Beef & Broccoli with Brown Rice

Ryan Eckles, Project Bread

School Lunch

School Lunch Recipe

Beef & Broccoli with Brown Rice

Beef and broccoli is an iconic Chinese-American dish. Typically, this dish has oyster sauce and even hoisin (plum sauce) but since those are hard to find in schools, we went with a bold spice blend to supplement the missing umami.

This sweet and salty version utilizes Chinese five spice to give it additional depth of flavor. Chinese five spice consists of star anise, fennel, Szechuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. You could also use something like garam masala if you cannot find the former.

This is a fast recipe to cook and can even be done completely in the oven. This recipe is also great with chicken, pork, and even tofu! Try mixing up the vegetable as well – asparagus, green beans, brussel sprouts, leeks, peppers & onions – get creative!

Project Bread school lunch recipe, beef and broccoli with brown rice
Project Bread school lunch recipe, beef and broccoli with brown rice



1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup garlic, chopped

1 cup ginger, chopped

12 1/2 lbs. pre-cooked beef strips or 18 3/4 lbs. flank steak, sliced ¼" x 3" 

1 1/2 cups corn starch

1 Tbsp Chinese 5-spice

2 cups low-sodium soy sauce

2 quarts water

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

13 lbs dry brown rice

Enough water to cook rice, based on manufacturer's instructions

10 1/4 lbs. broccoli crowns (frozen broccoli is fine but not chopped)



7 cups scallions, thinly sliced


  1.  Place the rice in 4” deep hotel pans and add the required amount of water. Cover with foil and place in 350 degree oven for about an hour or until cooked.
  2. 2. Heat up a tilt skillet and add the oil. When hot, add the garlic and ginger and sauté briefly. Next add the beef strips to prevent the garlic and ginger from burning. This can happen very quickly so be sure to have the beef ready to add. Continue to cook until the beef starts to become hot (approx. 5 minutes).
  3. While this is cooking, mix up the ingredients for the sauce (cornstarch, 5-spice, soy sauce, brown sugar and cider vinegar). Lower heat and add the sauce mixture to the beef. Besure the tilt skillet is lower at this point as the sauce can over-reduce and become too thick. Use water to thin if necessary.
  4. When beef has reached 165 degrees F and the sauce is the right consistency, place in 4-inch hotel pans and hold hot in warmer. Don’t fill each pan all the way to the top as you should save room for the broccoli that will be added just before service.
  5. Right before service, steam broccoli in the steamer until just cooked. Add equal amounts of broccoli to each pan of beef and sauce. Top each pan of Beef and Broccoli with the chopped scallions. Serve each bowl with1 1/3 cups of rice topped with 1 cup of beef and broccoli. You can add some of the chopped scallions to the top of the hotel pan of rice too if you have extra.

USDA Requirement

2 oz. meat/meat alternative

2 oz. whole grain equivalent

Nutritional Information

Calories 399 calories  Saturated Fat 2.84 g Sodium 263.5 mg Carbohydrate 54g

* nutrient data and allergen information may vary depending on the specific ingredients and equipment used in your location.

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