Chinese black pepper beef

Chinese black pepper beef

After a somewhat long hiatus from blogging it’s great to be finally back. Due to obligations in life I was forced to put the blogging on hold for some time.

It was Sunday afternoon and I felt the craving for something light and fast to cook. First thing that popped into my mind was another series of nostalgic memories from Sundays at the local Chinese restaurant.

Chinese pepper beef was a quite popular item almost everybody knew. Quite frankly, the version served back then was quite boring in comparison to what I had in asia. Chinese pepper beef ano 1990s consisted of onions and beef masked by dark soy sauce.

My version is colored up with some bell peppers and contains a lighter sauce. After traveling through Asia I find the MSG loaded westernized Chinese items too sweet and somewhat disgusting. Instead of using chicken stock powder (another MSG bomb) I am using a homemade Asian chicken stock as a healthier flavor enhancer.

It’s time to stop wondering what to make for dinner and serve up some tender pepper marinated beef slices that will literally melt in your mouth.  Enjoy!


Chinese black pepper beef

Yield: 2

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 5-10 min

Total Time: 35 min + prep time


8 oz/230 grams thinly sliced top sirloin cut across the grain
½ Red onion cut into 1 in/2.5cm thick slices
¼ red bell pepper thinly sliced
¼ green bell pepper thinly sliced
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 in/2.5 cm piece of minced and peeled ginger.
2 tablespoon cooking oil.


1 teaspoon of baking soda (do NOT use baking powder)
½ tablespoon light soy
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
¼ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon corn starch or 2 teaspoons of potato starch


4 tablespoons unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
¼ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.
1 teaspoons of cornstarch or ½ teaspoon potato starch


• Place beef into a bowl and coat each piece evenly with baking soda using your hands. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, rinse under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place beef in another clean bowl, add all the marinade ingredients and combine well with your hands. Let sit for 15 minutes.

• Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl.

• Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a carbon steel or lightweight cast iron wok over high heat. When a hint of smoke from the oil appears, spread the beef slices across the bottom and let sit for 1 minute before flipping over with a spatula. Continue stir-frying until no longer pink. Transfer over to kitchen papers to get rid of excess oil.

• Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat, stir fry the ginger and garlic for 10 seconds or until fragrant (do not burn!). Turn up the heat, add in the onions and stir-fry until translucent. Toss in the bell peppers and keep stir-frying for 1 more minute before adding the precooked beef. Keep tossing and stir-frying for 1-2 minutes.

Give the sauce mixture a final stir to dissolve the starch before adding it to the wok. Keep stirring and allow it to cook until sauce thickens and raw starch flavor is gone.

If your beef is already tender you may skip the baking soda trick and jump straight to the marination process.



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