Cantonese Black Pepper Beef

An essential weeknight stir-fry.

1-2 servings

Time: 45 mins

By Ethan Chlebowski

This is a simplified recipe for the home cook that was inspired by Chinese Cooking Demystified's breakdown of the iconic dish. I highly recommend checking out their video: Cantonese Black Pepper Beef (黑椒牛肉)

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Marinated beef

    • flank, skirt, or flatiron steak
      ~225 g~1/2 lb
    • chinese black vinegar
      10 ga spoonful
    • salt
      a sprinkle
    • sugar
      a sprinkle
  • Black pepper sauce

    • lee kum kee black pepper sauce
      50 g3 spoonfuls
    • chili oil w/ fermented soybeans
      10 ga spoonful
    • soy sauce
      10 ga spoonful
    • black pepper
      5 ga spoonful
    • onion powder
      a sprinkle
    • garlic powder
      a sprinkle
    • msg
      a sprinkle
  • Stir fry components

    • cooking oil
      as needed
    • garlic
      , minced
      2 cloves
    • shallots
      , finely diced
    • onions
      , thinly sliced
    • red bell peppers
      , thinly sliced
    • cornstarch
      , for a slurry
      a spoonful
    • water
      , for a slurry
      a splash
  • For serving

    • rice
      , cooked


Step 1: Marinate the steak

Thinly slice the steak into strips across the grain.

Then add all marinated beef ingredients to a bowl and mix them together until everything is well coated.

Set aside to while you make the sauce or prep other ingredients.

Step 2: Make the sauce

Add all black pepper sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix together until well combined.

This sauce should make enough for 2 stir-fries and can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Step 3: Stir fry the aromatics and vegetables

Set a wok or large pan over high heat and add a drizzle of neutral oil to the pan.

Quickly the garlic and shallots for 45 seconds or until fragrant. Add the onions and peppers and until slightly softened and . Remove the vegetable mixture from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Step 4: Stir fry the beef

Add another drizzle of oil to the wok. Once hot, add in the beef slices and let those sizzle and on one side without moving.

After 2 minutes, start moving it around, trying to get browning on all sides. Once the beef is browned and almost cooked through (but not overcooked), add the vegetables back in.

Step 5: Combine & finish

Add about half of the black pepper sauce and stir it all together to spread the flavors around. If you want the dish to be saucier, you can add more at this point.

Lastly, dial in the consistency of the sauce. Add a splash of cornstarch and bring the sauce to a . Check the thickness and repeat until you’ve reached your perfect consistency.

Serve over cooked rice and enjoy.



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