20 minutes quick Chinese style beef stir fried with black pepper, a very “Chinese” style stir-frying recipe using beef, onion, green peppers and ground black pepper.
Black pepper sauce and beef have been the best partner worldwide. I love that uniform and mild thick black pepper sauce very much when eating beef steaks. However, a new rule is applied in this recipe. Beef is marinated with a relatively thick sauce. And black pepper is used at the very end of the stir-frying. We get a drier, cleaner and bouncing flavored black pepper and beef stir fry. It is just so amazing that we can create so many layers of flavors in a simple stir fry dish.
Marinating play an extremely important role for tender meat. On one hand, beef absorb the taste and flavors in the marinating process, so it forms a very foundational flavor (底味). Then cornstarch is applied in order to keep the juice inside by forming a protecting shell. Vegetable oil is used at last as a protecting agent of the cornstarch. Adding cold vegetable oil in the beef can help to prevent the beef from sticking to the work, and further more prevent the marinating sauce and cornstarch separating from the meat. We call this as “脱浆”in Chinese.
- The vegetable oil should be mixed just before frying. The cold oil will protect our sauces and starch.
- After spreading the beef strips to the pan, let them stay for around 5-6 seconds until the starch finish gelatinization, otherwise the marinating tissues might be separated from the meat. In addition, be gentle and quick in the whole process.
- If you use a larger pan, you may need more oil to cover the bottom. After frying the beef strips, transfer the extra oil out and leave any around 1 tablespoon of oil in to fry the onion and peppers.
Cut the beef steak into 1cm wide strips. Marinate with all the marinating seasonings except sesame oil for 15 minutes. Then add sesame oil just before frying.
Add cooking oil in a large pan until the oil can evenly cover the bottom of the pan. spread the beef strips in. Let them stay for around 5 to 6 seconds and gently stir them several times until the beef strips change color. Transfer the beef out and leave around 1 tablespoon of the oil in.
Fry garlic until aromatic. Fry green peppers and red onion until slightly soft (do not kill them). Add a small pinch of salt.
Return beef strips back. Mix well. Spread freshly ground black pepper.Serve hot with noodles or steamed rice.
Chinese Black Pepper Beef
- 200 g beef steak ,cut into small strips
- 1.5 tbsp. oyster sauce
- ½ tbsp. light soy sauce
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- ½ tbsp. Chinese cooking wine ,Shaoxing wine
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- vegetable cooking oil ,as needed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 fresh green peppers ,remove the seeds and finely shredded
- ¼ red onion ,shredded
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the beef steak into 1cm wide strips. Marinate with all the marinating seasonings including soy sauce, oyster sauce, pepper, sugar, Chinese cooking wine and cornstarch for 15 minutes. Mix in sesame oil just before start frying.
- Add cooking oil in a large pan until the oil can evenly cover the bottom of the pan. spread the beef strips in. Let them stay for around 5 to 6 seconds and gently stir them several times until the beef strips change color. Transfer the beef out and leave around 1 tablespoon of the oil in.
- Fry garlic until aromatic. Fry green peppers and red onion until slightly soft (do not kill them). Add a small pinch of salt. Return beef strips back. Mix well. Spread freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve hot with noodles or steamed rice.
I have a question about the initial frying of the beef after having seen your pictures.
In my experience the amount of oil is less important than the - well - depth of oil covering the bottom of the pan. So the amount of two tablespoons might give a totally different result when using a pan with 20cm as opposed to one with 30cm diameter.
The "large" pan I have has an (inner) diameter of roughly 28cm but two tablespoons of oil would probably barely cover the bottom, let alone have the same level as in your pictures.
Could you maybe explain this a little bit more?
By the way, I really like your "Cook’s Note" section. That's exactly the kind of information I'm always looking for.
That's really a good point. I use a very small pan, although looks large in the picture. I have never though about the size of the pan. I will add the information on the cook's Note section.
Thank you for your answer Elaine,
I finally had some time to try this out and it tasted really great. The combination of onions and green peppers is areal favorite of mine as it's always so crunchy and fresh.
Now you mention that this is "very Chinese" could you explain that a little more? What is it exactly about this dish that's so typical for Chinese cooking?
It is coated with starch and fried as a typical Chinese meat stir frying method. In western cooking, we usually fry the beef steak directly (no coating).
HI, what would be close substituteto sesame oil as allergen?
You can use other acceptable vegetable oil as a substitute to sesame oil.
Looks like a great recipe. Going to try it! Not clear on the marinade for the beef, is it from the oyster sauce to the sesame oii? Thank you
Oyster sauce is a key ingredient for flavor.
OMG Elaine read the question again! What the hell is "the marinating ingredients"???.
You never made that clear which ones we use for the marinade
My fault. I did not make the recipe instruction as clear as possible. Already updated.
My goodness Richard. How very rude. There is no need to speak to her that way.
Why do you feel the need to be a jerk? So unnecessary and beyond rude. If you don't need help or are such a great cook, what is your blog? Where are your recipes? Sheesh. What is wrong with people?
can`t find the print sine to copy the resipe can you help please?
There is a print button on the right top of the recipe section.
Sorry if this is a dumb question. What cut of beef did you use? Thanks
I use sirloin for this specific recipe. But only cut can work fine for this recipe.
Hi! I will use tenderloin for this recipe.is it ok if i will not put cornstarch to cover the beef? Or i have to?
Cornstarch is extremely important to this recipe. Please do not omit it.
I made this with lamb and it was delicious. thanks for sharing your recipe.
Thanks Mary for your great feedback. Hope you enjoy it. Happy cooking.
Hi! This looks so delicious. I know it depends on ones appetite but approximately how many does this serve, or is it a single serving? Thanks so much.
Simply we do not make larger batches for more people. We make more dishes for more people. Most single stir-fry dish can serve 3-4 people with other dishes.
that's quite an interesting comment you made there. I myself have failed miserably in trying to scale up stir fry dishes in particular. There's only so much a reasonably sized pan can handle.
That's one more reason I'd really be interested in how you combine several dishes to make a complete menu. So I'd really welcome a post like "Combine this and this and this recipe to make a nice dinner" once in a while.
That's a good suggestion Andreas. I have thought about this long time ago. I often get lots of readers asking how many this dish can serve. But Chinese plan the menu based on totally different theory. I will get a post and introduce this soon.
I am very much looking forward to this bit as well! Great inquiry! Love your site and recipes. Thanks.
Thanks Stephanie for your suggestion. I am writing the very basics about Chinese cooking. Keep returned!
I saw someone else question about what cut of beef to use for this but I don’t understand the answer. If I go to the supermarket what kind of beef am I looking for?
Generally any cut of beef steak can work fine for this one. I use sirloin this time.
wow your recipe is very interesting to try, i can't wait to try the recipe that you've taught at home soon. thank you for the recipe you've given
I'm planning to make this later this week, it looks lovely. I just wanted to check the nutritional information with you - you advise the total calories per portion is 95, but I calculate 100g of sirloin beef to be 140? I'm hoping you can clarify.
Sorry, Nichola. The nutritional information is calculated wrongly because of the wrong options. I have already updated the information. Thanks so much for your correctness.