One of the most popular dishes ordered from my parent’s Chinese takeaway was crispy chilli beef. Alongside chicken chow mein, sesame prawn toast and Singapore noodles, it would fly out of the door. But these tangy, spicy and moreish strips of crispy deliciousness don’t have to be for a treat. You can make this crispy chilli beef recipe at home, quickly and easily. This dish will blow you away – and if you serve it up to family and friends, they’ll be impressed. I promise!
What steak to use for crispy chilli beef
You can use any type of steak you want for this crispy chilli beef recipe but as you’re frying the beef until they’re crispy, I wouldn’t use expensive cuts of beef. And let’s face it, the price of steaks can be high. Although sirloin steak is a great choice, I always choose medallion steaks. They’re inexpensive, you can slice these very thinly and they work perfectly for this dish.
How to make crispy shredded beef like the Chinese
Prepare the steak pieces by slicing them against the grain and then adding them to a bowl. Then add an egg. Using your hands, mix the two ingredients together so the steak is well-coated. Then it’s time to add the cornflour, salt and pepper. Continue to mix well and make sure the steak is coated well in the flour. The mixture here will be very sticky but this is what you want.
The great thing about this crispy chilli beef recipe is that you don’t need a deep-fat fryer. The steak is shallow fried in vegetable oil. So get a wok or a deep frying pan and then add the vegetable oil. Heat until very hot, around 4 minutes, and then carefully add the strips, one at a time. You’ll want to fry them until the beef is very crispy and dark brown – around 6 minutes.
To make the sauce – it’s just a case of combining all the other ingredients – soy, sweet chilli sauce, garlic, tomato ketchup, apple cider vinegar and sriracha sauce. And then add it to a pan. Heat up until it thickens and becomes a little sticky and then add the crispy beef strips. Stir through the sauce and evenly coat all the beef. And serve! You will have crispy chilli beef like a Chinese takeaway – just like my parents used to make.
What to serve with crispy shredded chilli beef
I like to eat this crispy chilli beef with plain boiled rice, alongside stir-fried pak choi or Chinese green cabbage. Or it’s fantastic over noodles. If you’re looking to celebrate Chinese Year Year with a feast of different dishes, then why not serve alongside:
You can make more sauce, too
If you’d like the crispy chilli beef to have more sauce so you can cover your rice in it, too, just double the sauce ingredients.
How to store leftovers
If you want to keep the beef crispy, this is best eaten straightaway. However, you can still store leftovers in a suitable container and heat them up in the microwave 2 days later. If you want to freeze the crispy chilli beef, you can do so for up to 3 months. Make sure to defrost overnight in the fridge before heating up so it’s piping hot. Even though the beef won’t be crispy, it will still taste amazing.
Chinese crispy chilli beef recipe
- 360g medallion steak sliced against the grain into thin strips
- 6 tablespoons of cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of ketchup
- 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 2 cloves of garlic pressed
- 2 teaspoons of sriracha sauce or hot sauce more if you like it spicy
- In a mixing bowl, add the strips of steak and add the egg. Using your hands, mix them together and make sure all the steak is coated in the egg.
- Add the 6 tablespoons of cornflour, and the salt and the pepper. Combine well, ensuring the cornflour is coating the steak well. The mixture will be sticky.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok on a high heat until very hot around 3-4 minutes. Test a small piece of beef in the oil, and when it sizzles, the oil is ready
- Carefully add the steak strips one at a time to the hot oil. You will have to separate them from the sticky mixture. It is best to fry the steak in two batches.
- Fry the steak until dark brown and crispy for around 5-6 minutes, giving a few stirs in between. Don't move them around too much.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and place the steak strips onto a kitchen towel to drain any excess oil.
- Meanwhile, combine the sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, garlic, Schricha sauce, water and combine.
- In a clean frying pan, add the sauce and simmer over a medium heat for around 3-4 minutes. The sauce will begin to thicken and get sticky.
- Add the crispy beef to the sauce and stir through so all the steak is coated in the sticky, chilli sauce.
- Before serving, sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and serve immediately.