Chinese Crispy Chilli Beef.

Crispy chilli beef has to be one of the most popular dishes people order at Chinese restaurants or from take-aways.

More often than not though, the crunchy strips of beef are so tough and so over fried that all you can taste is the greasy batter and oil. This recipe leaves the beef tender with a hint of crispness and is quick and simple to recreate.


350g thin-cut sirloin steak, very thinly sliced into strips
3 tablespoons of cornflour
2 teaspoons of Chinese five-spice powder
100ml of vegetable oil
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 hot birdseye red chilli, thinly sliced
A handful of chives washed and snipped into 1cm pieces
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon of ginger paste
4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup


Put the beef in a bowl and toss in the cornflour and five-spice. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan until hot, then add the beef and fry until golden and crisp. Scoop out the beef and drain on kitchen paper. Pour away all but 1 tbsp oil.

Add the pepper, chilli, garlic and ginger to the pan. Stir-fry for 3 mins to soften, but don’t let the garlic and ginger burn.

Mix the vinegar, soy, chilli sauce and ketchup in a jug with 2 tablespoons of water, then pour over the veg. Bubble for 2 mins, then add the beef back to the pan and toss well to coat.

Serve the beef on noodles with prawn crackers, if you like, scattered with the chopped chives.

Happy Eating!


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