One of my favorite ways to eat Asian food, is this sweet and sticky glazing. I can eat it on whatever; beef and broccoli, chicken, pork. I love sweet and sticky glazing. Can’t be emphasised enough, you know. The sweet and sticky honey (or brown sugar) compliments the beef in such an amazing way, the beef itself seems juicier. And who doesn’t like that?
I can’t pin point where from Asia this dish is, because we mix different ingredients. Garlic, ginger and spring onion is the base of Chinese cuisine. The spiciness is added in two different, but quite similar ways. Sriracha on the broccoli and sambal oelek on the beef. Both are chili pastes, but from different countries. Sriracha is a Thai chili sauce/paste with sugar, vinegar and garlic, while sambal oelek is an Indonesian raw chili paste. Both equally delicious, if you ask me!
I know this isn’t the healthier of the bunch, and I don’t say you should eat it every day. Variety is the best kind of lifestyle, and every now and then I like to indulge in sweet and sticky beef and broccoli. I mean, you do eat a lot of broccoli, and that’s super healthy, right?
Asian Beef and Broccoli
I’ve come to the conclusion that you need (at least) 1 whole broccoli for 2 people. This sounds like a lot, but thank me later when you eat it. It is so good, you could eat only the broccoli (but then again, the beef is so amazing too). I’ve been living with the belief that you can’t eat the stem of the broccoli – this is not true! The stem is delicious and bonus: even more broccoli! Just peel the outer layer of the broccoli stem off, I used a Norwegian cheese slicer, but I suppose you can use whatever floats your boat.
Cut the broccoli into small heads of broccoli with a stem to it. I like the stem to be thinly sliced so everything bakes evenly. When you’re done with the head of the broccoli, continue with the big chunky stem. Remember to peel it. Cut it like the small stems of the broccoli heads. See photograph for finished broccoli, the cutting obviously hasn’t changed before and after baking:
Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade of the broccoli and add all the broccoli to it. Be gentle when you stir so as to not ruin all the heads. Place on an oiled baking tray and bake for around 17-20 minutes at 220C (425F). You want the broccoli to start getting a little dark and charred in some places. Things move fast so I suggest putting on the rice about at the same time you add the broccoli to the oven.
Cut the beef into strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Of course, you can substitute the beef with whatever meat you’d like. I’ve tried it with pork and with chicken and both are delicious, but I think beef is slightly better. Variety, remember? Sometimes you just crave that chicken, and I’ve got your back, pork – same. Fish? Hmmm, not so much, maybe.
Fry in a non-stick pan on middle to high heat. Brown on both sides (1-3 minutes? Depending on the size) and set the meat aside. In the same pan, begin with the sauce. Fry some garlic, ginger and spring onion until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute) and add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Bring it to a boil so that it thickens a bit. When you’ve gotten the desired thick and sticky consistency, add in the beef. Give it a mix and make sure the sauce coats the beef. You might want to use a few minutes here in case you added the beef too soon (guilty), so be sure to not over-fry (is that a word?) the beef beforehand.
When the broccoli is ready, I like to add it to the beef and sauce mixture to give the broccolis that same stickiness. Some like to separate these, but do whatever you want. I think everything tastes a little bit spicier if you do. Add in chopped cilantro and sesame seeds because we love Chinese food. Enjoy this delicious Asian beef and broccoli with steamed rice.
Another sweet and sticky Asian dish is my Spicy Chili Beef, this requires a lot of ingredients but makes for an amazing dish. We eat it on special occasions and I highly recommend it. One of my all time favorites.
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