Recently we have had several conversations around good Chinese food in the Milwaukee area. To be quiet honest, there is not much out there in terms of really great Chinese food. Often times I think Chinese food means a lot of different things to every person. For example, my idea of great Chinese food typically evolves around the idea of Dim Sum, and let’s face it, Milwaukee does not offer good dim sum. However, if you ask my wife, she might go with a lobster gravy sauce or crab rangoon, or my father-in-law who might go with shrimp fried rice. But when you visit a place, and want it all; the rice, the rangoons, the vegetables, it is hard to get a quality dish.
When it comes to the ordering of Chinese food, I typically sit back and enjoy the ride. In all honesty, nothing is too creative, and there always is that standard. Not that this is a good or bad thing, I am just saying the items on a Chinese menu are so long and it is rather difficult to wade through all of them. There is one dish that typically never gets ordered though, and one I have always enjoyed, and that is beef and broccoli.
- 1 lb of beef sirloin, cut into thin strips
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
In a bowl, whisk all but the beef, making sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in the beef and let marinate for 30 minutes, or up to one hour.
As the beef marinates, prepare the following gravy:
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp corn starch
Mix well, and see aside.
- 1 head of broccoli, roughly 1 pound, trimmed, and cut on a diagonal on the stalk, bite sized pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup of canola oil
Heat a wok on medium heat for a few minutes. Add in your oil. Remove the beef from the marinade, and add into wok, being careful not to overcrowd the wok. The goal is to do a nice flash fry, attempting to get a nice thin crust on the beef. This will only take a couple of minutes. Remove the beef and place on paper towels.
Remove the oil, leaving only a couple of tablespoons left. Return the wok back to the heat. Add in your garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Toss in your broccoli, and add a bit of salt and pepper. Add in a half a cup of water, cover, and let the broccoli cook for about two minutes. Remove the cover, and drain the broccoli. Wipe out the wok one more time.
Add the wok back to the heat, add about one tablespoon more of canola oil and bring to temperature. Add the beef back in the wok, add the gravy mixture that has been set aside, and cook quickly, making sure you stir often. Toss in the broccoli, giving another big stir, and get ready to serve.
The gravy, the texture of the beef, and the perfect tenderness of the broccoli really brings a great Chinese dish right to your own home. Big question is what is your favorite Chinese food?