Crispy Chilli Beef

If I weren’t armed with the stats to back me up, I’d be too ashamed to admit yet another dirty takeaway secret. But the truth is, I know you love it too – the blog stats show, time and time again that the most popular recipes on Every Nook & Cranny are homemade versions of takeaway favourites (bargain bucket anyone? Perhaps a sweet & sour chicken instead?).  Today, I’m showing you how to make Crispy Chilli Beef – a regular for me and Hungry Hubby when we do indulge in a cheeky Chinese takeaway.

Crisp and a little chewy, thin shreds of beef are dusted with potato flour seasoned with five spice in this case, then fried and slicked with a fiery sweet chilli sauce. Thin shreds of carrot and green pepper are the mainstay of the vegetable quotient of this addictive dish. We can’t stand green peppers so red it is instead.

A little sliced celery gives just a little je ne sais quoi I really love to the whole dish, but it’s not always added at the Chinese takeaway place so don’t feel you have to too. Sweet and spicy with plenty of fresh ginger and some garlic, it’s vibrant to look at and tastes so much fresher eaten the instant it is cooked, as opposed to out of a silver foil tray up to an hour later.

crispy chilli beef_

Whilst I can’t claim this is healthy or low cal, it certainly is better for you than the deep fat fried versions with what I fear is all too often very questionable quality meat. Buy a single free range sirloin steak, be tight with the oil and the pair of you will eat like kings and enjoy every mouthful.

I timed myself for the purposes of this post and like many stir-fry still dishes, there is a lot of chopping involved which slows you down. I can do it in 40 minutes, fridge to bowl (including doing the photos you see but of course, it isn’t a requirement to take photos of your food ;) ).

It therefore doesn’t quite fit into my 30 minute or under “Fast Food” recipe category but it would certainly be fantastic to do of a Friday or Saturday night instead of making a trek to the nearest Chinese takeaway, and it’s just about do-able on a weekday when you’ve not had too manic a day at work.


Crispy Chilli Beef
A takeaway favourite made better for you at home!
Servings: 2
: 498 kcal
Author: Just Jo
For the sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce or chilli jam
  • 1 tsp Chinkiang black vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp water
For the beef
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sirloin steak de-rinded and cut into thin rags
  • 2-3 tbsp potato flour
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 spring onion minced
  • 4 spring onions whites only, sliced lengthways
  • 1 medium carrot julienned
  • 1 red pepper julienned
  • 1 rib of celery finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 1-2 red chillies keep the seeds in if you like the heat, sliced thinly
  1. Mix the sauce up in a small bowl (or shake it up in a clean jam jar) adding enough water to let it down a little, not to make it too runny.
  2. Sprinkle the potato flour, five spice and salt and pepper onto the shreds of steak and coat very well.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a wok or large frying pan and when hot, toss in the steak, in two batches if your pan isn't very big.
  4. Cook for a minute per side and when crisp with no raw meat showing, transfer to a plate.
  5. Add a drop more oil if needed and toss in the carrot, red pepper and celery - stir constantly to prevent it sticking and continue to cook on high. At this point, add a splash of water if it sticks rather than anymore oil.
  6. Add in the garlic, ginger and the minced spring onion and cook for 1 minute.
  7. When softened (only 2-3 minutes on high) add the sauce and stir quickly to prevent it catching.
  8. Add the beef and bring back to temperature then fold in most of the sliced spring onions, reserving some for garnish (with a slice of chilli or two too).
  9. Serve over steamed rice or noodles as liked.
Recipe Notes

I like to serve it with steamed rice - usually about a quarter cup of dried basmati or jasmine rice per person cooked via the absorption method on the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition Facts
Crispy Chilli Beef
Amount Per Serving
Calories 498 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 45%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 636mg 27%
Potassium 854mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 31g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 14g
Protein 28g 56%
Vitamin A 151.9%
Vitamin C 142.8%
Calcium 7.9%
Iron 19.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. lucybishop2012 07/08/2015 at 12:35 - Reply

    I am so excited about this recipe!!! Crispy chilli beef is my absolute favourite Chinese take away dish, will definitely make this this week! Can’t wait :-) xxx

  2. Ann-Sofie 01/09/2015 at 15:32 - Reply

    Taking pictures of your food is mandatory ;)
    Made this yesterday and everybody said it was better than takeaway :)
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Ann-Sofie 01/09/2015 at 15:35 - Reply

      To know your own web adress should be mandatory too, lol

      Have a good day

    • Just Jo 01/09/2015 at 17:09 - Reply

      Yay! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it!

  3. plasterers bristol 13/12/2016 at 18:40 - Reply

    Oh wow this looks delicious. I love this type of food. Thanks simon

    • Just Jo 14/12/2016 at 09:14 - Reply

      You’re so welcome Simon – glad you like the look of it!

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