Crispy chilli beef

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 15 mins


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: per serrving

  • kcal454
  • fat23g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs32g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre2g
  • protein26g
  • salt2.2g
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  • 350g thin-cut minute steak, very thinly sliced into strips



    Steak is essentially a boneless thick or thin slice of red meat, cut across the grain of a large…

  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onion, sliced, green and white parts separated
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, cut into matchsticks



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • cooked noodles, to serve (optional)
  • prawn crackers, to serve (optional)



    There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (93)

fretmanfoody's picture

I followed the recipe loosley in so far as I didnt measure anything exactly and also tried to guess the correct amounts for just two people, oh and I forgot the fresh chilli!!! Anyhow it turned out great we loved it and will be having it again

Anastaciawilde's picture

Followed vinegar advice and was very impressed with the result. I cut the beef too thick which made it a bit chewy but still yummed up by all.

0182mum's picture

I also used whole red chilli and for plot to rate five stars!

0182mum's picture

Having moved to an area where there are no decent Chinese restaurants/take away, my husband and I were hankering for Chinese food. Having found this and another recipe on here (Ken Hom chow mien also excellent) I thought I would at least try to create something near to a good Chinese. Well this is it and I think it will become a regular. I took on board many comments left (I usually like to try recipe as is first) and jiggled the recipe slightly. Having read the vinegar comments I was wondering if those that felt it was to 'vinegary' had in fact used the substitute white wine vinegar instead of the Shaoxing vinegar. I think this is actually a bad substitution as white wine vinegar is definitely more vinegary than Shaoxing which is more sherry like and less sharp. I used three table spoons of Shaoxing and one table spoon of white wine vinegar because I was looking toward a sweet and sour taste. I used six garlic (as we love garlic). I also put the beef (early on like a marinade) in egg white and then I dipped it in cornflour with the Chinese five spice of which I used two small teaspoons as I'm not so keen on it and think sometimes it can overpower a dish. Otherwise followed recipe and instructions only adding noodles at the end. I would probably increase sauce next time as although lovely and moist and it coated the beef well, when I added the noodles it could have done with a bit more. Next time, (husband wasn't keen on the frying in oil to make it crispy) I would even consider doing away with that bit and just stir frying the beef on its own. By the way I used thinly cut skirt and it was lovely. Overall a great dish and one we would have been happy to receive in a Chinese restaurant.

popittyr's picture

Very disappointing, I wish I'd read these reviews first! Far too much vinegar just making it unpleasantly sour and vinegary. Also not nearly enough chilli and not that crispy so I ended up with just coated vinegary beef-not good :-(
However I would try it again with other people's suggestions as I think it has potential. But I can't see how it's got a 5 star rating that's for sure.

cyberchezza's picture

Tasty but sauce isn't quite there; needs less vinegar. Also, don't think I fried the beef for long enough as it was nice but not really crispy. Will follow the tip of adding egg white, extra cornflour & only frying a few pieces at a time in future. Actual quantity of sauce was fine, didn't find it dry as others have suggested but will adjust accordingly to take account of less vinegar.

Justbex1974's picture

Awful. Far too much vinegar and five spice. Have cooked three times adjusting recipe based on comments and it is a different recipe that works! Cut out all vinegar, reduce five spice by half. Coat meat in egg white first ......this recipe needs deleting and updating based on multiple feedbacks.

abbykelly's picture

Delicious, a firm favourite. Dipped the beef slices in egg white as recommended. Also used less vinegar. Served with noodles and stir-fried mange tout, baby corn and very thinly sliced carrot. Went down a storm!

rumercooper's picture

Great recipe and very flavourful, will definitely make again. I do have to say though I used this in Taco's and compensated the White Wine Vinegar for white wine, with vinegar (lol) and I didn't add Ginger, and replaced the Chilli with Chilli flakes (I don't like hot food).

Great recipe, thanks for posting :D

Jorya's picture

All in all good. But the amount of sauce in the recipe isn't enough. Also cut down the rice wine vinegar to equal amounts of not less than the soy sauce. I'll probably leave it out altogether next time.

x-x-x-faerie-x-x-x's picture

I must be the only person who found this totally bland ... I tasted before I served it and panicked. Ended up adding a load of soy and hoisin sauce just to give it some taste, dissapointing.

c.a.g's picture

Great taste of the meat but just a little too dry with the noodles as there isn't much sauce.

chrisscott06's picture

Excellent dish! I used leftover Sunday roast beef cut in to strips and it turned out great. Many comments saying they halved the five spice - I felt 2 tsp wasn't enough at all and more than doubled!! Perhaps they were reading 2tbsp?

annak19's picture

I made this for my fiancé who loves this from our Chinese - I was never so keen. This recipe was so delicious, we won't be getting it from the Chinese ever again and it has become a staple for our house. I add finely sliced mushrooms and match stick carrots to! Try it - you won't be disappointed!

crackyjo's picture

made this for dinner and served with rice. Was really good however reduced the vinegar as suggested by others. Didn't have chill sauce so added a dash of all spice, cinnamon and two cubes of brown sugar to the sauce. Will make again

JanWilko's picture

This was really quick and easy to make. Everyone loved it. Will definitely make it again.

bezza110's picture

Great recipe, followed the tip about using egg white on the steak, and did reduced the vinegar. Everyone loved it will definitely be making this again.

melon1975's picture

Loved this - very simple but super tasty. Definitely be making it again.

Anglian21's picture

Really tasty. Better and healthier than a takeaway. You really need a good coating of the cornflour on the beef and get the oil very hot and really crisp the beef up. I halved the amount of five spice, vinegar and tomato ketchup after reading previous comments. Oh and I added a carrot with the red pepper. highly recommend this dish!

carley99_uk's picture

This is really delicious. It took a while for the beef to get crispy but so worth it. Beats a takeaway any day!


Questions (3)

jendancer's picture

Can this be made ahead and reheated for a dinner party?
Thank you

Lizzyb23's picture

Are the nutrional values per individual serving or per pan?

becky99's picture

its per person

Tips (1)

yettimonster's picture

Delicious Dish!
Tip: double up sauce (ketchup, soy, chilli sauce, water, rice/white vinegar- latter only used 1/1/2 TBSP). If you prefer more saucy dish.

I added 1/2 TEA spoon of Lazy Chilli in with Sauce - which gave a kick.

Next time I will follow advice on using egg to bind beef, cornflour and spices. May crisp up beef better?

Oil as hot as you dare for best results on crisping batter. Wear some protection against oil splats on new T-Shirt.

A real hit and so easy to make. All round winner.