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.
Elaine, another "home run" recipe! My Son in Law is Chinese, and your recipes have made me a hit with him. When he comes to visit, I always try to prepare one or more of your recipes for him and the family. He appreciates me trying to cook as he remembers from home.
You are such a lovely father in law!! He must be very happy and lucky to get similar food from you guys in other countries. Happy cooking!
Hi, Elaine. I have not made the recipe yet. But I was wondering exactly how much pepper you used in the recipe. You say to add a pinch of salt, but no measurement for the pepper. Thank you.
Good point. I have updated the recipe and add a accrue amount of black pepper used.
2 Questions: is this toasted sesame oil or just the regular clear sesame oil? And if I don't have Chinese wine, can I use sherry?
In most Chinese cuisines, we use toasted sesame oil only.
Chinese wine can be replaced by dry sherry.
I cooked thi tonite. Great meal! When I do it again I will add fresh ginger and triple the oyster. Also might add fermented beans. However a great base recipe. Was not syre what process the oil was about so added beef to room temp oil and it worked! Keep it up.
I believe their is a similar recipe on the website called NO RECIPE
I get lots of recipes similar to some recipe on the internet because we are cooking the same dish.
I love your recipes, and the way you describe your cooking
Rüdiger Giebeler Germany
Thanks Rüdiger. You are so sweet by telling me you love my words used for describing. I got lots of complains about my English expression.
I found the recipe alittle dry for my taste, use beef broth or beef bullion at the end to thicken beef and pepper mixture, great for rice. The corn starch will thicken the sauce with the marinate, surprised you didn’t do this in the recipe.
I use lots of thick starch technique for stir frying. But I don't apply thick starch coating in this special recipe because I want to create a texture with stronger beef flavor.
Very healthy and tasty food sure everyone love it.
What type of beef steak do you recommend? There are many different kinds.
Any cut works for regular Chinese stir fry
Brittany L Smith
Thoughts in making this with chicken tenderloins? Don't eat beef but sounds delicious!
Yes, chicken works fine too.