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Satisfy Your Cravings: Homemade Chinese Pepper Steak Recipe

If you're looking for a flavourful and satisfying meal to add to your recipe repertoire, Chinese pepper steak is a great option. This classic dish is a staple in Chinese cuisine, and it's easy to see why. With tender strips of beef, crisp peppers, and a savoury brown sauce, it's a dish that's sure to please everyone at the table.

A sizzling wok with stir-fried beef, bell peppers, and onions in a savory brown sauce, garnished with sesame seeds and scallions

To make Chinese pepper steak, you'll need a few key ingredients, including beef, peppers, onions, and a variety of sauces and seasonings. While traditional Chinese recipes may call for specific ingredients that can be hard to find, there are plenty of substitutions you can make to create a delicious version of this dish with ingredients that are readily available at your local grocery store. With the right preparation techniques and cooking methods, you can create a mouth-watering meal that's sure to impress.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese pepper steak is a classic dish that's both flavourful and satisfying.
  • While traditional Chinese recipes may call for specific ingredients, there are plenty of substitutions you can make to create a delicious version of this dish with ingredients that are readily available at your local grocery store.
  • With the right preparation techniques and cooking methods, you can create a mouth-watering meal that's sure to impress.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A cutting board with sliced beef, bell peppers, and onions. Bowls of soy sauce, cornstarch, and Chinese five-spice powder. A bottle of vegetable oil and a skillet on a stovetop

When it comes to making Chinese pepper steak, choosing the right ingredients is crucial to achieving the perfect balance of flavours and textures. Here are some key ingredients and substitutions to consider when making this dish.

Beef Selection

The cut of beef you choose will greatly affect the tenderness and flavour of your pepper steak. Flank steak, skirt steak, sirloin, round steak, and hanger steak are all great options. Look for cuts that are well-marbled with fat and have a good balance of meat and connective tissue. If you're on a budget, round steak is a good choice, while hanger steak is a more premium option.

Peppers and Onions

Bell peppers, green peppers, and onions are the classic vegetables used in pepper steak. You can use any colour of bell pepper, but green and red are the most commonly used. Make sure to cut the peppers and onions into thin, even slices so that they cook evenly.

Sauce Components

The sauce is what gives pepper steak its signature flavour. A typical sauce includes soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, and Shaoxing wine. You can also add garlic, ginger, black pepper, and sesame oil for extra flavour. If you're looking for a low-sodium option, use low-sodium soy sauce or chicken broth instead of beef broth.

Here is a table summarising the key sauce components and their substitutions:

Ingredient Substitution
Soy sauce Coconut aminos, tamari, low-sodium soy sauce
Oyster sauce Hoisin sauce, Worcestershire sauce
Brown sugar Honey, molasses
Shaoxing wine Rice vinegar, dry sherry
Garlic Garlic powder
Ginger Ginger powder, fresh grated ginger
Black pepper White pepper
Sesame oil Vegetable oil, canola oil
Beef broth Chicken broth, vegetable broth

Remember that you can always adjust the amounts of each ingredient to suit your personal taste. Experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savoury flavours.

Preparation Techniques

Sizzling beef strips in a wok with colorful bell peppers, onions, and garlic, seasoned with soy sauce and Chinese five-spice, creating an aromatic stir-fry

Preparing Chinese pepper steak requires a few key techniques to ensure the meat is tender and packed with flavour. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Marinating the Beef

Marinating the beef is an essential step to achieve a tender and flavourful dish. To prepare the marinade, combine soy sauce, cornstarch, Shaoxing wine, and a pinch of sugar in a bowl. Mix well and add the beef. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can also marinate the beef overnight for even more flavour.

Cutting Techniques

To ensure the beef is tender, it's important to cut it against the grain. This technique helps to break down the muscle fibres, making the meat easier to chew. Cut the beef into thin, bite-sized strips for quick and easy cooking.

Stir-Frying Basics

Stir-frying is a quick and easy cooking technique that uses high heat to cook food in a matter of minutes. To stir-fry, heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until smoking hot. Add a tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the beef and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, or until browned. Remove the beef from the pan and set it aside.

Next, add sliced onions and bell peppers to the pan and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Return the beef to the pan and add the pepper steak sauce. Stir-fry for another minute or until the sauce has thickened and the beef is cooked through.

Preparing Chinese pepper steak requires some preparation and cooking techniques, but it's a quick and easy dish to make. With a little bit of practice, you'll be able to whip up this delicious meal in no time. Don't forget to share your creation on Instagram using the hashtag #peppersteak!

Cooking the Dish

Sizzling skillet with sliced beef, bell peppers, and onions in a fragrant Chinese pepper steak sauce

Searing the Meat

To start cooking the Chinese pepper steak, you need to heat up your wok or skillet on high heat. Add a tablespoon of neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil, and let it heat up for a few seconds. Then, add the sliced beef to the wok and sear it for about 1-2 minutes on each side until it's browned and slightly crispy.

Combining Ingredients

Next, add the sliced onions and bell peppers to the wok and stir-fry for another minute or so until they are slightly softened. Then, mix together the cornstarch and stir-fry sauce in a bowl until it's well combined. Add the sauce to the wok and stir everything together until it's evenly coated.

Finalising the Sauce

Let the sauce simmer for another minute or so until it thickens up and becomes glossy. This will help to create a juicy, flavourful sauce that coats the beef and vegetables. Once the sauce is ready, transfer the pepper steak to a plate and garnish it with some chopped green onions or sesame seeds for added flavour and texture.

Stir-frying is a quick and easy way to cook Chinese pepper steak, and it's a great way to infuse the dish with wok hei flavour. The high heat and constant stirring help to create a smoky, caramelised flavour that is characteristic of stir-fry dishes. By following these simple steps, you can create a delicious and authentic Chinese pepper steak that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Serving Suggestions

A steaming hot plate of Chinese pepper steak, garnished with colorful bell peppers and served alongside fluffy white rice


Chinese pepper steak is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. One of the most popular accompaniments is rice. You can serve the pepper steak on a bed of fluffy white rice or brown rice for a healthier option. The rice will absorb the delicious sauce of the pepper steak, making it a perfect combination.

Another great accompaniment for the pepper steak is noodles. You can serve the pepper steak with either rice or noodles, depending on your preference. The noodles will add a different texture to the dish and make it more filling. You can use any type of noodles you like, but we recommend using egg noodles or udon noodles for the best results.

Garnishing Tips

To make your Chinese pepper steak look even more appetizing, you can garnish it with some sesame seeds or chopped spring onions. The sesame seeds will add a nutty flavour to the dish, while the spring onions will add a fresh and crunchy texture. You can also sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on top of the dish for an extra burst of flavour.

If you want to make your pepper steak healthier, you can add some green and red bell peppers to the dish. These peppers are low in fat and high in vitamins, making them a great addition to any dinner recipe. You can also add some sesame oil to the dish for a nutty flavour and some black pepper for a little bit of spice.

Chinese pepper steak is a delicious and healthy dinner recipe that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. Whether you choose to serve it with rice or noodles, the dish is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. By following these garnishing tips, you can make your pepper steak look even more appetizing and add some extra flavour to the dish.

Storing and Reheating

Sizzling stir-fried beef with peppers in a savory sauce, transferred to airtight containers and placed in the refrigerator. Later, the containers are taken out and reheated in a microwave or on the stove

Storage Advice

If you have any leftovers from your homemade version of Chinese pepper steak recipe, make sure to store them properly to maintain their quality and freshness. Place the leftover beef and vegetables in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Reheating for Best Taste

When you're ready to enjoy your leftovers, there are two ways to reheat them: in the microwave or on the stovetop. If you're using the microwave, place the beef and vegetables in a microwave-safe dish and heat them in 30-second increments until warmed through. Be sure to stir the beef and vegetables between each increment to ensure even heating.

If you prefer to use the stovetop, heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add your leftover beef and vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is heated through. If the sauce has thickened when refrigerated, you can add a splash of water or broth to loosen it up while reheating.

It's important to note that when reheating the beef, you don't want to overcook it and make it tough. To ensure tender beef, reheat it only until it's heated through. Overcooking it will make it dry and tough.

By following these simple storage and reheating tips, you can enjoy the delicious taste of Chinese pepper steak recipe even after it's been cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok with sliced beef, bell peppers, and onions stir-frying in a savory Chinese pepper steak sauce. Steam rises as the ingredients cook together

How do you make Chinese pepper steak so tender?

The key to making tender Chinese pepper steak is to slice the beef thinly against the grain, marinate it with cornstarch, soy sauce, and oil for at least 15 minutes, and then stir-fry it quickly over high heat. This will help to tenderize the meat and keep it juicy.

What ingredients go into a classic pepper steak sauce?

A classic pepper steak sauce usually contains soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and beef broth. Some recipes may also include garlic, ginger, and sesame oil for added flavour.

Which cut of beef works best for a succulent pepper steak?

A tender cut of beef such as flank steak, sirloin, or ribeye works best for making succulent pepper steak. These cuts are lean, flavourful, and easy to slice thinly against the grain.

Can you suggest a simple method for preparing Chinese pepper steak?

To prepare Chinese pepper steak, start by marinating the beef with cornstarch, soy sauce, and oil for at least 15 minutes. Then, stir-fry the beef with garlic, ginger, and sliced vegetables such as bell peppers and onions. Finally, add the pepper steak sauce and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the beef and vegetables.

Is it possible to serve Chinese pepper steak with rice as a complete meal?

Yes, Chinese pepper steak can be served with rice as a complete meal. You can also add other side dishes such as stir-fried vegetables or a soup to make a more filling and nutritious meal.

Does consuming Chinese pepper steak affect cholesterol levels significantly?

Consuming Chinese pepper steak in moderation as part of a balanced diet is unlikely to significantly affect cholesterol levels. However, it is important to choose lean cuts of beef and limit the amount of added salt and sugar in the recipe.