This easy black pepper beef stir fry is incredibly flavourful and easy! Chinese beef in black pepper sauce is a real guilty pleasure and takes less time than to pick up your order from the nearest takeaway shop.
Beef stir-fried in black pepper sauce is a typical Cantonese cuisine. Beautifully seared slices of beef, sweet spring onions, and crisp capsicums coated in a glaze made of Chinese sauce essential ingredients which are surprisingly rich in umami flavour. This dish has a perfect balance of tastes, textures, and colours that are sharply accented by the complex heat of the crushed peppercorns.
I have a few tips for the best results:
This stir fry is especially delicious when made from juicy and tender NZ beef. Most takeaway shops use the cheapest cuts of meats. I would recommend skirt steak, which perfectly suits for stir fry and affordable at the same time. Slice the meat against the grain for the most tender meat.
Use an Ironclad pan. Traditionally, stir fry should be cooked on a wok. But the best pan for a high-quality sear is a well-seasoned cast iron pan. Cast iron does its magic!
If you don't believe in magic, I have another explanation. This is called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction, or browning, is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavour. Searing any type of meat using your cast-iron skillet will allow you to create a flavourful, crispy outer layer while maintaining a juicy centre.
I would recommend using the freshest black peppercorns. Indian shops sell the freshest black pepper.
350 g beef stir fry (or skirt steak, thinly sliced)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 spring onions, cut into 3 cm chunks
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon cooking oil
For black pepper sauce
1-2 t whole black peppercorns|
2 T oyster sauce
1 T Shaoxing wine
1 t soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
2 c of steamed long-grain rice or 2 serves of noodles (chow mien or rice noodles)
Put the black peppercorns in a mortar and use a pestle to crack the peppercorns coarsely. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, and most of the black pepper (saving a little to garnish). Set aside.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot. Add the cooking oil, and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Keep it moving so the garlic doesn't burn. Using tongs, add the beef in a single layer. Cook the beef one minute then flip over and cook another minute. Add the bell pepper and sliced white part of spring onion. Stir-fry, tossing the contents of the pan periodically to ensure everything cooks evenly.
Add black pepper sauce and sliced green part of spring onions, and toss everything together until the black pepper beef is shiny and evenly coated with sauce.
Serve with rice or noodles. Garnish with the remaining black pepper (to taste). Enjoy!