Inspired by visits to our favourite Chinese restaurant, spicy black pepper beef is a tasty Chinese classic. Perfectly cooked tender beef, with a good kick of warming black pepper that will make your mouth tingle. This dish stir fry is comforting, delicious and quick to whip up. Perfect served as part of a shared table for a Friday night fake away or a quick week day dinner.
You will love this authentic recipe for it's noodle coating black pepper sauce and perfectly cooked beef. Let us show you how its done!
- Beef - We used a scotch fillet but you could also use a flank steak, rump steak or flat iron cut. You could also use a beef fillet, just be sure to seal it really quickly so the meat stays medium rare when the dish is finished.
- Bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda).
- Sparkling water
- Shaoxing wine - Chinese rice wine, that originates from Shaoxing. You should be able to find this at your local supermarket, or your nearest Asian store,
- Light soy sauce - or regular soy sauce this is lighter in soy flavour and colour than dark soy sauce.
- Sesame oil - available in most super markets a popular oil for Chinese dishes. We love this oil for it's great flavour and potential health benefits.
- Fresh ginger - minced.
Black pepper sauce:
- Black pepper corn - For the warming, kick to the dish and great health benefits, go for the highest quality black peppercorn you can find.
- Garlic cloves
- Oyster sauce
- Light soy sauce - or regular soy sauce
- Cornflour - to create the noodle coating consistency.
- Red onion - these bring a little sweetness to the dish.
- Red and green capsicum - or bell peppers.
- Spring onions - scallions
Your choice of noodles or rice. We love to serve black pepper beef with Hokkien noodles.
Pro tips to creating tender beef
A few simple steps will recreate the Chinese restaurant tender beef experience, we all love!
When cutting the beef, slice into strips across the grain. This will result in a real tenderness to the beef as the fibres will be short.
Then simply marinate the meat in a little bicarbonate of soda and sparkling water. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes, for real tender beef strips.
When cooking the beef, sear it over a high heat and don't over crowd the pan. Cook the beef in batches if needed.
The next step for creating an authentic experience is to marinade the beef is some classic Chinese flavours. Strain off the water then mix shaoxing wine, soy, sesame oil and ginger with the beef and marinade for a further 15 minutes.
How to make black pepper beef sauce.
The black pepper sauce is created by making a paste and a sauce. The peppercorns and garlic are grind into a paste, this can be done with a mortar and pestle or mini blender. The paste is cooked off in a hot wok with a little oil. Then the vegetables, seared beef and noodles (if using) are added to the wok. With the remaining sauce ingredients (Oyster sauce, light soy sauce, white sugar, cornflour and water) added to the wok at the end. Simply toss the sauce through all the ingredients and allow to thicken a little. You will know when its ready as it will be perfectly coating the other ingredients.
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How to cook in a wok
When using a wok the secret is to have it on a constant high heat, cook fast and always keep the ingredients moving.
Pro tips to cooking a wok!
- Prepare all your ingredients prior to cooking, be organised in the steps you need to take.
- Get your wok hot and heat your oil, until it just starts to smoke.
- Prep your ingredients to a similar size so they cook evenly.
- Don't over crowd your wok, cook in batches if needed.
Cooking in a wok create such delicious sights, sounds and smells. It really does engage all your senses to the cooking process and has you oh so ready to enjoy the final dish. We highly recommend you check out our mapo tofu recipe for another amazing Chinese wok experience!
We love using hokkien noodles for black pepper beef. As we enjoy the thickness and texture that these noodles bring to the dish. But you could also serve with vermicelli noodles, steamed long grain rice, fried rice, cauliflower rice or just with an extra helping of vegetables. It really is up to you and your personal preference. Just follow the same steps in our recipe below emitting the noodle steps and substituting with your preferred side and ENJOY!
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This dish brings together some of our absolute favourite flavours, cooking methods and cuisines, as well as our love of any type of noodle dish! We hope you love this one as much as we do.
Spicy Black Pepper Beef
- 400 g Beef (14 oz) See note 1 below.
- 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda
- 200 ml Sparkling water (6.7 fl oz)
- 2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 teaspoon Light soy sauce
- 2 tsp Sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon Fresh ginger Minced
Black Pepper Sauce
- 8 grams Black pepper corns (0.28 oz)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 6 tablespoon Oyster sauce
- 3 teaspoon Light soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon White sugar
- 2 teaspoon Cornflour
- 60 ml Water (2 fl oz)
- 3 tablespoon Canola oil
- 1 Red onion cut into wedges
- 1 Green capsicum cut into chunks
- 1 Red capsicum cut into chunks
- 3 sticks Spring onions / scallions cut into 3cm pieces
- 2 ptk Hokkien noodles Or your side of choice see note 2 below.
To Prepare The Beef
- Slice the beef into finger size strips, removing any fat or sinue. Place the beef into a bowl and add the bi carb soda and sparkling water.
- Mix well and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes. (This will help tenderise the beef.)
- After 15 minutes, strain off the water and then marinade the meat in a bowl with the shaoxing wine, soy, sesame oil and ginger for a further 15 minutes.
To Prepare Your Sauce
- Using a morter and pestle (or mini/ spice blender) add the pepper corns and crush, then add the garlic cloves and grind into a paste. Set aside.
- In a seperate bowl mix together the oyster sauce, soy, sugar, water and corn flour and mix well.
- Remove your hokkien noodles from the packets and place into a bowl, bring a jug water to the boil and pour over the noodles to heat.
- Heat a large wok or fry pan to a high heat, add a little canola oil and then add the marinated beef. Stir fry until brown and remove onto a plate.Tip! Don't over load the pan with too much beef, cook in a couple of batches if needed.
- Clean the wok then return to a high heat. Add a little more oil, then add the black pepper and garlic paste, quickly fry for a minute.
- Then add the red onion, capsicums and spring onion. Stir fry until the vegetables are just coloured (you want to keep then crisp and crunchy). Strain the water off the hokkien noodles and add to the wok.
- Add the seared beef and any juices from the plate back into the wok with the vegetables. Then add the bowl of sauce ingredients and toss until glazed and the sauce has thickened.
- Spoon onto your serving dish, sprinkle over a little extra ground black pepper for a little more heat.Enjoy!