I may be partial, but I truly believe that we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the sprawling pastures, hillside orchards, and quaint country towns that are throwbacks to another era, rural Central Virginia is a little treasure tucked neatly between the larger communities of Washington, DC and Richmond. With all that we have to offer; however, Madison is certainly lacking when it comes to big city amenities like stores, restaurants, and high speed Internet. So after almost a decade of life in our farmhouse, I have learned to adjust – by ordering my newest jeans online, by stocking up at Costco when we make the trip to town, and by preparing our favorite restaurant dishes (like Mongolian Beef!) at home!
We might not have a decent Chinese food restaurant nearby, we might not have fresh seafood in the vicinity, and we might not have the option of pizza delivery; but we do have backyard cows,
sweet, juicy apples fresh from the tree,
and views for miles.
Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, I just find alternate ways to get what we need. So when I’m craving Mongolian Beef (a Chinese restaurant childhood favorite), I simply get in the kitchen and make it myself. And you know what? You definitely do NOT need to be a restaurant-quality chef to prepare this meal.
With just one skillet, 20 minutes, and a handful of pantry ingredients, my One Skillet Mongolian Beef with Broccoli is an easy dinner that the entire family will love! I think that the meat and veggies are great on their own, but my boys like to pile them high on top of sticky white rice – restaurant style! However you serve it, this weeknight Mongolian Beef is a simple and delicious meal that will satisfy your Chinese food cravings – no matter where you live!
One Skillet Mongolian Beef with Broccoli
- 16 ounces broccoli florets
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup cold water, plus additional as needed
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger (or about ¼ teaspoon dried ginger)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or about ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 lb. flank steak, trimmed of fat and sliced thin against the grain
- Prepare the Sauce: In a bowl whisk together soy sauce, water, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar until completely combined. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the broccoli and stir for about 1 minute. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add meat to the skillet in a single layer (still over high heat) and cook for about 1 minute – do not stir or move the meat while it is browning. Flip the meat, cook on the other side for about 30 more seconds, and then remove to the plate with the broccoli.
- Pour the sauce into the skillet and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer while whisking until the sauce thickens (about 1-2 minutes). If the sauce gets too thick, just add additional water until it reaches desired consistency. Add broccoli and beef back to the skillet and stir to coat with the sauce. Serve over rice.
Cooking for Two? Just cut the recipe in half, or prepare a full recipe and enjoy the leftovers the next day. Cold Chinese food is a “thing,” right?!
Want to Prep Ahead? I like to make the sauce in advance and just leave it covered on the counter until I need it. Right before using the sauce, give it a whisk to make sure that the cornstarch has not settled at the bottom. You can also slice the meat and prepare the broccoli ahead of time (keep it refrigerated until ready to use).