Chinese Pepper Steak

Chinese Pepper Steak

Chinese Pepper Steak is a popular dish that combines tender strips of beef with vibrant bell peppers in a savory, slightly sweet sauce. This dish is known for its bold flavors and quick cooking time, making it a favorite in many households and Chinese restaurants. Here’s a brief introduction to its key elements:


  1. 1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced
  2. 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  3. 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  4. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  5. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  7. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  8. 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  9. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  10. 1 tablespoon sugar
  11. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  12. 1/2 cup beef broth
  13. 2 green onions, sliced (for garnish)
  14. Cooked rice (for serving)


  1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sugar, ground black pepper, and beef broth. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the sliced steak and cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the steak from the skillet and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the sliced red and green bell peppers, onion, and minced garlic. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
  5. Return the steak to the skillet and pour the sauce mixture over the steak and vegetables. Stir well to coat everything evenly.
  6. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the steak is heated through.
  7. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve hot over cooked rice.


Choosing the Beef

  • Cut: Flank steak, sirloin, or ribeye are great options. Flank steak is particularly popular due to its tenderness and flavor.
  • Slice Thin: Cut the beef against the grain into thin strips. This helps to ensure the beef is tender.

2. Marinade for Flavor and Tenderness

  • Ingredients: Use soy sauce, rice wine or dry sherry, cornstarch, and a bit of baking soda. Baking soda helps to tenderize the meat.
  • Duration: Marinate the beef for at least 15-30 minutes. This enhances the flavor and helps tenderize the meat.

3. Prepare the Vegetables

  • Bell Peppers: Use a mix of red, green, and yellow bell peppers for a colorful dish. Slice them into thin strips.
  • Onions: Sliced onions add sweetness and depth to the dish.
  • Garlic and Ginger: Freshly minced garlic and ginger are essential for authentic flavor.

4. The Sauce

  • Ingredients: A combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, beef broth, and a touch of sugar. Cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) helps thicken the sauce.
  • Adjust to Taste: Balance the salty, sweet, and savory elements to your liking.

5. Stir-Frying Technique

  • High Heat: Stir-fry on high heat to sear the meat and vegetables quickly, locking in flavor.
  • Work in Batches: Cook the beef in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can cause steaming instead of searing.
  • Quick Cooking: Stir-frying is a quick process, so have all your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking.

6. Sequence of Cooking

  1. Sear the Beef: Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Sear the marinated beef strips in batches until browned, then remove from the pan.
  2. Cook Vegetables: Add a bit more oil if needed, then stir-fry the bell peppers, onions, garlic, and ginger until tender-crisp.
  3. Combine and Sauce: Return the beef to the pan, add the sauce, and stir to coat everything evenly. Cook until the sauce thickens and everything is heated through.

7. Serving Suggestions

  • With Rice: Serve your Chinese Pepper Steak over steamed white rice or fried rice.
  • Garnish: Garnish with sliced green onions or sesame seeds for added flavor and texture.

8. Additional Tips

  • Pepper Variety: You can also add other types of peppers, like spicy chili peppers, for a different flavor profile.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to include other vegetables like snow peas, broccoli, or carrots for more variety.
  • Resting Beef: Let the cooked beef rest briefly before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.


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