Wishes Growing Up (Recipe Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry)

When I was growing up, we lived in the country, 3 miles south of a very small town. Most all of my friends lived in town. I was always so jealous of the conveniences my friends had because of the fact that they lived in town. They could walk to each others homes to hang out while I had to wait for a parent to be home to take me in (which means I often missed out on a lot of the socializing). I was also jealous of the fact that if they wanted a candy bar or special treat, they could just walk to the local Casey’s General Store and grab one. It made no sense at all for my parents to drive me all the way into town just for a candy bar!

When I got out of the small town I grew up in and went to college, I finally lived “in town” for the first time in my life. I was so thrilled for simple things like pizza delivery and 24 hour convenience stores. Living in the dorms my freshman year was also quite a thrill because socializing with my friends could happen any time of day… no need to wait for someone to take me into town so I could “play”.

The one thing each town that I have lived in has lacked and I have wished for is Chinese food delivery. Sure, we have Chinese food nearby where I live now but it isn’t very good and it cannot be delivered. The lack of Chinese food delivery has meant that I have had to discover the next best thing…creating my favorite Chinese food dishes at home! I have never used a wok (although I keep thinking I would like to buy one) but making delicious Chinese food at home is quite simple and typically does not require a lot of obscure ingredients. By combining a few key items, you can create the flavors you are looking for without a trip to a specialty market.

One other thing the towns I have lived in are missing is the beach and the ocean. I’m not sure I can remedy that situation as easy as I could this one!

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Cornstarch
1 Tbs firmly packed brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
2 pounds flank steak or top sirloin, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 medium heads broccoli,cut into florets (approx 4 cups)
2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot

  1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, lemon juice, cornstarch, brown sugar, garlic and pepper. Set aside
  2. Heat 1 Tbs vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and stir-fry until almost cooked through (about 2 minutes). Transfer beef to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining oil in the skillet. Add onion and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add broccoli to the skillet with 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Return beef to skillet with soy sauce mixture; add ginger. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Serve hot over rice.

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  1. says

    Does it matter what kind of onion you use? Yellow or sweet (white)? I made the mistake once of using a yellow onion in a dish that was meant for a sweet onion, so now I’m more careful. =)

    It sounds delicous, and I love me a good Chinese dish. Thanks!

  2. says

    I made this just the other night. I love stir-frys, because I can usually scrape enough ingredients out of the fridge to throw one together. They’re so versatile!

    Also – congratulations on your new arrival! I had a baby boy 1 year ago. You think 2 weeks flys by fast? Just wait!

    Glad I found you here on the world wide web. I’ll definitely be back…

    Lauras last blog post..Strawberry Picking

  3. Bek says

    Having moved from just outside New York City to the southeast, let’s just say there are many an ethnic food I’ve been missing. It’s been fun to try and recreate them, some more successfully than others, of course – I’ll have to see how this recipe compares to the one I use now. Looks yummy!

  4. says

    I think that authentic Chinese condiments really make all the difference in home-cooked Chinese food, and thanks to the internet, all of those condiments (especially oyster sauce, which is key in beef and broccoli) are available online. Where I live now is well out of range of any Chinese food delivery, too, so I’ve been cooking my own restaurant favorite dishes more often.

    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)s last blog post..Granulated sugar (Recipe: strawberry rhubarb jam)

  5. says

    Brings me back to the days when I worked in a Chinese Restaurant while in college. I learned so many things working there…how to strip snowpeas, how to fold napkins into lotus flowers and how to write “take out” in Chinese.

    Beef and Broccoli was very popular. Sounds delicious.

    Melissas last blog post..Lime Pie with Gingersnap Crust

  6. says

    I am a personal chef and am looking for inspiration for iron-rich dishes for a client who has an iron deficiency. I think I just might have found the perfect solution!!!!

    Rebekkas last blog post..The Wedding Cake

  7. Lisa :) says

    Okay. Again, the whole first paragraph mirrors my childhood. We’re five miles out of town and it felt like five hundred miles. Ugh. I wouldn’t trade growing up on a farm, but missing out on stuff like pizza delivery and socializing with peers was terrible! :(


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