Lighter Chinese chilli beef

Lighter Chinese chilli beef

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 10 mins including freezing time


Serves 2
Don't reach for the takeaway menu, try this beef stir-fry recipe instead. It's just as tasty as your favourite Chinese and healthier too.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal389
  • fat16.5g
  • saturates3.8g
  • carbs26.3g
  • sugars8.2g
  • fibre4.2g
  • protein33.5g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 250g lean beef, such as sirloin steak, trimmed of any excess fat



    The classic choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

  • ½ red pepper
  • 4 spring onions, ends trimmed
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

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

  • 85g Tenderstem broccoli spears



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…

  • 100g pak choi (baby pak choi is good)
    Pak choi

    Pak choi


    This member of the cabbage family has a number of different names, including…

  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp Chinese rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dark 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…

  • 1 tsp hot chilli sauce, such as sriracha
  • 1 medium egg white
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1½ tsp self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 ½ tsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped root ginger
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes, or a good pinch if you prefer it a bit milder


  1. Put the meat in the freezer 25-30 mins before you plan to start cooking. This will firm it up a bit and make it easier to slice really thinly.

  2. Meanwhile, remove the core and seeds from the pepper and cut it into very thin strips. Slice the spring onions diagonally and slice the broccoli spears in half or quarters through the stems and florets. Thinly slice the pak choi. Mix together the orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce and chilli sauce. Set aside.

  3. Slice the beef into very thin strips. In a bowl, beat the egg white with a fork to make it slightly frothy, then stir in the beef with the five-spice powder, cornflour, flour and a good grinding of pepper so everything is evenly coated. Pour 1 tbsp of the oil into a non-stick wok or frying pan. When it’s very hot (test if ready by dropping a small piece of beef in – it should immediately sizzle), put the beef in, stirring to separate, and stir-fry for 3-4 mins. remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  4. Steam the broccoli spears for 11⁄2 mins, then sit the pak choi on top and steam for another 45 secs-1 min until both are tender-crisp. Remove and cool under running cold water so that they stop cooking and retain their colour. Set aside.

  5. Pour the remaining oil into the wok and heat it again until very hot. Throw in the garlic, ginger, red pepper and spring onions, and stir-fry for 2-3 mins until starting to brown. Add the chilli flakes, then pour in the soy sauce and orange juice mix with 4-5 tbsp water. As it comes to the boil, stir in the beef and steamed veg, and cook briefly just to heat through. If you want a little more sauciness, splash in another 1-2 tbsp water.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Elenatronik's picture
19th Jun, 2019
Skipped the hot chilli sauce as I didn't have it ( and we're not fans of hot food ) and it was still delicious. Key is to use nice cut of beef and slice it really thin so it absorbs the flavours.
16th Sep, 2015
Looks quite bland, but does taste better than it looks, could do with a slightly 'stickier' sauce. Beef is cooked really well
5th Oct, 2014
Full of flavour and a great substitute for the weekend takeaway. Very easy to make and not too time consuming either. Served with soft egg noodles. Certainly a dish I will have again!
mrscbishopwilton's picture
3rd Feb, 2014
This was delicious. My son is not a lover of chilli so I toned it down by using a dessertspoon of chilli jam instead. There was so much flavour in the dish. I served it with fine egg noodles and it was a thumbs up from everyone. Make sure that the pan you fry the beef in is non stick and don't be tempted to miss out steaming the vegetables, it's worth it. Happy Chinese New Year!
23rd Nov, 2013
I liked it my husband loved it. I served it with udon noodles and it was nice. I'd make it again.
22nd Nov, 2013
Very disappointing, tried this as a low fat version of my favourite chinese takeaway dish as I'm on the weigtwatchers plan, it tasted nothing like it! I've tried a crispy shredded beef dish on this site - - which is a million times more tasty and I've just found out has exactly the same points value (12 if your interested). Do not waste your points on this!!!!!
12th Nov, 2013
Really delicious! I have made it with pork loin steaks too, which was equally as good. Has become a favourite and above all is really easy, especially on a Friday night!
Nico_cook's picture
7th Nov, 2013
I liked that but my fault, I used hot pepper sauce instead of hot chili sauce but still the same quantity.... HOT HOT HOT! Taste of this lighter beef 'chili' was very good though.. Will try it again but using the right sauce :)
2nd Dec, 2013
Does it make a huge difference if you leave out the egg white (I have an intolerance), should it be replaced with anything else?
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Dec, 2013
Hi there, The egg white can be left out, replace it with 1 tsp of sunflower oil.We hope you enjoy it. 
14th Nov, 2013
Do you think I could make this vegetarian using Tofu or Quorn?
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Dec, 2013
Hi there,Yes it would work well with tofu or quorn strips. Best wishes.  
12th Nov, 2013
Made this with kale since the store didn't have pak choi. I steamed it longer than I would have done with the pak choi. Worked very well.
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