Chinese Beef and Pepper Stir-fry
This authentic Chinese beef and pepper stir-fry is better and tastier than any takeout dinner. Thin slices of beef sirloin steak are quickly stir-fried with onion, peppers, and fermented black beans. Pepper steak stir-fry takes less than 20 minutes to make, which is faster than takeout or delivery.
Popular Chinese takeout recipe
If you feel like a Chinese pepper steak for dinner, this beef and pepper stir-fry in black bean sauce is the simplest dish you can make at home. You will enjoy the juicy beef slices with crisp and tender peppers in a savory black bean sauce. Bring on the rice bowl!
It’s a hassle-free, quick, and much tastier and healthier than your local Chinese takeout order. So why bother dragging yourself out or ordering expensive delivery?
I used beef sirloin steak, but you can use any tender cut of beef instead.
What are fermented black beans?
Fermented black beans (豆豉, douchi) are made by salting and fermenting black soybeans. (These beans are not the regular black beans. The fermenting process is what turns the beans black.)
They are very salty and lightly bitter, which yields a sharp, pungent, and earthy flavor. These fermented black beans are used as a seasoning in a wide variety of Chinese recipes. They can be turned into black bean paste or black bean sauce in a bottle that you find at Asian market.
Can I use pre-made black bean sauce in the bottle instead?
Yes. Although I found using the fermented black beans gives more depth to the dish, you can substitute with bottled black bean sauce or paste with a little more amount.
- Rinse out the fermented black beans roughly to get rid of access salt and bitterness before using them in this recipe.
- Add a tiny bit of baking soda to the beef when you do a quick marinade. It helps tenderize the meat fast.
- Make sure to prepare all the ingredients first, so they are ready to go before you start cooking. Stir-frying requires a fast cooking action on a high flame. Therefore you can’t pause in the middle of the stir-frying process to get the other ingredients ready.
- Using a Chinese wok is best for stir-frying. If not, use a heavy duty skillet, such as cast iron or carbon steel, with a larger capacity that gives enough room for the stir-frying action without crowding. Non-stick coated skillets are not ideal for stir-frying.
How to make Chinese beef and pepper stir-fry
Slice beef steak thinly against the grain and put them in a bowl. Add dark sou sauce, light soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and baking soda. Toss the beef well to coat; Set aside for 5 minuters. Baking soda will tenderize the beef nicely.
Meanwhile mix chicken stock, sugar, shaoxing wine, potato starch (or cornstarch), and sesame oil in a small bowl; set aside.
Rinse the fermented black beans with water once. I like to roughly chop them but that’s an optional. Set it aside.
Heat a wok or skillet over high heat until it smokes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add beef and stir-fry until beef is almost cooked but not fully. Transfer beef to a plate.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add ginger, garlic, and rinsed black beans and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
Add onion and pepper slices and continue to stir-fry until they are tender crisp, about 2 minutes.
Return the beef to the wok and pour in the chicken stock. It should thicken the sauce immediately. Serve immediately with rice.
Chinese Beef and Pepper Stir-Fry
- 1 lb beef ribeye or sirloin steak, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp oil (peanut oil or grape seed oil), divided
- 1 small green pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
- 1 small red pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tbsp fermented black beans (douchi), or 3 tbsp black bean sauce
- In a shallow bowl, combine beef with soy sauces, rice wine, and baking soda; toss together and set aside.
- Make the sauce; mix chicken stock, sugar, potato starch (or cornstarch), shaoxing wine, and sesame oil in a small bowl; set aside.
- Rinse the fermented black beans with water once. I like to roughly chop them but that's an optional. Set it aside.
- Heat a wok or skillet over high heat until it smokes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add beef steak slices and stir-fry until beef is almost cooked but not fully. Transfer beef to a plate.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add ginger, garlic, and rinsed black beans and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add onion and pepper slices and continue to stir-fry until they are tender crisp, about 2 minutes.
- Return the beef to the wok and pour in the chicken stock. It should thicken the sauce immediately.