Chris Hsu for American Public Media

How to cook for an alien

The aliens are coming to dinner! In this episode we wonder what food aliens might eat and talk to real scientists who've thought long and hard about this question. Plus, our friends at America's Test Kitchen show us how to whip up a delicious beef and broccoli dish. We'll lay out the cooking instructions step by step throughout the podcast so you can cook along. When the episode is over, you'll be ready to chow down.

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

BEEF AND BROCCOLI STIR-FRY

This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen's upcoming The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs.

Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Prepare Ingredients

1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup water, measured separately
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 pound flank steak (substitute tofu for vegetarian option)
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 cups broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

Gather Cooking Equipment

2 medium bowls
Whisk
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Ruler
Rubber spatula
12-inch nonstick

Cutting Beef for Stir Fry

1. Use chef’s knife to cut steak with grain (long lines running length of steak) into 3 or 4 strips (each about 2 inches wide).

2. Cut each strip across grain into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick

Start Cooking!

1. In medium bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon water, soy sauce, cornstarch, and baking soda until combined.

2. Use chef’s knife to cut steak into ¼-inch-thick slices. Add sliced beef to bowl with soy sauce mixture. Wash your hands. Use rubber spatula to stir to coat. Let beef sit for 15 minutes.

3. While beef sits, in second medium bowl, whisk hoisin sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and remaining ¼ cup water until combined.

4. When beef is ready, heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Use rubber spatula to carefully add beef to skillet and spread it into even layer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is lightly browned on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat and use rubber spatula to transfer beef to large plate.

5. Add hoisin mixture, broccoli, and garlic to skillet and return to medium high-heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes.

6. Stir beef and juices on plate back into skillet and cook for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Serve.