Are you craving Chinese take out for supper tonight? Learn how to make our Panda Express broccoli beef copycat recipe at home. It's absolutely delicious, healthy, and cooks in only 13 minutes.
Why This Recipe Works
- The broccoli, beef and sauce are cooked separately and combined at the end.
- The beef is tenderized for at least 20 minutes.
- The broccoli is steamed ahead of time but it's still crisp, green and healthy.
- The rich homemade sauce is thickened with a cornstarch slurry and simmered briefly to cook the cornstarch thoroughly.
Our recipe for this copycat broccoli beef stir fry uses basic ingredients that can easily be found in most groceries stores in the U.S. Shoaxing wine can be found online or in larger Asian markets. You can also sub it out with dry cooking sherry if that's all you can find.
- Meat: We used skirt steak for this photo shoot, but flank steak is more popular.
- Vegetables: You will need roughly 3 to 4 heads of fresh broccoli.
- Oil: Use a high smoke oil to stir fry the beef and sesame oil for the ginger soy sauce.
- Wine: You can use Shoaxing wine or substitute with cooking sherry like we did for this photo shoot.
- Asian condiments: Oyster sauce is the key ingredient to the sauce, so don't leave it out.
- Dry Pantry Staples: Baking soda is the key ingredient to help tenderize the beef, so it needs to be used - no swaps.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Need this gluten free? Use liquid aminos or tamari instead of soy and arrowroot instead of cornstarch.
- Need want to add other vegetables? Try bias cut carrots, snow peas, bell pepper, mushrooms and baby corn.
- Want other meat? Use chicken or shrimp.
- Want this vegan? Use tofu cubes, cauliflower florets, or shiitake mushrooms and vegan oyster sauce.
- Need this keto friendly? Use monkfruit for the sweetener and replace the cornstarch with ½ teaspoon xantham gum.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for the marinade, then whisk it together.
- To prepare the beef, first cut the meat into three large sections (planks) with the grain, then angle a sharp chef's knife and cut against the grain in thin tiles. (If you need to, freeze the meat for 30 minutes to make it easier to slice.)
Place the sliced beef in a large bowl and sprinkle on the baking soda and pour the marinade ingredients over top. Mix with tongs or your hands until the marinade is well distributed throughout the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
2. Gather the ingredients for the ginger soy sauce. Whisk all the ingredients together, except the cornstarch, in a bowl or 2 cup measuring cup. In a small bowl, mix equal amounts of cornstarch with chicken stock, then add it to the sauce and mix.
3. Next, gather all the ingredients for the stir fry. Steam the broccoli by placing the florets in a large bowl and pouring ½ cup of water inside. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
Be careful when removing the plastic wrap, as hot steam will escape. (You might want to use tongs.) Drain the broccoli in a colander.
4. In a large wok, heat up the high smoke point oil until wisps of smoke start, then stir fry half of the beef on high heat until it's 50 to 75% done. Make sure to constantly move the beef around so it doesn't stick. This should take about a minute or two.
Remove the beef from the wok and place it on a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef.
5. Over medium high heat, stir fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds.
6. Pour in the the ginger soy sauce. Stir constantly for a minute until the sauce thickens, then add the beef back in and stir to coat.
7. Add the steamed broccoli into the wok and stir fry for a minute or two to heat everything through. You'll want the broccoli to be bright green and a still a little bit crisp.
8. Serve hot with other Panda Express sides.
Panda Express explains it best from their website, "A classic favorite. Tender beef and fresh broccoli in a ginger soy sauce."
This entree is one of the healthiest entrees on Panda Express' menu because it is fairly low in saturated fat and sodium, and has the lowest sugar option in the beef category.
According to the Panda Express website, a serving size of 5.4 ounces, has 150 calories, 13g carbs, 7g fat, 7g sugar, and 9g protein.
In our copycat recipe, for a one cup serving size there is 230 calories, 18.8g of carbs, 11.3g of fat, 6.1g sugar, and 19.3g protein. Please scroll to the end of the recipe card, to get more nutritional information.
This dish originated from a Chinese dish called Gai Lan Chao Niu Rou which translates to Chinese broccoli fried beef. Since early Chinese immigrants to the U.S. couldn't find Gai Lan, a Chinese variant of broccoli, they substituted with U.S. broccoli.
Serve this copycat Panda Express broccoli beef recipe with our Panda Express fried rice or copycat Panda Express chow mein. If you're on a diet, serve the beef broccoli with quinoa, zooddles or copycat Chipotle cauliflower rice. Round out your meal by serving an appetizer of our copycat Panda Express rangoon.
- Make Ahead: Prep all the ingredients ahead of time, but cook the stir fry just before serving.
- Leftovers: Place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Any leftovers can be frozen for up to 1 month, just place in a freezer friendly container.
- Reheat: Any leftovers can be heated up quickly in the wok with a little bit of oil.
- Buy the right cut of beef: flank or skirt.
- Freeze the meat for 30 minutes to help slice it thin. (Optional)
- Cut the tender beef against the grain in thin tiles.
- Marinade the beef with baking soda and other ingredients.
- Have all the other ingredients ready, as this stir fry goes very fast.
- Steam the broccoli until deep green.
More Panda Express Recipes You'll Love
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Panda Express Broccoli Beef Copycat
For the Marinade
For the Sauce
For the Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoons high smoke point oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 pound broccoli florets, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish
- Place the thinly sliced beef in a large bowl, then pour and sprinkle the marinade ingredients on top. Use tongs or your hands to mix everything together, then cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch in a 2 cup measuring cup. Mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of chicken stock to make a slurry, then pour it into the sauce and whisk. You should have one cup of sauce.
- Place the broccoli florets in a large bowl along with ½ cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap carefully, possible with tongs, as steam will escape, then drain the broccoli in a colander.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of high smoke point oil in a large wok over high heat until wisps of white smoke appear. Cook the beef in two batches, roughly a minute per batch, until it is 50 to 75% cooked. Make sure to stir continuously to prevent the meat from sticking.
- Lower the heat to medium high and cook the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Whisk the sauce, then pour it into the wok and stir constantly until thickened, about 1 minute. Add the beef back in and toss to coat, then add the steamed broccoli and cook for 2 minutes to heat everything through.
- If you want, sprinkle on some sesame seeds to add a bit of color as a garnish.
- Serve this copycat Panda Express broccoli beef immediately with steamed rice, chow mein, or other copycat Panda Express side dishes. If you're on a diet, serve it with quinoa, cauliflower rice or zoodles.
- Use the right cut of beef; something tender and quick to cook like flank or skirt steak are the best choices.
- Prepare the beef by cutting against the grain in thin slices called tiles. If necessary, freeze for 30 minutes to make cutting easier.
- Use baking soda along with other ingredients to help tenderize and marinate the beef.
- Prep all ingredients ahead of time, as this cooks fast.
- Be careful not to overcook the broccoli in the microwave. You'll want it to be a deep green and still a bit crunchy.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.