Crispy chilli beef

Crispy chilli beef

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(50 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 15 mins

Skill level



Serves 3

Ditch the takeaway and whip up this Chinese flash-fried steak with a sweet gingery sauce and red peppers

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serrving



  • 350g thin-cut minute steak, very thinly sliced into strips
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, sliced, green and white parts separated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • cooked noodles, to serve (optional)
  • prawn crackers, to serve (optional)

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  1. Put the beef in a bowl and toss in the cornflour and five-spice. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan until hot, then add the beef and fry until golden and crisp. Scoop out the beef and drain on kitchen paper. Pour away all but 1 tbsp oil.
  2. Add the pepper, half the chilli, the white ends of the spring onions, garlic and ginger to the pan. Stir-fry for 3 mins to soften, but don’t let the garlic and ginger burn. Mix the vinegar, soy, chilli sauce and ketchup in a jug with 2 tbsp water, then pour over the veg. Bubble for 2 mins, then add the beef back to the pan and toss well to coat. Serve the beef on noodles with prawn crackers, if you like, scattered with the remaining chilli and the green parts of the spring onions.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2013

Comments, questions and tips

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Costello3694's picture
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Made this recently and its is restaurant quality!

The secret to the crispy beef is a little egg white on the beef, extra corn flour, ridiculously hot oil to shallow fry and fry a few pieces at a time. I would recommend to season the beef with a little salt and maybe chili flakes when out of the pan.

I agree dont over do it on the vinegar and ginger prob needs to be grated but otherwise this is a winner!

Severed with noodles.

Spinder91's picture
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This is a delicious dish. Made for a special Saturday night supper! Extremely tasty - better than a take-away.

Hannaherring95's picture
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This was a fantastic meal, I love Chinese food but it often leaves me feeling stodgy when buying from a take out. This however was so fresh and tasty! I only used 1 tbsp of the vinegar, but doubled up on everything else in the sauce, just so there was more sauce! A*

tillyfloss80's picture
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Fantastic recipe!
I can't believe how easy it is to make my favourite dish at home.
I've made this twice now, think practice makes perfect with this one. Made sure the oil was really hot and fried in batches, it does come out crispy but not the kind of crispness you get with a batter!
Used nearly 500g of meat so used an extra tbsp of cornflour and 1/2 tsp five-spice and an extra tbsp each (plus a squirt!) of soy sauce & sweet chilli sauce. I agree about the vinegar, still very tasty but may try using half the amount next time. Didn't use the chilli as we have youngsters but still had some kick. Served with plain rice & crackers. Think I might practise again next week :-)

domingal's picture
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Great recipe, I did half the amount of rice vinegar and add a teaspoon of sugar. The beef came out very crispy, the key is to fry it in batches. Served it with coconut rice and loved it

shuttleworth's picture

This was really nice, but make sure you use a good Soy sauce that is not sweet. Will definitely make again!

gemcam3's picture
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This dish was absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making it again.

kathy535's picture

Can't rate this for some reason but I'd give this 4 stars. The beef took a lot longer to go crispy that I expected (and was not quite as crispy as I'd like) so next time I'd probably cook in batches. I followed the advice for previous posters and halved the five spice and rice vinegar and it was just right for our taste.

momedia's picture

Have used this recipe since first published and it works every time although I deep fry the beef very quickly - crunchy and tasty good with mild chilli noodles.

Davey Sprockett's picture

I've just made this for lunch with some egg fried rice, and I must say, the only difference between this and the dish from my local takeaway was the mess and dishes I've had to clear up afterwards. I must make this for my mum next time she pops over, as it's one of her favourites. I did make just a slight adjustment, instead of the rice wine vinegar, I used Mirin rice wine, and seem have had better results than those that used the rice wine vinegar.

katemay95's picture
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What a great dish.Delicious & quick. I used a sirloin steak, first split it , then cut it into strips. Also I forgot to pick up a chilli so used flakes which worked very well.

sooz71's picture

Really enjoyed this and will make again. I didn't have any fresh ginger so added heaped teaspoon of ground ginger to the liquid mix think it worked a treat. Will try with fresh next time to see the difference.

nom nom's picture
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I've made this dish several times and it's always been delicious. The only change I make is to double the amount of sauce as I prefer it with more liquid to keep the noodles moist. To get the beef crispy, I make sure the oil is very hot, fry the beef in batches and drain on kitchen paper. Also, I wait until the beef starts to float to the top of the oil before I remove it. I'm making it again's now a family favourite!

sligheal45's picture

I made this last night and it was just gorgeous , easy and so quick , ! ! My husband said it was better than any take away that he had ever had ,as this would be his favourite Chinese dish...I served it with sticky rice, which was superb, I highly recommend this fantastic dish for a mid week treat or for a weekend dinner to impress.!

gettingon's picture

Yum, thank you Cassie.
Halved the rice wine in this recipe but it really is up to the individual to taste test the sauce once mixed!
Beef was so scrummy and crisp (after adding egg and salt to corn flour mix as previously stated)
Kept crispy beef in oven on high whilst cooking the veg and then just served the veg mix topped with the crispy beef!

Thecyclingchef's picture

Really nice, couldn't imagine you would get anything better in the best restaurant

pickupsticks's picture

Brilliant! Can hardly belief it worked so well! I think the secret is cooking the beef strips till they are very crispy. I didn't use an expensive cut of meat - just a pack of stir fry beef strips that happened to be reduced at my local supermarket. I will definitely be doing this dish again and again and again!

figsandjed's picture

Not very crispy, but very delicious taste! Will definitely try again.

jesscalou's picture

I really liked this recipe. I lived in China for a year, so I tend to be quite critical of Asian dishes. It's not necessarily really authentic, but the flavour is lovely - I added extra chilli as I like spicy food. It's not the quickest dish to make, so I wouldn't recommend it for a weekday or dinner party, but if you feel like spending some time cooking something nice, then definitely go for it!

hearts86's picture

Made it tonight for dinner, following the recipe but It was very bland,... tasted of nothing. Where is the chilli taste as well??
Beef was crispy after I spent ages frying it in batches but went soggy when I mixed it in with the sauce to coat it, so there's something wrong with the recipe.
Definitely not like the one you get from the takeaway.
Gutted as beef's not cheap either and boyfriend didn't wanna touch it after he had a taste.