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Chinese Pepper Steak In 30 Minutes

Plated Pepper Steak
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So, my mother is Chinese. Her name is Yok Chee but goes by the name Yokie.  As Grandma to my litter of kids, Grandma Yokie makes Chinese food as no one can! Her parents actually owned a Chinese Restaurant when she was growing up so she has some serious credibility in the Chinese food game for sure.

This Chinese Pepper Steak recipe I am sharing with you today is made with thin slices of flank steak with green bell peppers, with onions, mushrooms in a savory soy based bean sauce. It my mothers version as handed down to you from her father and their restaurant. These tender pieces of steak are stir-fried with juicy savory sauce, sauteed bell pepper and caramelized onions., served a top of a bed of aromatic white rice. Delicious!

This is a terrific family dinner and one of my favorite go to since it can go from stove to table in 30 minutes. There is a bit of prep but not intensive.

Put this recipe in your rotation. Trust me, your family is going to love this as much as mine!!!

What Steak Works Best For Pepper Steak?

Flank steak is one of my favorites to use for stir-fry in general or a fajitas. It takes a good sear and the price point is generally modest. As an alternative you could use Top Sirloin. Top Sirloin is a more tender cut, and keep in mind that comes at a greater cost. Cheaper alternatives are Skirt Steak, Top Round, Hanger Steak or Tri-Tip Steak.

If you would like to know more info I suggest you check out this article on What Is The Difference Between Sirloin And Flank steak.

A complete meal served with aromatic white rice. I hope your home will enjoy this meal as much as mine does.

Key ingredients to make authentic Pepper Steak
Authentic Pepper Steak


  • Steak, thinly sliced across the grain. Flank steak works the best.
  • Soy Sauce: I highly recommend a low sodium soy sauce to control the amount of salt in the pepper steak recipe.
  • Cooking Sherry, nothing fancy here.
  • Cornstarch: I use cornstarch to thicken the sauce, but you can also use flour instead. 
  • Sugar: Brown sugar will enhance the flavor, but you can use honey or white sugar instead.
  • Garlic, always fresh.
  • Cooking oil variety: Use flavorless oils such as peanut oil to brown the steak. You can also use canola oil, but its flavor may not go well with other ingredients.
  • Mushrooms, sliced (not shown). People love or hate mushrooms, and in this case my boys do not like them so I omitted them here, but encourage you to include them!
  • Onions, sliced in quarters
  • Greens bell peppers: You can use red and yellow bell peppers, but they are sweeter, softer in texture, and you won’t get that crunch needed for our recipe. Do not use frozen bell peppers to make this recipe because frozen pepper will turn soggy and ruin the sauce’s taste. So kindly always use fresh bell peppers.
  • Black bean spice: This is found at an Asian specialty store.  Most traditional grocery stores do not carry it but it is worth the extra effort to get it!
  • Water
  • Salt & Pepper

How To Make This Pepper Steak Recipe

I have made pepper steak many different times and have tried many recipes, but this one from Grandma Yokie, always brings it home! Let’s get to it!

As I always caution with any stir-fry dish. Be sure you have all of your ingredients ready to go because the process will go quickly. If you do not do this, you will overcook components of the dish and be sorry. First, prep your steak by cutting the meat in to 1/2 inch strips bite size pieces. Cut up your onion, mushrooms and bell green pepper as you would for a typical stir-fry, Mince the garlic, and measure out the other spices.

I start by cooking the veggies-onions and if you are including them, mushroom- until soft, then set aside. I stir fry the steak with garlic till brown; I just love the aroma of garlic in steak. Next, return the veggies to the Wok and add soy sauce, cooking sherry, sugar, salt, pepper, and black bean, and I let it cook for like 10 minutes. Finally, I add green peppers to spice up and soften my dish. I then toss the cornstarch mixture and let it simmer for another 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Caution, some of the easiest dishes can go south quickly. Keep a watchful eye on the cooking process and do not overcook the steak or the green pepper!!

It is that easy! And then I serve. I love pairing this fantastic side dish with rice because c’mon what else can would you do for a Chinese Pepper Steak dish!

How To Store Chinese Pepper Steak Leftovers?

If you are lucky to actually have leftovers, you can store them in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat by heating on a stovetop in a skillet or by microwaving.

You can also freeze the leftover for up to 3 months, just put your pepper steak in an airtight container or even a ziplock bag and place it in the freezer. Defrost the pepper steak in the refrigerator for 7 hours and the microwave or heat it on a stovetop. Fair warning, while you can freeze the pepper steak, remember that bell peppers will come out slightly soggy. You may want to only freeze the steak and the sauce, and add fresh peppers for the reheat.

Other Chinese Recipes

If you are in the mood for chinese, then check out my Take Out Worthy Fried Rice recipe, my Authentic Asian Teriyaki Stir-Fry with Shrimp or Easy Chinese Lo mein in 20 minutes

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