Week 17: Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein

Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein

This dish is delicious and versatile – don't eat beef? Use chicken, shrimp, or even try with firm tofu. Don't have carrots? Use julienned red pepper instead. I noticed in the comments section of the original recipe on New York Times Cooking that people used all sorts of vegetables with success. It was also in the comments that many people advised that the beef be tenderized through a process called 'velveting' – I decided to try it, and the texture of the beef was great. I included the instructions for that below.


  • 1 pound chuck or rib steak thinly sliced against the grain (if you’re looking for a cheaper option, ground beef works too!)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp water (optional)
  • pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 1 8-ounce package lo mein noodles (or any egg noodle)
  • Salt
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed or minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into rounds
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small florets, or several smaller broccolis (about 3 heaping cups)
  • 2-4 carrots shredded or julienned
  • 3 scallions or green onions thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil optional
  • 1 lime cut in wedges, for serving


  1. Optional first step to tenderize meat: massage sliced beef with baking soda, cornstarch, water, and sugar. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender, about 4 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Meanwhile, stir together the garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar, and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large wok or skillet until hot and shimmering. Add the beef, ginger, black pepper and red-pepper flakes, and cook until crisp on the outside but still pink inside, 2 minutes. Season with salt, and move to a plate.
  4. Add remaining oil to the wok and heat until shimmering. Add the broccoli and cook, tossing until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup water and steam the broccoli until bright green and some of the liquid has evaporated, 2 minute more. Add the noodles, beef, ginger, carrots and soy sauce mixture to the pan, and toss over medium heat until coated and thickened a little, about 1 to 2 minutes. Salt to taste. Sprinkle with scallions, and drizzle with sesame oil, if using. Toss to coat and serve warm, with lime.