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Chinese Black Pepper Beef

Posting Date: 06/09/17

Chinese Black Pepper Beef

Chinese Black Pepper Beef is a dish you can find in some Chinese restaurants. They may call it with other names, such as Sizzling Beef, Black Pepper Beef, etc. It is basically stir fry beef served with onion, green bell pepper, green onion and soy sauce based sauce. As the name implies, black pepper is used in the recipe, making it taste hot. Some Chinese restaurants might serve it on a sizzling plate with the sauce poured right in front of the customer. You don't need to own a sizzling plate to make it because the pan uses high heat on the stove and thus, when you pour in the sauce, it will sizzle as soon as it hits the hot pan. The restaurant I went also uses jalapeno pepper which makes the dish even spicier. I listed it as optional if you cannot handle the heat at all. To reduce the heat from jalapeno pepper, I intentionally cook it longer by adding it when I add the aromatics (ginger and garlic).

To make the beef tender, the meat has to be sliced against the grains. In addition to slicing it correctly, it is also tenderized using baking soda and water solution. The beef is then marinated which makes it flavorful. Instead of beef, you can use chicken or pork.

The recipe serves for 2-3 people.


  • To tenderize the meat: 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • To tenderize the meat: 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 lb beef tenderloin or flank steak, sliced against the grains. Slicing it against the grains makes it more tender.
  • For marinade: 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • For marinade: 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • For marinade: 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • For marinade: 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • For marinade: 1 teaspoon shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • For sauce: 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • For sauce: 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • For sauce: 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • For sauce: 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • For sauce: 1 teaspoon sugar
  • For sauce: 4 tablespoon water
  • For sauce: 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • For sauce: pinch of black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, split into 2 of 2 tablespoons each
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1" fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 3 green onions, separated between white and green parts and sliced each part
  • Optional: 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced. You can slice it on an angle to make it look prettier.
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, sliced


  1. Combine water and baking soda in a bowl. Place beef in the bowl and toss it to coat with the tenderizer solution. Leave it for 15 min.
  2. While waiting for the beef to tenderize, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, corn starch, black pepper, and shaoxing wine or dry sherry in a bowl to make marinade ingredients. Whisk marinade ingredients.
  3. After 15 min in tenderizer solution, rinse beef with water to get rid of baking soda. Drain excess water. Place beef in the marinade ingredients and toss to coat. Let it marinate for 15 min.
  4. While waiting for the beef to marinate, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, corn starch, sugar, water, chicken bouillon, and black pepper. Whisk the sauce.
  5. Once the beef has been marinated for 15 min, drain it from the marinade sauce.
  6. Turn on the stove to high heat. Heat up 2 tablespoons vegetable oil on a pan. Make sure the oil is hot before you cook the beef. Cook the beef on 1 layer. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to cook the beef in several batches. Once 1 side is light brown, use a tong to turn it over to the other side and cook the other side until light brown. Remove the beef and set it on a plate. Repeat this step for the remaining beef.
  7. Heat up the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil on the same pan. Add garlic, ginger, the white part of the green onions, and jalapeno pepper if used. Saute them until aromatic. Add bell pepper and onion. Stir fry until bell pepper is tender crisp. Place the beef back on the pan. Stir fry it for a minute or two to make sure beef is cooked. Stir the sauce and pour it on the pan. Since the pan is hot, the sauce will be sizzling. Remove it from the heat, add the green part of the green onions, and stir all ingredients to coat them with the sauce.
  8. Transfer the food on a serving plate and serve it with warm rice.

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