Crispy Chilli Chinese Beef

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Last updated on February 14th, 2023

Crispy Chili Beef is the perfect homemade Chinese food recipe that your whole family will love! It’s an easy fried beef dish with a sweet chilli sauce that perfectly pairs with a lot of veggies!

white dish with rice noodles and crispy chilli beef on top

I’m not a huge fan of eating an actual steak and might have one every 3 or 4 years if that. But crispy strips of beef covered in a Chinese sauce are right up my alley! This recipe requires simple ingredients that are easily accessible.

It’s so much easier to cook correctly as opposed to a whole steak, so you don’t need to worry about messing it up and wasting money either. Plus, I just enjoy it more when each individual beef strips are coated in the chilli sauce and already in a bite-size portion for me!

Tips to Make Crispy Chilli Beef

Steak: I use a New York Strip Steak for this recipe, but you could also use a flank steak or whatever else you have on-hand. You’ll be cutting the steak into 1/4″ strips. This is often easier to do when it’s frozen. I just pull it out of the freezer, and cut it into strips. If you have a fresh steak, just go ahead and cut it up into strips without worrying about anything I just said.

white cutting board with beef, red pepper and green onions all cut into strips

Cornstarch: This is what is going to give your beef strips that nice, crispy coating when you fry it. It also helps the sauce stick to the steak in the final step. You really can’t skip this ingredient!

Chinese 5 Spice Powder: I always, always, always buy this pre-made. 5 Spice Powder is made up of anise, cloves, peppercorn, cinnamon sticks and fennel seeds. I never keep those ingredients on-hand, so pre-made is easier for me. Here is a great recipe for a homemade version of 5 Spice Powder.

Veggies: I normally use a red pepper and spring onions when I make this, but don’t feel like you have to follow my lead! You can use other peppers, sweet onions, mushrooms, broccoli… whatever your preference is!

Asian Chilli Sauce: I’ve tested a number of different ingredients for this sauce mixture and my favorite combo is sweet chili sauce, light soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, rice wine vinegar and chili paste. You can play around with different variations if you like, but I would try this recipe as is for the first time because it’s been a favorite with everyone who’s tasted it!

How do you cook crispy Chinese beef? The traditional way is obviously in a wok . You would add lots of oil and basically fry them until golden brown and crispy. The wok allows all of the oil to sit in a “bowl” in the bottom of the pan so the pieces are mostly covered as you add them. I just use my cast iron skillet.
I try not to use quite as much oil as a traditional Chinese recipe would call for and just spread them out in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.

cast iron skillet with beef strips cooking in oil

What do you Serve Crispy Chili Beef with?  We love to eat it with rice noodles. They take just minutes to make and aren’t as heavy as regular noodles or rice. But feel free to use rice, pad thai noodles, veggies or whatever else you can come up with!

white oval dish filled with rice noodles and crispy asian beef strips

If you’re looking for more Asian inspired dishes, these are some of our favourite dishes:

  • Easy Chinese Green Beans: a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with any protein!
  • Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls: okay, so not really Asian at all in any sense of the word, but they are eggrolls and they are one of our favorite recipes so I’m including them!
  • Sesame Orange Chicken: this is my daughter’s favorite Chinese dish that we make at home! It’s always a hit!
Print Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

Crispy Chilli Beef

An easy recipe for Crispy Chilli Beef that will taste just like Chinese takeout in the comfort of your home! Perfect over rice noodles, jasmine rice or a veggie mix!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 5
Calories: 407kcal
Author: Natalie Dixon


  • 1.5 lbs Steak
  • 3 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper thinly sliced
  • 4 Green Onions whites only, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced

Sweet Chilli Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Sweet Chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar

Garnish, optional

  • Green Onions chopped
  • Sesame Seeds


  • In medium bowl, combine cornstarch and Chinese 5 Spice Powder. Stir till well combined.
  • Slice steak into 1/4 inch strips. Place in bowl with cornstarch mixture and toss to coat evenly.
  • In a wok or skillet, add oil to cover the bottom of the pan. The oil should be about 1/4" high in the pan so it comes about halfway up the beef strips. Heat the oil to medium high heat.
  • Add beef strips to hot oil and cook until golden and crispy, about 1-2 minutes per side. Once cooked, remove the beef and let rest on a paper towel.
  • Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the oil. Return the pan to the burner and add red pepper strips, green onions strips and garlic to the remaining oil. Stir fry for about 3 minutes or until tender.
  • In a bowl, mix sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and rice wine vinegar. Stir well. Add sauce to pan with veggies and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef back in and toss to coat. Cook an additional 2 minutes until it is heated through.
  • Serve immediately over your favorite side dish: rice noodles, jasmine rice or your favorite veggies. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

In conclusion, this delicious and easy Chinese Chilli Beef recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight meal. It is packed with flavor, yet still light and healthy. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try!


sweet and sticky crispy chilli beef pinterest image

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  • Reply
    Eileen Kelly
    April 18, 2020 at 1:15 am

    We love this stir fry. The cornstartch adds a great crunch to the beef and the sweet chili sauce is delicious. The family will enjoy often.

  • Reply
    Jamie Yonash
    April 20, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    The flavors in this dish are outstanding. I am new to using the 5 spice powder and am hooked already. This is a great alternative to takeout for my family.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Such a great combination of flavors! Definitely better than carryout.

  • Reply
    April 22, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    What a flavorful recipe! I love how the beef is coated so it gets crispy!

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