Sep 07, 2021, Updated May 07, 2022
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This was one of my first VIRAL recipes and many millions of views later, it’s still one of my most popular recipes to date! I knew it was a winner the first time I made the final version – the sauce is sweet, spicy, and salt, and the beef is crispy & tender. It’s always a crowd pleaser!
Watch the Beijing Beef Recipe Video Below!
Make sure you are slicing against the grain. You’ll know which direction the grain is when you look at the meat – the lines will be running in one direction (the lines are the muscle fibers). Slicing against the grain is an easy way to ensure your meat will be tender. (Remember, the lines are the muscle fibers – cutting against the lines means you’re cutting the long fibers, so they don’t get tough when cooked!)
This is the KEY ingredient to super tender beef. Baking soda is commonly used in Chinese cooking to tenderize beef. If you’re curious about the science behind it – baking soda neutralizes acid and raises the pH level, which causes the meat to become more alkaline. This means the proteins INSIDE the meat will have more trouble tightening up – when the proteins can’t tighten up, the meat ends up much more tender when cooked (instead of constricting together aka getting tough!)
Cornstarch is a key ingredient in Chinese cooking because it is used for velveting the meat. Velveting is a Chinese technique where protein is marinated in cornstarch and cooked quickly in hot oil, resulting in the meat becoming tender and silky. You’ll see this technique in a lot of my recipes because it’s one of my favorite ways to guarantee moist, tender protein!
If you are sensitive to spice, I would recommend adjusting the amount of sriracha in the recipe!
My favorite neutral oil is avocado oil, but you can also use canola or vegetable oil! I don’t use olive oil when cooking Chinese food for two reasons: 1. It has a low burning point and 2. I find that the flavor profile does not usually go with the dish.
CUT YOUR VEGETABLES!
I always recommend cutting your vegetables into similar sized pieces so they cook evenly – this little step makes a huge difference! In this recipe, I cut the bell peppers and onions in to similar sizes so they would cook evenly!
A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of cornstarch and water that is used in cooking to thicken WITHOUT powdery lumps or additional flavors/colors! This is the secret to so many of your favorite Chinese dishes. My #1 tip is make sure your cornstarch slurry has not separated before adding it in – I always try to re-stir right before!
SUCCESS IS IN THE PREP!
Once you start cooking, this recipe will come together very quickly. The key to pulling this off successfully is having all of your ingredients prepped and in bowls right next to your wok or pan! Have your premixed sauce, beef, and vegetables ready and easily accessible during the cooking process.
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2" pieces
- 1 small white onion, cut into 2" pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- Slice steak against the grain and marinate with baking soda, white pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch and egg white for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Cut pepper and onions into 2” pieces. Chop 2 cloves of garlic and set aside.
- Mix together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sriracha, and ketchup to form your sauce.
- Dust marinated beef in cornstarch then fry at 350F in neutral oil for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
- Sauté vegetables over high heat for 2 minutes in 2 tbsp neutral oil over high heat then add beef and sauce.
- Mix until combined then add vinegar, mix, then add cornstarch slurry. Stir for a minute to thicken. Serve with rice & enjoy!