There aren’t many things better than a spicy Crispy Chilli Beef dish on a bed of fluffy white rice. If this dish is your Chinese Restaurant favourite, you must try making it yourself. Seriously, ditch the takeaway and make this pan-fried beef steak with vegetables, sweet and spicy chilli sauce and white rice at home! You will definitely be impressed…
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Better Than Chinese Takeaway
We don’t eat beef very often, but when we do, it’s something special. And for us, Chinese Crispy Chilli Beef is as special as it gets. Not only extremely tasty and satisfying to eat, but it’s also such a wonderful feeling to be able to re-create my favourite Chinese Takeaway dish. Ever since we started making this Shredded Chilli Beef and our Tofu Kung Pao dishes, we haven’t had to order a Chinese Takeaway again. Not hard to make, with no unusual ingredients and with less refined sugar than most, this recipe will definitely meet, if not exceed your expectations.
Will I Need A Wok To Make Chinese Chilli Beef?
You will ideally need a wok for this recipe, however, I made it using frying pans. A wok-shaped pan, however, would save you some oil, so I would recommend getting one if you’re a fan of Chinese and South-East Asian cuisines. Here’s the link to one that’s perfect for cooking two portions. And you can also find the one we recommend if you’re cooking for a family here.
However, don’t worry if you don’t have a wok – simply use a good old frying pan! It will still taste amazing, trust us!
Cut the steak into thin strips against the grain, that is, in a different direction from which the natural muscle fibres run in.
When the meat is cut, put it in the bowl with a tbsp of sesame oil, 2 tbsp of soy sauce and a pinch of caster sugar. Leave to marinate, whilst you prepare all the other elements of the dish.
To prepare the sauce, in a small bowl, combine, 2 tbsp of honey, 1 tsp of brown sugar, 2 tbsp of tomato ketchup, 5 tbsp of rice vinegar and 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce. Mix well and set aside for later.
Crush and finely chop your garlic and ginger. The best way to do that, if you’re not using a garlic press or a mincer is to crush them first with the side of the knife. Use a wide-bladed knife, place it on top of your unpeeled garlic with the sharp edge facing away and slam the palm of your hand to crush it under the blade (take care not to cut yourself). Then remove the skin and chop as finely as you can. I do the same with my ginger but peel it first (the skin might make the dish have a bitter aftertaste). Then thinly slice one red chilli into rounds. You may choose to remove the seeds if you don’t like your food too spicy.
Now julienne (cut into short thin strips) a small carrot and half of the red pepper. You can use a mandoline slicer if you wish.
Crack a small egg into your beef and mix well so all the beef strips are well coated. Put the cornflour into a large mixing bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Then add your beef strips (let any excess egg drip off) into cornflour and mix well with your hands until all the strips are covered. Strips should now be separated from each other and each should have a full coat of cornflour. It’s essential to use an excessive amount of cornflour to make sure your beef is crispy, so don’t be stingy.
Add about 120ml of vegetable oil (or other odourless oil) into your wok or a frying pan. I tend to use a smaller pan and fry my beef in three bathes. Using a small pan means I need to add less oil for the beef to fully submerge (just be being frugal). Make sure your oil is hot before you start adding beef. And don’t overcrowd the pan. Better fry in baches. It will only take 3 minutes per batch so you won’t save that much time if you do it all in one go.
Transfer the beef onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Then repeat with the rest of the beef. That’s your Chinese crispy beef ready!
In a separate large frying pan or wok, add a tbsp of oil (I just take a spoonful from my beef pan). Add carrots, pepper, chilli, ginger and garlic and fry on high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add the sauce that you prepared earlier. Stir and leave to vigorously bubble for a minute. Add your crispy beef and toss just enough to coat.
Serve your chilli beef with some spring onion and sesame seeds scattered on top and some fluffy white rice on the side.
We chose to use sirloin steak for our Crispy Chilli Beef, as it is nice and tender. However, both Minute steak and Rump will work just fine, as long as you slice your beef thinly enough, as your beef will be flash cooked, so it won’t have much time to soften.
For best results, that is tender beef that isn’t chewy, you want thin strips cut against the grain, that is, in a different direction from which the natural muscle fibres run in.
What to Serve with Crispy Chilli Beef?
We often serve crispy chilli beef with white rice, but this crispy beef is absolutely delicious stuffed in Bao Buns (recipe coming very soon). If you are looking for a couple of vegetable side dishes that pair well with Chinese beef, here are some that we’d recommend:
- Asian Cabbage Slaw with Sesame Mayo
- Fried Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon (Garlic Broccolini)
- Charred Pak Choi
Other Fakeaway Recipes
If you love a Chinese takeaway but want to replicate some of your favourite dishes at home, have a look at some of our favourite fakeaway recipes below. Some of them will come together quicker than your takeaway would have arrived 🙂
Crispy Chilli Beef | Chinese Takeaway Favourite
- 200 g sirloin steak fat trimmed off
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 small egg
- 170 g cornflour
- 120 ml vegetable oil
- 1 small carrot cut into thin short sticks
- ½ red pepper cut into thin short slices
- 25 g ginger peeled and very finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and very finely chopped
- 1 red chilli sliced into thin rounds
For The Sauce Sauce:
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 spring onion sliced
- a pinch of sesame seeds
- 150 g white long grain rice to serve
- Cut the meat into thin long strips (for tips, see text above). Place them in the bowl and add sesame oil, caster sugar and 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Mix and set aside to marinade.
- In a separate small bowl, make your sauce. Mix tomato ketchup, honey, rice vinegar, dark soy sauce and brown sugar. Set aside for later.
- Julienne your carrots and half of the red pepper. Crush and finely chop garlic and ginger, and cut your chilli into rounds.
- Put the rice on to boil following instructions on the packet. Crack a small egg into your beef and mix to coat. In a large mixing bowl, put the cornflour and season with some salt and pepper. Then add the marinated beef and mix with your hands until all the beef strips are fully coated and no longer stuck together. Shake off any excess cornflour and place the coated beef strips of a clean plate.
- Heat 120ml of odourless oil in a small pan or a wok. Once hot add 1/3 of your beef and fry for 3 minutes. Transfer cooked beef on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the rest of the beef. You can use a large pan or wok, but you will need to add a lot more oil for the beef to submerge in oil. It is important, however not to overcrowd the pan if you want your beef crispy.
- Heat a tbsp of oil (taken from the beef pan) in a separate large frying pan or wok. Add carrots, pepper, ginger, garlic and chilli and fry on high heat for 30 seconds. Tip in the sauce you prepared earlier and bring to a boil. Boil vigorously for a minute, then add the crispy beef and toss just enough to coat.
- Serve on a bed of white rice. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and sliced spring onion on top.