The Best Chinese Food Ranked (5)

A little boring but always reliable: beef and broccoli stir fry

If you were a picky eater as a kid, your parents probably pushed you to order the beef and broccoli stir fry when eating at a Chinese restaurant. The crowd-pleasing dish is simplistic in its seasoning and flavors, and as most former picky kids will tell you, it’s still a favorite. But as noted by Red House Spice, beef and broccoli stir fry is a classic Cantonese dish, and although the authentic version varies slightly from the entrée most of us came to love, it’s just as tasty. So if you’re craving the option but don’t want to run to Panda Express to get the bastardized version, here’s what you need to know about authentic beef and broccoli stir fry.

Instead of opting for the boring broccoli that you get in a plastic bag in the grocery store, the authentic dish calls for Chinese broccoli, a much darker green known for its crunchy stems. As noted by Red House Spice, “it’s not suitable for eating raw but tastes wonderful when stir-fried either on its own or with some well-seasoned meat.” Perfect for this dish. The veggie is known as “Gai lan or Kai-lan in Cantonese or Jie Lan in Mandarin” and is sometimes referred to as Chinese kale, given that it has a stronger, earthier taste than classic broccoli. So if you’re down to revamp this golden oldie of a recipe, try making the authentic version at home.


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