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    Easy Pepper Steak Recipe

    Published October 13, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This quick-cooking pepper steak recipe is loaded with bell peppers in an umami sauce for a better than take-out meal. You will love how fast this cooks and how tasty it is.

    We are huge Chinese food fans and love the big bold flavors it offers. If you are similar, you must try my General Tso’s Chicken or Beef Stir-Fry.

    pepper steak in a bowl


     

    Pepper Steak

    Pepper steak is a simple dish consisting of thin slices of steak that is marinated and stir-fried with bell peppers, onions, and a Stock and oyster sauce-based sauce. It’s also common to add a more than-normal ground pepper into the marinade when seasoning it. Once the recipe is prepped in its entirety, it cooks in under 5 minutes. 

    Pepper steak is a popular Chinese take-out dish from Fujian province in China and has been in the United States since the late 1940s. While it was originally made with pork, it became popular to use beef once it made it to the US. Be sure to watch my video below.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    pepper steak ingredients
    • Steak – I used flank steak. Other great cuts of meat are skirt steak, top round, bottom round, sirloin, filet, or ribeye.
    • Peppers – Red, yellow, or orange bell peppers are best. You can use green bell peppers, but they lack flavor. Feel free to use a combination of any of these.
    • Onions – You can use a red, white, yellow, or sweet onion. You’ll also need green onions and garlic cloves.
    • Ginger – Fresh ginger is used in this dish to enhance flavor greatly.
    • Soy Sauce – Any good shoyu or tamari soy sauce will work.
    • Sugar – Granulated sugar helps to sweeten up the sauce.
    • Egg – A large egg that is chilled or at room temperature will work.
    • Stock – I think beef stock is best, but you can use chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water.
    • Cornstarch – This is used for velveting the beef and thickening the sauce.
    • Baking Soda – Adding some baking soda to the marinade helps to tenderize the beef.
    • Wine – Any rice wine will work. I prefer to use Shaoxing.
    • Oil – You must use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, like avocado oil. You can also use vegetable, canola, or sesame seeds.
    • Seasonings – I use coarse salt and ground black pepper.

    How to Make Pepper Steak

    Thinly slice the flank steak against the grain and on a bias.

    thinly slicing flank steak

    Add the steak to a medium-sized bowl and mix it together with the egg, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oil, pepper, cornstarch, and baking soda. Set it to the side to marinate.

    marinating steak

    In the meantime, prepare the bell peppers, onions, green onions, garlic, and ginger.

    slicing an onion

    To make the sauce, mix together the beef stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch until combined. Set it to the side.

    making a sauce

    Add the 3 tablespoons of oil to a large wok over high heat and heat until it begins to smoke lightly.

    adding oil to a wok

    Place in the marinated steak and immediately push it up the sides to cover more surface area to sear the steak. Cook for 1 minute.

    adding beef to a woi=k

    Stir fry the beef by placing a ladle, spoon, or metal spatula to the center of the pan, and using your other hand, rock the pan back and forth to stir, and while frying. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes or until the beef is cooked. Set it to the side on a plate.

    stir frying beef

    Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the same wok over high heat and stir-fry the peppers and onions for 30 to 45 seconds.

    stir frying peppers and onions

    Stir in the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds.

    adding garlic to peppers and onions

    Add back in the cooked steak.

    adding beef to a wok

    Pour in ½ to 2/3 of the sauce and stir fry for 10 to 20 seconds to see if the ingredients are completely coated. If you enjoy more sauce, add the remaining. It is better to add a little at a time until the desired amount of sauce is achieved.

    pepper steak sauce in a wok

    Finish by stirring in the green onions.

    adding green onions to a wok with pepper steak

    Serve hot in a wide shallow bowl. Try serving it with my Stir Fry Noodles.

    pepper steak with bell peppers and green onions

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as it’s done cooking.

    How to Store: cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can freeze this covered for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day or until thawed.

    How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of pepper steak back to a hot wok with 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. 

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • You can cook this in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet if you do not have a wok.
    • If there is still some oil left over from stir-frying the steak, there is no need to add more when cooking the peppers and onions.
    • Dry sherry is also a great substitute for the Shaoxing wine.

    More Steak Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Pepper Steak Recipe

    5 from 13 votes
    This quick-cooking pepper steak recipe is loaded with bell peppers in an umami sauce for a better than take-out meal.
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Steak:

    • 1 pound flank steak
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
    • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
    • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

    For the Stir-Fry:

    • 1 large seeded julienne red bell pepper
    • ¼ peeled thinly sliced yellow onion
    • 2 julienne green onions
    • 3 finely minced garlic cloves
    • 2 teaspoons finely ground fresh ginger
    • 3/4 cup beef stock
    • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

    Instructions

    • Thinly slice the flank steak against the grain and on a bias. See how I do this in the video.
    • Add the steak to a medium-sized bowl and mix it together with the egg, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oil, pepper, cornstarch, and baking soda. Set it to the side to marinate.
    • In the meantime, prepare the bell peppers, onions, green onions, garlic, and ginger.
    • To make the sauce, mix together the beef stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch until combined. Set it to the side.
    • Add the 3 tablespoons of oil to a large wok over high heat and heat until it begins to smoke lightly.
    • Place in the marinated steak and immediately push it up the sides to cover more surface area to sear the steak. Cook for 1 minute.
    • Stir fry the beef by placing a ladle, spoon, or metal spatula in the center of the pan and, using your other hand rock the pan back and forth to stir and while frying. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes or until the beef is cooked. Set it to the side on a plate.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the same wok over high heat and stir fry the peppers and onions for 30 to 45 seconds.
    • Stir in the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds.
    • Add back in the cooked steak.
    • Pour in ½ to 2/3 of the sauce and stir fry for 10 to 20 seconds to see if the ingredients are completely coated. If you enjoy more sauce, add the remaining. It is better to add a little at a time until the desired amount of sauce is achieved.
    • Finish by stirring in the green onions.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as it’s done cooking.
    How to Store: cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can freeze this covered for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day or until thawed.
    How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of pepper steak back to a hot wok with 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot.
    You can cook this in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet if you do not have a wok.
    If there is still some oil left over from stir-frying the steak, there is no need to add more when cooking the peppers and onions.
    Dry sherry is also a great substitute for the Shaoxing wine.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 284kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 28gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 1642mgPotassium: 617mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1027IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 3mg
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Chinese