Chinese Broccoli Beef Noodle Stir Fry


Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to choose and buy the freshest Chinese broccoli (gai-lan)
  • The perfect marinade recipe
  • Secrets to no-fail Chinese stir fries


Chinese Broccoli (Gai-Lan)

Chinese broccoli should be almost all stem and green leaves. Look for Chinese broccoli with minimal open flowers (lots of open white flowers means that the Chinese broccoli is past its prime and bitter.

You can also tell from the cut stems if the Chinese broccoli will be perfect or too old. See the bottoms of these cut stems? It’s milky-translucent and smooth. If the bottoms of the stem have a hard white circle in the middle (instead of smooth, milky and translucent) it will probably be past its prime and taste tough and bitter.

Photo below is Chinese Broccoli…see the beautiful stem-bottoms?


For this Broccoli Beef Noodle Stir Fry recipe, you can use ANY type of noodles. Really, spaghetti noodles are fantastic in this dish. I happened to have Japanese style egg-noodles, so that’s what I used! Cook your noodles according to package directions.


While the noodles are cooking, marinate the beef slices in soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, oyster sauce and rice wine. If you don’t have rice wine, use dry sherry or any dry white wine will do. The sugar and the oyster sauce will help the meat caramelize.


You want beautiful, carmelized meat in your stir fry?

Here’s the secret. DO NOT CROWD THE MEAT! Single layer, ladies and gents!


Once you add it to the wok or frying pan, LEAVE THE THING ALONE. Resist the temptation to shake, move it around or flip…until the first side has a chance to caramelize. Then flip.


See the nicely caramelized bits?


Once the meat finishes cooking, remove to a plate. Now it’s time for Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan).


Stir fry for a minute, scooping up the oils at the bottom of the wok all over the Chinese Broccoli. Bathe the oil over the Chinese Broccoli.

Now turn heat down, add 1/4 cup of water or browth and cover to let steam.


A couple of minutes later…test the Chinese Broccoli to see if done! A knife should pierce easily into the steam.


Now its the cooked noodles turn to take a bath in the sauce.


See it absorb all the juicy bits?


Now return the beef and broccoli to the wok and serve!!






Chinese Broccoli Beef Noodle Stir Fry Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:


3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine, sake or dry white wine
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 pound beef sirloin, thinly sliced
1 pound fresh or 10 ounces dried noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1.25 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 pound Chinese broccoli or regular common broccoli, cut into bite-size chunks or florets
Freshly ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon each soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice wine. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until completely dissolved. Stir in the tapioca starch and continue stirring until smooth. Add the sesame oil and beef, and mix well. Marinate for 20 minutes. Drain and discard the excess marinade.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles until 1 minute shy of done and drain. (We'll finish cooking the noodles at the end)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a skillet or wok over high heat and stir-fry the garlic until fragrant, about 1o seconds. Add the beef and stir-fry until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and when hot, add the Chinese broccoli, stir frying so that the oil coats the Chinese broccoli. Pour in the 1/4 cup of the stock, turn the heat to medium-low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook the Chinese broccoli until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the Chinese broccoli to the same plate.

Add the remaining cup of stock and the remaining 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and rice wine to the same skillet and bring to a boil over
high heat.

Add the noodles and cook until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, leaving the noodles lightly moistened,2 to 3 minutes. Return the beef and broccoli to the skillet and toss to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Season with pepper to taste and serve.

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Comments 144

      1. Patty

        You’re welcome. You might want to check out the blog’s shrimp fried rice, dumplings, marbled eggs, etc. too. I feel crummy doing this, but I also don’t think it’s fair to people folks like you who work hard producing original material.

      2. Jen Das

        I’ve made this twice now, once with flat egg noodles and regular broccoli and beef and the second time with the noodles from the picture (my crazy big grocery store had them!) and I found gai lan and subbed in chicken. I have to say that both times and both ways were a big hit! I love gai lan! It’s much better than regular broccoli! It’s got more of the things I like about broccoli. So I can highly recommend this recipe and that you can use chicken in it if beef is not available!

  1. Marilyn Jacobs

    Made this tonight and whole family loved it. I cheated though. I needed to make something quick and I had head of broccoli and some pre-cooked packaged Asian stir fry strips – not the frozen kind though. I still marinated them and followed same steps. Next time will use the fresh beef and Chinese broccoli. Thanks

  2. LeeLee

    Yum! Now I know what I’m using that hydroponic Chinese broccoli I’m getting ready to harvest for! Man, I really LOVE Chinese broccoli! It has such a great taste and texture. More people should try it: it’s really easy to grow too. Thanks for the recipe! I really like it in a chicken stir fry with shitakes too.

  3. tracey

    I’m making this for lunch today. I’m sure my kids will like this. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Cory

    Looks great, but do you think that I could use fish sauce instead of the oyster sauce? Thanks for your reply 🙂

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      Absolutely. You might want a touch of sweet as well – so try 1 teaspoon fish sauce + 1 tablespoon honey. You can always adjust with more fish sauce/honey if you need.

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  5. Alexandra

    Made this tonight using flank steak instead of the sirloin but it turned out amazing regardless! The meat was SO tender. Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try out more of your dishes!

  6. Bec

    This is my favourite recipe ever! Only noodles that are better than my mum’s cooking!

  7. Rita

    Wow. I needed a quick and easy recipe to use some broccoli that were about to turn bad and this one was perfect. Easy to follow, few ingredients and awsome tips. I’m with the flu and my taste buds are a little off but still this dish tasted really good, I now want to make it again when I’m recovered to taste it in all it’s glory! Thank you so much!

  8. Chelsea

    I am not a great cook at all, but I decided to take a stab at this and it turned out great! I personally used corn starch, dry white wine, chicken stock, and regular broccoli as my options and it turned out fantastic. I only used 12 oz of chow mein noodles instead of 16 oz and it was still too much. I would reduce my amount of noodles to improve the ratio. Great recipe!!

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  9. Rachael

    I made this tonight (college student) and it is honestly one of the best things I have EVER had the pleasure of making. Also, I think it goes great with a side of toasted sour dough bread, but that may just be me. Thanks!!

  10. Sarah Ackermann

    This is so good that after I made it, immediately started sending the recipe to everyone I know. It’s easily my favorite new-to-me recipe of the past year.

    Thank you so much for posting this online.

    Anyone thinking of trying this: Do. You won’t regret it, I promise!

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  11. Leigh

    Hi. If I use the Chuka soba noodles do I boil them first? I have a pack and they almost look like they are fried already.

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  12. Jess

    I want to try this, but I am curious if the oyster sauce gives the stir fry a fishy flavor. I don’t like seafood at all, so I’m a little nervous.

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  13. Cathy Cyr

    This looks great. I’m thinking about trying it with chicken. Do you think it would be fine and, if so, do you think I should make any other changes in combination with the chicken?

    1. Post

      Chicken would be perfect, as long as you slice the chicken thinly. Thicker slices will require an extra 30 seconds of cooking time (really depends on how you slice)

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