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Beef and Broccoli Asian Style

Experts agree that a diet rich in red meat can negatively impact your health. In addition to concerns about saturated fat and heart disease, research now shows that red meat is linked to an increased risk for colorectal cancer. But moderate amounts of lean red meat – up to 18 ounces per week – are a welcome addition to any diet.

This week’s simplified adaptation of a Chinese classic – beef with broccoli – is the perfect example of a beef-based meal that is tender, flavorful and follows the current recommendations for limited consumption of red meat. Each serving provides just 3 ounces of cooked tenderloin. Cuts like tenderloin are reasonably lean already, but be sure to trim all visible exterior fat as well before cooking.

Fresh ginger imparts a bit of kick to this dish. A distant cousin to bamboo, ginger’s ancient origins can be traced to China and Japan. The knobby root traveled the trade routes to England in the 14th century and by the 19th century it was so popular that it was found in shakers in British pubs and added to ale. Common folklore has it that this practice was a precursor to ginger ale.

Garlic also spices up this week’s recipe. Research suggests this member of the allium family of vegetables may offer protection from colorectal cancer. When buying, avoid garlic that is soft and spongy or that has green sprouts. It should be firm with no missing cloves and have a sheath that is tight and unbroken.

Broccoli and Beef Strips Asian Style

– Makes 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 lb. beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed and cut thinly into 1/8-inch thick strips
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed with garlic press
  • 1/2-1 tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup low fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion (as garnish)


Heat a 12-inch skillet with about 1/2 inch water over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cook about 3 minutes uncovered or until tender-crisp. Drain broccoli and set aside. Wipe skillet dry.

In medium mixing bowl, toss beef with ginger, garlic, Chinese 5 spice powder and crushed red pepper. Add the olive oil to skillet and heat over high heat until hot. Add the beef mixture and cook 2-4 minutes or until beef loses its pink color throughout by stirring quickly and frequently. Remove from heat.

Mix soy sauce, broth, sesame oil and cornstarch until mixture is blended. Pour into the skillet and cook with the beef about 1 minute, stirring frequently until sauce thickens slightly. Add broccoli and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve over brown rice. Garnish with chopped scallions.

Per serving: 340 calories, 11 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 34 g carbohydrates, 30 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 480 mg sodium.

The Author:

AICR offers a Nutrition Hotline (1-800-843-8114) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday. This free service allows you to ask a registered dietitian questions about diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR is the only major cancer charity focused exclusively on the link between diet, nutrition and cancer. It provides a range of education programs that help Americans learn to make changes for lower cancer risk. AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities, hospitals and research centers across the U.S. It has provided more than $65 million for research in diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR’s Web address is www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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