Crispy chilli beef in a bowl with chopsticks

Crispy chilli beef

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(257 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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4th Nov, 2016
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.
31st Oct, 2016
I also used whole red chilli and for plot to rate five stars!
31st Oct, 2016
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.
11th Oct, 2016
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.
10th Oct, 2016
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.
2nd Sep, 2016
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.
15th Mar, 2016
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!
8th Jan, 2016
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
18th Oct, 2015
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.
12th Oct, 2015
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.


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