Legacy of Passion

Beef and Broccoli Rabe Quick-Fry


I’ve always thought that one of the best ways to eat beef is in Asian style quick-fry dishes with lots of vegetables. It is more healthy this way than eating a slab of meat, and it’s a perfect delivery system for crispy, fresh vegetables all in one dish. Broccoli rabe is a terrific substitute for the mustardy greens that are relished throughout Asia for their elusive heat and vivid green color, a perfect example of the yin contrasting with the yang of seared beef. True stir fries are not the easy-breezy affairs we’re sometimes led to believe, and they are hardly low fat. We offer a new gingery take with the sweet-and-salty allure with a fraction of the oil (save your calories for a nice, cold beer to chase this down). Most of the effort is in the preparation of ingredients, but the actual cooking is quick and easy. Use the largest heavy skillet you have, at least twelve inches in diameter. Have a bowl of freshly made white rice warm and ready to serve before you begin the actual cooking.

Recipe by Julia della Croce
Julia is one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian cooking. She is a James Beard Award winning author and has written over 15 cookbooks.

Serves: 4
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 55 mins


  • 1 Pound flank steak, cut lengthwise into thirds and sliced across the grain into matchstick strips
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Teaspoons sugar
  • Big pinch of hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 Teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon dry sherry
  • 3 Tablespoons cold chicken stock
  • 1 Bunch or 1 bag broccoli rabe
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 Tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, cut into matchstick strips
  • 4 Scallions, shredded


  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons chicken stock


1. Put the meat in a bowl and massage it with the salt, sugar, pepper flakes, and half the cornflour. Add the soy sauce and half of the sherry and let it marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.


2. Whisk the stock into the remaining cornflour and sherry a little at a time until it is absorbed. Note that if the stock isn’t added gradually, you’ll wind up with a cement-like mixture instantly.

3. Blanch the broccoli rabe according to Basic Recipe for Blanching and Boiling Broccoli Rabe, 15 seconds. Drain and submerge immediately in ice water to prevent overcooking. Drain well again and pat dry or whirl in a salad spinner.

4. Warm three quarters of the oil over medium heat and add the garlic and ginger. Sauté until lightly colored to infuse flavors, 2 minutes; remove and set aside.

5. Raise the heat to high and add half the beef. Quick-fry until seared all over but still tender, stirring immediately and constantly to spread it out and keep the pieces separate, 1 minute.


6. Transfer the meat to a platter and add the remaining oil, reserved garlic and ginger to the pan. Fry the remaining meat in the same way. When cooked, return the reserved beef to the pan and stir in the remaining cornflour-sherry mixture and toss with all the meat.

7. Add the scallion and toss; then toss in the reserved broccoli rabe. Add the finishing liquid; toss to coat well. Serve at once.


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