic” ones the guy on TV loves to try.  I know when we go to any Chinese restaurants one of our favorite dishes is Kung Pao Chicken, that spicy stirfry with peanuts.  So I thought why limit it to peanuts?  I made this yummy Cashew Chicken for dinner the other week, it was delicious!

Cashew Chicken is basically a stir-fry with soy sauce, veggies, and cashew sprinkled in.  It’s pretty healthy, as long as you use unsalted cashews and low sodium soy sauce.  But if you want to splurge, like I do, just use regular soy sauce.  I figure the veggies are healthy enough!

You can use any kind of veggies you want, you can even use the frozen stir fry mix you find in your grocer’s freezer.  I know I do when I’m pressed for time.  But really fresh veggies are the best to use as they stay crisper when cooked.  Also if you’re watching your fat intake make it with chicken breasts.  I use thigh because I feel they don’t dry up like breasts tend to.

Here are the ingredients, feel free to add or delete veggies.

6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breasts – cubed

2-3 Tbs. Sesame Oil

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

2 Tbs. Oyster Sauce

2 Tbs. Corn Starch dissolved in 1/2 Cup water

1/2 cup Unsalted Whole or Halved Cashews

1 Onion – diced

3 cloves garlic minced

1 Bag Frozen Asian Stir Fry Vegetable Mix  OR

1/2 cup each of:  Broccoli Florets, Snow Peas, Mushrooms, Red Pepper slices, canned baby corn

Once you’ve gathered and prepped all your ingredients here’s what you do.

Heat oil in wok or large frying pan

Saute onions until they turn translucent

Stir in minced garlic; mix until garlic starts to turn golden brown

Add chicken, cook until done, stirring constantly

Add Veggies, cook until they start to get tender, stirring constantly

Stir in soy and oyster sauce

Slowly stir in cornstarch water.  The sauce should start to thicken.

Once the sauce is thick enough remove from heat and serve with steamed white rice!

 

 

Cashew Chicken with Asian Veggies
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Cashew Chicken with Asian Veggies
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Instructions
  1. Heat oil in wok or large frying pan Saute onions until they turn translucent Stir in minced garlic; mix until garlic starts to turn golden brown Add chicken, cook until done, stirring constantly Add Veggies, cook until they start to get tender, stirring constantly Stir in soy and oyster sauce Slowly stir in cornstarch water.  The sauce should start to thicken. Once the sauce is thick enough remove from heat and serve with steamed white rice!
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Fried Tofu with Asian Sauce

Fried Tofu with Asian Sauce

TofuHave you ever tried Tofu? Tofu, also know is bean curd, is usually made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curds into soft white blocks.

It was first made during the Chinese Han Dynasty about 2000 years ago!  Tofu is prevalent in Asian and West African cuisines,  comes in soft, medium, firm, and extra firm blocks, and has a subtle flavor.  It is used in both sweet and savory dishes.  It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.

Tofu is low in calories and pretty high on protein and Iron.  It can also be high in calcium and magnesium depending on what is used to make it.

As I mentioned earlier Tofu is usually made with soy milk, but recently they’ve started making Almond, Egg, Sesame, and Peanut Tofus.  I haven’t tried the other varieties, I stick with regular Soy Tofu because it’s the easiest to find and probably the least expensive.

Now having said all that doesn’t it sound like the next best wonder food?  I’m not sure about that, but it is a great alternative when you’re on a diet or are watching your fat intake.

I see Tofu as a blank canvas.  It’s mostly bland so you can use it in many things to add more protein and calcium.  I add it to stir-fries and lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) where it sort of acts as a healthy filler.  But every now and then I make it as my main meatless dish or as a side dish.  It’s a great addition to grilled meats!

Here is one of my favorite recipes, I call it Fried Tofu with Asian Sauce.  You can serve it as a vegan main course with steamed rice or as a side dish.  It goes well with Spicy Korean Kalbi  Skewers and Salt & Pepper Shrimp!  Best of all it’s easy and quick to make!

You can serve it hot or cold!  If you want to serve it cold you can make it a few hours ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator.  As a side dish I love it cold!

Fried Tofu with Asian Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Block Firm Tofu

3 Tbs. Sesame Oil (2 Tbs. for frying, the remaining for the sauce)

1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar (you can find this in Asian Markets, if you can’t you may substitute with Apple Cider Vinegar)

1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

White Sesame Seeds for garnish

Fried Tofu directions:

Cut the block of Tofu into 1″ Cubes

Heat 2 Tbs. Sesame Oil

Fry Cubes in hot oil until all sides are slightly brown.  Watch closely as it fries and turn gently stir cubes so that all sides brown.

Place in serving dish.

Sauce:

Stir together vinegar, soy sauce, and remaining sesame oil.

Drizzle over fried tofu cubes.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Serve hot or cold.

corfu

Fried Tofu with Asian Sauce
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Fried Tofu with Asian Sauce
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
Fried Tofu
  1. Cut the block of Tofu into 1" Cubes
  2. Heat 2 Tbs. Sesame Oil 
  3. Fry Cubes in hot oil until all sides are slightly brown.  Watch closely as it fries and turn gently stir cubes so that all sides brown.
  4. Place in serving dish.
Sauce
  1. Stir together vinegar, soy sauce, and remaining sesame oil.
  2. Drizzle over fried tofu cubes.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
  4. Serve hot or cold.
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