Beef and Broccoli

Mongolian Beef and Broccoli is easy and better than takeout! Tender beef smothered in an Asian inspired sauce with crisp tender broccoli served over rice makes this dish a family favorite!

Mongolian Beef with Broccoli served over rice on a plate

I love Chinese food, but I am very picky when it comes to it. So I love when I can make it at home.

This Mongolian Beef is savory, rich and full of flavor. The tender crisp crunch of broccoli makes it feel fresh and light!

What is the best budget friendly beef for Beef and Broccoli?

When making anything with beef whether it be a roast, ribs, thin sliced beef or steaks, everyone usually wants to know the best cut of meat for the best price. You can absolutely get cheaper cuts and they are still delicious.

So what cut should use for beef and broccoli? Do you use flank steak, skirt steak or another kind cut? And what is most cost effective?

I use top round beef and it is perfect for Beef and Broccoli! It is juicy, tender and full of flavor and so easy to slice up at home!

Top Round Beef cut into tin slices

Why use Top Round Beef for Beef and Broccoli?

Why top round beef? Top Round beef is a cheaper cut of beef compared to flank or skirt steak. This cut of beef is budget friendly, full of flavor and tender.

Don’t see top round in your meat section or counter at the store? Ask you butcher to cut you a piece and then you can slice it at home, or ask your butcher to slice it for you.

If you want to spend more money (and many people do), then ask for a sirloin or tenderloin cut of beef that can be sliced thin.

You do not need to spend more money to make a yummy Mongolian Beef with Broccoli. You will find the Top Round is just as good as any meat that you will pay more for.

How Much Top Round Beef do you need for this Beef and Broccoli Recipe?

I use 1 1/2 pounds of top round beef. You can’t see below the top round beef I use. It has been sliced thin into larger pieces so I can cut into strips to the size I prefer.

Thin sliced beef from top round cut of beef

Cut the large pieces of top round beef meat against the grain into strips around 1/4 thick, maybe a bit thinner. If the strips/pieces are really long, cut those in half. (Or cut them to your preferred size.)

Thin sliced Strips of Top Round Beef

Take your cornstarch and rub it all over the meat, making sure it is all covered. Set aside, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, which is perfect so you can chop and steam your broccoli and make your sauce (and don’t forget to get your rice cooking).

Is Fresh Broccoli needed for Beef and Broccoli?

I prefer fresh cut broccoli. Fresh cut broccoli has a bit of a soft-tender crunch once cooked or you can steam it and cook it until it super soft. You can use frozen broccoli, it will just cook up a bit more soft and mushy.

For this Beef and Broccoli recipe, I prefer fresh cut broccoli that is steamed just long enough to still be crisp-tender. It will have a bit of fresh crunch to it but will be cooked enough so that is slightly soft.

The broccoli will cook a bit more once it is in the sauce so don’t over steam it or it will end up mushy!

You will need about 1/2 pound of fresh broccoli. Rinse it, and then cut it into bite sized pieces.

Fresh cut broccoli cut into bite sized pieces

Add a little water to a large skillet (about 1/4 cup is all that is needed), and add the broccoli. Let it steam (with the lid on the skillet) on med-high for about 5 minutes.

Once it turns bright green and is crisp tender, remove from pan and set aside. Rinse your skillet of any broccoli bits so it is ready to cook the beef.

cut broccoli

The Sauce for Mongolian Beef with Broccoli

For the sauce I use canola oil (olive oil works too), minced garlic, low-sodium soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ground ginger, and white pepper (black pepper will work to, white pepper is just more a subtle peppery taste).

NOTE: You will need to use Low Sodium Soy Sauce, or the sauce may be super salty.

Using a small saucepan, add the oil and minced garlic, stirring until it is fragrant.

This is the minced garlic I use. It is much faster than mincing fresh garlic and I don’t think it makes a difference in the taste of the sauce.

Plastic bottle of mined garlic

Next, add your low-sodium soy sauce, water and brown sugar. mix/whisk together completely.

Soy sauce and brown sugar in a saucepan to make Asian sauce

Heat on medium heat. Add in your ground ginger and white pepper (black pepper can be used but I prefer white pepper). You can adjust the seasonings as needed.

Ground ginger and white pepper added to sauce to make beef and broccoli

Whisk/Stir occasionally until the sauce comes to a boil.

Sauce for beef and broccoli being whisked in saucepan

Taste the sauce and if it is too sweet, you can add more water and some extra low-sodium soy sauce.

Make a cornstarch slurry. This will thicken your sauce.

What is a cornstarch slurry? Why do I need a cornstarch slurry?

A cornstarch slurry is used to thicken sauces, soups and gravies. It is made by using a mixture of cold water and cornstarch. Usually you use equal amounts of each.

Cornstarch and cold water to make a cornstarch slurry

To thicken sauces and gravies I usually use 2 tbsp. of each, mix it up and set aside.

You must use cold water! If you use warm water the cornstarch will clump together. You also cannot add cornstarch directly into the sauce or gravy, or it will be clumpy.

Your sauce, soup or gravy needs to be hot and at a low simmer when adding in the cornstarch slurry. Slowly add in the cornstarch slurry, whisking/stirring as you add it. It will thicken almost instantly. Add more of the cornstarch slurry until the sauce, sopu or gravy thickens to our liking.

If you find your sauce won’t thicken, then make some more slurry (equal parts cornstarch and cold water) and add a little at a time until its thickened to your liking. Set the sauce aside.

Making Mongolian Beef with Broccoli

In a large skillet or wok, heat 3/4 cup oil and add sliced beef. Let the beef cook, tossing and moving it around so all sides are cooked and start to brown.

Thin Sliced beef cooking - Mongolian Beef with Broccoli | The Butcher's Wife

After the beef has cooked, remove it from the pan, wipe your pan clean with a paper towel and empty any extra oil from the pan.

Mongolian Beef with Broccoli | The Butcher's Wife

Add the sauce to the skillet/pan along with the cooked beef strips and the broccoli. Using a large spoon, gently stir until combined. Let it all heat/warm for a few minutes.

NOTE: You don’t have to add the broccoli to the entire dish. You can have the broccoli cooked and served on the side so people can add the broccoli in or not.

Mongolian Beef with Broccoli | The Butcher's Wife

Serving Mongolian Beef with Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli is delicious on its own, but we love it over rice. We love brown rice, or Basmati Rice. Additional soy sauce can be added as needed.

Mongolian Beef with Broccoli | The Butcher's Wife


My sweet friend made this yummy dish… but instead of using broccoli she used asparagus!

I love asparagus and can’t think of a more perfect combo! Instead of adding broccoli, add the cut asparagus spears to your dish until they are cooked to your liking and enjoy!

Thanks Amber for this new and tasty take on my Beef and Broccoli!

Mongolian Beef and asparagus

Hope you enjoy!

If you like Mongolian Beef, try my Mongolian Chicken. For another Asian Inspired dish, try my Firecracker Chicken or my Sweet and Sour Chicken! For some fast and easy meals that are Asian inspired try my Fast and Easy Korean Beef that is made with ground beef, Fast and Easy Ground Chicken Orange Chicken, or my Fast and Easy Chicken Broccoli Ramen Stir Fry.

Check out the latest posts from the Butcher’s Wife!

Mongolian Beef with Broccoli served over rice on a plate

Mongolian Beef with Broccoli

This Mongolian Beef is rich and savory.  The broccoli adds a light  fresh crunch that is perfectly matched with the beef.  Serve over brown or white rice for the perfect meal.
6 servings (depending on portion size).
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings approx.


Beef and Broccoli

  • 1 1/2 lbs top round beef
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch *for coating the beef
  • 3/4 cup canola oil, for cooking the meat
  • 1/2 lbs broccoli, chopped (a yummy alternative is using fresh cut asparagus)
  • 1/2 cup water, for steaming/cooking the broccoli

Mongolian Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium soy sauce *make sure it is low sodium or it will be salty
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water *for the sauce- separate from the water for the broccoli
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper *black pepper works too
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger *or more to taste
  • 2 tsp canola oil, for sauce *or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic from a jar/bottle *if using fresh minced garlic use about 6 fresh cloves, minced

Cornstarch Slurry (for thickening the sauce)

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp cold water

For Serving Mongolian Beef

  • Brown or White rice to serve with Mongolian Beef
  • 5-6 green onions, sliced *for serving – optional


  • Slice your top round beef into thin slices, against the grain, 1/4 thick.
  • Rub the cornstarch all over the sliced beef, making sure it is completely covered. Let sit for 10 minutes (while you prepare everything else.)
  • Chop your broccoli, then add to large skillet, with about 1/4cup of water (just enough 3water for it to steam). Cook the broccoli on med-high heat with a lid on the skillet, letting it steam for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender and bright green.  Remove from the pan and set aside. 
  • In a saucepan or different medium skillet (this is to make the sauce), add 2 tsp oil with minced garlic, stir and let cook until fragrant.   Then add soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ground ginger and white pepper.  Bring to a boil.
  • Make your cornstarch slurry with equal parts of cornstarch and cold water, mix together.  Add to sauce when it boils and whisk until thickened.  (See Notes if your sauce doesn't thicken). Remove from heat and set aside.
    **taste your sauce, if it is too sweet for your liking, add a little more water to lessen the sweet taste. adding 1 tablespoon at a time!
  • In your same large skillet you used for the broccoli, heat your 3/4 cups oil.  Add the beef, tossing it and moving the beef around so it can cook and starts to brown. DO NOT OVER-CROWD YOUR PAN – WORK IN BATCHES IF NEEDED SO BEEF COOKS EVENLY.
  • Remove beef from pan, and clean out any extra oil from the pan.
  • Add beef back to skillet, and pour sauce over it.  Mix together, then add broccoli. Let it heat fully.
    (If you have people that hate broccoli or you do not want it mixed in with the sauce, leave it out and add it to each serving as desired).
  • Serve over rice.  Top with green onions (optional).
    Soy sauce can be added to taste.


If your sauce doesn’t thicken with the first cornstarch slurry added, make some more slurry. See blog post above for details.
A delicious alternative to the broccoli is using fresh cut asparagus for this dish like my friend Amber did!  It looks amazing! 
Mongolian Beef and asparagus - delicious and easy

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should only be used as an approximation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.