Pepper Steak

A Chinese American restaurant standard, this combination of sweet bell peppers and tender beef is justifiably famous. Usually prepared with green bell peppers, it looks beautiful with a mix of red, yellow, orange, and green peppers and tastes great either way. I add freshly ground pepper to my basic version and toss in a teaspoon of chopped hot chile peppers, fresh or dried, if we’re hungry for a little heat. You can use any tender beef sliced thinly, but I especially love rib eye or tri-tip for this dish.


Cooking Methodstir-frying


Total Timeunder 30 minutes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, tree nut free



Taste and Texturegarlicky, savory, umami


  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ pound thinly sliced beef
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce or molasses (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 cups thinly sliced green bell pepper strips (or red yellow, or mixed colors)


  1. Combine the sherry, water, and cornstarch in a medium bowl, and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch. Add the beef and stir to season it evenly with the sauce. Set aside for 15 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, chicken broth, dark soy sauce, if using, salt, sugar, and pepper, and stir to mix well. Place a medium bowl by the stove to hold the bell peppers after their initial cooking.

  3. Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and toss well.

  4. Scatter in the bell peppers and toss again. Spread them out into a single layer and cook undisturbed for 15 seconds. Then, cook, tossing often, until they are shiny and just beginning to wilt, about 30 seconds more. Scoop them out into the bowl and set aside.

  5. Let the pan heat up again briefly, and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil swirling to coat the pan again.

  6. Add the beef and its marinade, spreading the beef out into a single layer. Cook undisturbed for 30 seconds, and then toss well. Cook, tossing often, until most of the meat is no longer pink, about 1 minute.

  7. Return the bell pepper and any juices in the bowl back to the pan, and toss well.

  8. Add the soy sauce mixture, pouring it in around the edges of the pan. Cook, tossing often, until the peppers are tender but not limp and the beef is cooked through, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot or warm.


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a little bland. If I made this again, I would use some crushed chili in the soy sauce mixture.


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