Pepper steak, a staple in Chinese takeout

In the vibrant tapestry of Chinese-American cuisine, where bold flavors and dynamic textures dance together, Pepper Steak stands out as a stir-fry classic—a dish that has secured its place as a staple in Chinese takeout menus. This savory creation showcases the marriage of tender strips of beef, vibrant bell peppers, and a savory, umami-packed sauce that coats each ingredient in a symphony of flavors. Join me as we explore the culinary journey of Pepper Steak, unraveling the secrets behind this beloved dish that has found its way into the hearts and homes of many, offering a taste of comfort and familiarity.



For the Pepper Steak: Gather the ingredients that form the Asian fusion medley of flavors:

  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced for tenderness
  • 2 bell peppers (assorted colors), thinly sliced for vibrant color
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced for sweetness
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced for aromatic depth
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated for a hint of warmth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, for the savory base
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce, for umami richness
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, for thickening the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, for a touch of sweetness
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground for a bold kick
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for stir-frying
  • 2 green onions, sliced for garnish
  • Cooked white rice, for serving, creating a comforting base



Step 1: Marinate the Beef Commence the culinary symphony by marinating the thinly sliced flank steak. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and black pepper. Add the sliced beef to this flavorful concoction, ensuring each piece is coated in the savory marinade. Let it marinate for at least 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Step 2: Heat the Wok As the beef absorbs the rich marinade, heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil and let it shimmer, creating the perfect canvas for our stir-fry.

Step 3: Stir-Fry the Aromatics Introduce minced garlic and grated ginger to the hot oil, allowing their aromatic dance to fill the kitchen. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, releasing the fragrant notes that will infuse the entire dish.

Step 4: Sear the Marinated Beef Add the marinated flank steak to the wok, spreading it into an even layer to ensure proper searing. Let it cook undisturbed for about 1-2 minutes to achieve a flavorful sear. Then, stir-fry until the beef is cooked to your desired level of doneness. Transfer the beef to a plate, allowing it to rest while we attend to the next act.

Step 5: Cook the Vegetables In the same wok, add a bit more oil if needed and toss in the thinly sliced bell peppers and onions. Stir-fry these colorful additions until they are crisp-tender, maintaining a vibrant crunch.

Step 6: Combine and Simmer Reintroduce the seared beef to the wok, combining it with the cooked vegetables. Stir-fry the medley for a few more minutes, ensuring the flavors intermingle. Pour in any remaining marinade, letting it coat the ingredients in a glossy glaze. Allow the dish to simmer for a couple of minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken and cling to the components.

Step 7: Garnish and Serve As the Pepper Steak reaches its flavorful crescendo, garnish it with sliced green onions for a burst of freshness. Serve this delectable stir-fry over a bed of cooked white rice, creating a comforting base for the savory medley.



For those who crave an extra kick, consider adding a teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns or a drizzle of chili oil during the stir-frying process. This variation introduces a layer of spice that elevates the Pepper Steak to a new level of boldness.



Thin Slicing for Tenderness: Slicing the flank steak thinly ensures that it cooks quickly and remains tender. This step is crucial for achieving the desired texture in the Pepper Steak.

Hot Wok, Quick Cook: Stir-frying is all about high heat and quick cooking. Ensure your wok is hot before adding ingredients, and keep them moving to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.

Colorful Harmony: Opt for a mix of colorful bell peppers for both visual appeal and a varied flavor profile. The combination of red, yellow, and green peppers adds vibrancy to the dish.



As you take a forkful of Pepper Steak, relish in the symphony of flavors—a melody of tender beef, crisp vegetables, and a savory sauce that ties it all together. Whether enjoyed in the comfort of your home or as a familiar order from your favorite Chinese takeout spot, Pepper Steak encapsulates the essence of Asian-American cuisine. So, let each bite be a celebration of the stir-fry symphony—a harmonious blend that brings joy to your palate and a touch of Chinese takeout magic to your dining table.

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