Quick and easy low sodium beef and broccoli. I use the same basic sauce and method for all my stir-fry dishes, so substitute in whatever protein or vegetable you like for a fast low sodium meal.
Sodium: About 90 mg per serving
Time: 45 minutes
1 pound beef, sliced thin
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 lb broccoli florets, about 2 cups
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium shallots, minced
1-2 teaspoons minced ginger
Ingredients for sauce:
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup soy sauce substitute*
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons vinegar (sherry, rice, black, or balsamic)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cloves of raw garlic, pressed or minced
*See notes in Step 1 about using a different low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
1) Prepare the ingredients:
Broccoli- I like to blanch the broccoli because it helps me control the texture of the broccoli in the stir fry, but you can skip this step and just let the raw broccoli cook a little bit longer in step 6, below, before adding the sauce. To blanch, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut broccoli into small, bit-sized pieces and blanch in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Pour the broccoli into a colander and rinse with cold water so it stops cooking. You want the broccoli a little soft but still crunchy.
Beef- Sometimes I'll use a lean cut like London broil (aka top round), and sometimes I'll choose a cut with more fat like ribeye or even chuck. Any cut will work, just cut it against the grain. Cut the beef into thin strips. In a small bowl, combine the beef with 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Sauce- In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water until it forms a smooth slurry. Then add the rest of the "Sauce Ingredients" to the cornstarch slurry and set it aside.
This sauce calls for 1/4 cup of my low sodium soy sauce substitute. If you can tolerate more sodium in your diet, use any other combination of sauces that totals 1/4 cup (which is 4 tablespoons). For example, use 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos plus 3 tablespoons water or low sodium chicken broth. As long as you have 1/4 cup of liquid here the rest of the recipe will work just fine.
The total cooking time for this dish is about 10 minutes, so these next few steps move pretty fast.
4) First, cook the beef. Set a medium sized bowl (something large enough to fit all the beef) next to the stove. Start by heating a thin layer of cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok (my skillet is 12 inches). Once the oil is hot, add half the beef in a single layer and let it cook until the edges are done. Don't stir, just let it sit in a single layer on the hot pan for about a minute or two. This is important because if you stir too much here you’ll lose moisture. Once the edges are cooked, toss the beef so it cooks on both sides and continue to cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl. The beef might still have some pink spots here and there but that's fine, we're adding it back to the hot pan in a bit. Cook the second half of the beef the same way. I cook half the meat at a time because I don't want to crowd the hot pan. If you do that, you lose a lot of heat in the pan and end up with too much liquid in the pan, and this results in dryer, less flavorful beef.
5) Next, sauté the garlic, shallots, and ginger over medium heat in a little oil until they are soft and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
6) Add the broccoli to the hot pan. If you blanched the broccoli, pour the sauce in immediately (give it a quick stir in case the cornstarch has settled). If the broccoli is raw, let it cook for a bit until it reaches your desired texture, and then pour the sauce in. Add the beef to the pan and stir everything together for about a minute until the sauce has thickened and everything is combined. Serve hot.