Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli (Better Than Takeout!)

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This vegan take on “Beef” & Broccoli is even better than takeout, plus it only takes 20 minutes to make! Serve with rice for a full meal.

Step aside, takeout! Today I’m sharing a Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli recipe that will blow your mind.

Beef & Broccoli originated from a Chinese dish called Gai Lan Chao Niu Rou (芥兰炒牛肉), but Chinese broccoli is commonly swapped for American Broccoli in this popular fusion dish. This plant-based version is  hearty, juicy, packed with flavor, and a great source of greens & protein! Plus, it only takes around 30 minutes to make.

hand using chopsticks to pick up pieces of vegan "beef" from bowl of vegan beef and broccoli

INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN BEEF & BROCCOLI

soy curls, broccoli, and half an onion arranged with sauce ingredients on marble countertop

The majority of the ingredients for this recipe are pantry-friendly, though we will need a few “special” additions:

  • Soy Curls: serve as the vegan “beef” in this recipe; you might be able to find them in a store near you, but you can also purchase them online.
  • White Onion & Broccoli: the classic beef & broccoli veggies, white onion and broccoli add volume and flavor to our dish! I prefer to use fresh broccoli as it has a firmer bite and more vibrant color.
  • Garlic & Ginger: this flavor combination is pretty much essential to most stir frys, and this recipe is no exception
  • Spices & Seasonings: coconut sugar, low-sodium, tamari, dark soy sayuce, vegan “beef” flavored bouillon, and toasted sesame oil all add body and flavor to our imitation “beef!”
  • Arrowroot Powder: helps to thicken our sauce and give it a glossy finish

DARK SOY SAUCE VS. LIGHT SOY SAUCE

Dark Soy Sauce is “regular” soy sauce that has been aged for a longer period of time and may have thickeners added to it. It has a darker color, thicker texture, and more intense flavor than light soy sauce, and it only used sparingly in recipes. In this recipe, it’s mostly used to color our soy curls to a more beef-like color.

Unfortunately there is no substitute for dark soy sauce – you should be able to find it at your local asian grocer, or you can purchase it online. If you don’t particularly care that the soy curls are not as dark as beef would be, you can also just leave it out! I would suggest adding extra tamari to the recipe to taste, as the dark soy sauce does add some salty flavor.

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN BEEF & BROCCOLI

large pan of beef & broccoli with wooden spatula scooping a serving portion out of it

Aside from rehydrating the soy curls, this Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli has the same (simple!) steps:

  1. Rehydrate the soy curls in imitation beef broth, then sauté them in dark soy sauce to darken them.
  2. Sauté the aromatics, then top with broccoli and add the sweet & salty sauce
  3. Simmer until the broccoli is steamed and the sauce has thickened
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Thanks to dark soy sauce and a few spices, our soy curls totally transform into juicy, hearty, protein-packed “beef” that could satisfy any eater! Beef and Broccoli is traditionally served over fluffy jasmine rice, but it would be excellent with some rice noodles as well. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days…if you have any, that is 😉

beef and broccoli over rice in white bowl on marble countertop

If you’re looking for more asian-inspired takeout recipes, you’ll also love this Vegan Sesame “Chicken”, this Vegan Black Pepper Tofu and these Saucy Peanut Tempeh Bowls!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

Print

Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli

This vegan take on “Beef” & Broccoli is even better than takeout, plus it only takes 20 minutes to make!
Serve with rice or noodles for a full meal.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Prep: Bring 3 cups (710 ml) of water to a boil. Dissolve the beef bouillon in ~1/4 cup (60 ml) of the water in a large bowl, then add in the dried soy curls and cover with remaining water. Let sit for around 3 minutes to rehydrate, then strain off and save the remaining “broth”. Try to press as much liquid out of the soy curls as possible.
  2. Sauté the Soy Curls: combine 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the reserved broth with the dark soy sauce and set aside. Warm 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat; add the soy curls and sauté for around 30 seconds, then push to the side and pour the dark soy sauce mixture into the pan. Quickly mix well, to ensure all the soy curls get coated in dark sauce. Sauté for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until all of the remaining liquid has evaporated from the pan and the soy curls have browned.
  3. Add Aromatics: Push the soy curls to one side of the pan and add in the remaining teaspoon of avocado oil. Once warm, add the onion, ginger, and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and translucent. Then, mix the aromatics with the soy curls evenly.
  4. Get Saucy: in a medium bowl combine the tamari, coconut sugar, cornstarch, and the remaining reserved broth from the soy curls, which should be around 3/4 (180 ml) cup. Whisk well, until the cornstarch has fully dissolved. Add the broccoli to the sauté pan and pour the sauce over everything. Once the mixture begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the broccoli is cooked to your liking and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  5. Final Touches: Turn the heat off and stir in the toasted sesame oil, and top with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve warm over rice or noodles, or as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Soy Curls: soy curls can be purchased via amazon or directly from the butler foods website. Alternatively, you can use another imitation “beef” product. If you choose to do so, use about 8 ounces and you do not need to rehydrate it, unless it is dried. You can also omit the dark soy sauce in the recipe – simply sauté the product in oil then skip to step 3.
  • Other Substitutions: vegetable bouillon can be used in place of imitation beef bouillon, but the final flavor will be less realistic. You can also replace 1 cup of water with vegetable broth instead. There is no substitution for dark soy sauce; if you choose to omit it, the soy curls will not be as dark, but the overall flavor will be similar – just add extra Tamari or soy sauce, to taste.

Keywords: vegan beef and broccoli, vegan chinese takeout, vegan broccoli beef, soy curls recipes

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. Finally got around to making this- I don’t know why I waited so long! absolutely delicious! Quick and easy too, which is always a bonus!

  2. ♥️♥️♥️♥️ this recipe. Only problem is I used too much soy sauce. I misunderstood the ingredient list and wound up nearly doubling it. I also added peppers from my garden and baby corn.

  3. Made this tonight!! Added carrots and celery bc we need to use it up, but it was so AMAZING!! Will be making again… and again. And again.

  4. This and the Sesame “Chicken” are two of my favorites. I make one or the other at least once per month.

  5. So yummy! Genuinely surprised at all the flavor this dish has considering the short list of ingredients! Used ginger powder because I didn’t have fresh ginger on hand and also did not have dark soy sauce but am very pleased with the outcome. (Really happy I purchased the “no beef” base I think that makes a huge difference.) 10/10 will make again!

  6. Caitlin, this is so yummy!! I’ve made it a few times now and it’s always a hit. Any chance you’d have any idea how to make this in an instant pot? I feel like it would be so simple to do, maybe with rice or noodles in the pot as well? Just curious though

  7. Delicious recipe! Next time I will cook the soy curls longer since I prefer them on the firmer/chewier side, but it definitely hits the spot when you want a “Chinese takeout” dish. I used regular soy sauce, tapioca starch and maple syrup as substitutes and it still turned out great.