Crispy chilli beef in a bowl with chopsticks

Crispy chilli beef

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(221 ratings)

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 onions, 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 cloves, 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 350g thin-cut minute steak strips in a bowl and toss in 3 tbsp cornflour and 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder.

  2. Heat 100ml vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan until hot, then add the beef and fry until golden and crisp.

  3. Scoop out the beef and drain on kitchen paper. Pour away all but 1 tbsp oil.

  4. Add 1 thinly sliced red pepper, ½ thinly sliced red chilli, sliced white ends of 4 spring onions, 2 crushed garlic cloves and thumb-sized piece ginger, cut into matchsticks, to the pan. Stir-fry for 3 mins to soften, but don’t let the garlic and ginger burn.

  5. Mix the 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce and 2 tbsp tomato ketchup in a jug with 2 tbsp water, then pour over the veg.

  6. Bubble for 2 mins, then add the beef back to the pan and toss well to coat.

  7. Serve the beef on noodles with prawn crackers, if you like, scattered with the remaining ½ sliced red chilli and sliced green parts of the spring onions.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Jan, 2020
Overpowering vinegar flavour makes it almost inedible. Followed the ingredients/method to the letter and it tastes NOTHING like the crispy chilli beef you get in Chinese restaurants across the country. What a waste of time and money
3rd Jan, 2020
This is one of our favourites that I have made several times. I do reduce the vinegar and add extra chilli so it has a real kick.
Rhia Brown's picture
Rhia Brown
1st Sep, 2019
Done this recipe numerous times now, one of our favorites , I do agree with the comments about the vinegar and I have also slightly adjusted however still a really nice dish, also used left overs in a wrap with some salad and sweet chilli sauce for lunch.
29th Jul, 2019
Messy to make but overall taste is good.
Jennifer King's picture
Jennifer King
7th May, 2019
The flavours in this are lovely however the vinegar is overpowering; I will leave it out next time and maybe have a play about with some hoisin sauce.
30th Jan, 2019
Followed recipe but had to use plain flour as did not have corn flour. It was easy to make and very tasty. Will certainly be making it again.
10th Dec, 2018
Quite tasty but next time I'll reduce the quantity of vinegar
Dawn Chipchase's picture
Dawn Chipchase
3rd Nov, 2018
I followed the recipe but swapped the beef for quorn pieces it was delicious!
25th Oct, 2018
Tasted nice, I didn't have any red wine vinegar so used sherry instead and it tasted lovely so would definitely use that again. It felt like it was missing something if I made it again I think more veg would be nice maybe something juicy like pineapple and I'd have it over rice not noodles. I doubled the sauce recipe and added egg to make the cornflour batter and it made very crispy beef similar to the crispy sweet and sour pork at a Chinese.
13th Oct, 2018
Really delicious. Took on board from previous comments to do double the sauce amounts and that worked well. Also bought some Rice Wine Vinegar instead of using the White Wine Vinegar and it was delicious and could not taste the vinegar at all. Couldn't crisp up my beef properly but will try the egg white trick next time. This is a keeper.


22nd Jun, 2015
Can this be made ahead and reheated for a dinner party? Thank you
17th Jul, 2019
26th Jun, 2013
Are the nutrional values per individual serving or per pan?
17th Nov, 2013
its per person
31st Jan, 2020
Lovely meal. Made some slight changes - doubled sauce but just 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, which worked well. Missed out the spring onions and did half a red pepper but added half a pack of sugarsnap peas and some sliced mushrooms too. Need to get oil very hot before cooking the beef. Served with egg fried rice and was reminiscent of a Chinese takeaway!
8th Oct, 2018
Very tasty but make sure the oil is very hot when frying the beef or it will go soggy.
11th Jul, 2018
Taste is delicious but this is VERY SPICY!!!! I think it's the Chinese 5 spice and next time I cook it I will half the amount of this, you will need lots of water and milk too to manage to eat it!!
27th Nov, 2017
Loved this recipe! I took on board advice from other reviewers and dipped the beef in egg white before the cornflour, fried in batches, reduced rice wine vinegar to 1 tablespoon and doubled the other sauce ingredients. I needed a lot more oil (I used rice bran oil) and cornflour/five spice mix, and omitted the fresh chilli. It was a bit messy to make (although I was trying to make two other dishes at the same time, which didn’t help), but totally worth it! Lovely crispy beef and the sauce was to die for. Everyone loved it.
30th Mar, 2017
This is way too much vinegar, I cut it by half.
6th Jan, 2017
I also added some thinly cut carrots to this recipe aswell, which I think made it very close to the way the Chinese make it.
yettimonster's picture
30th Jun, 2015
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.
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