Crispy Chilli Beef

Serves: 2-4 - Time:

Crispy Chilli Beef
Crispy Chilli Beef Crispy Chilli Beef

Although this dish is on every takeaway menu I would never order it as, once you’ve made it at home everything else is a disappointment. Ditto the ready meal versions in the supermarkets. Rock hard, dry meat with an oversweet sauce-don’t waste your money. You can make the beef stretch further, if budget is an issue, by adding lots of noodles and stir-fried vegetables. I use sirloin but feel free to use fillet if you prefer. Just remember to start an hour in advance to let the meat marinate –it makes all the difference.


  • 400g sirloin or fillet steak
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2-3 pinches caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 egg white
  • 50g root ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 5 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • For the sauce
  • 85g tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • To finish the dish
  • 90g cornflour
  • About 500ml sunflower oil plus one tablespoon
  • To serve noodles, stir-fried vegetables and fresh coriander
Crispy Chilli Beef


  1. Trim the steak of any fat and cut into thin strips, about 3mm thick. Put the sesame oil, caster sugar, soy sauce and egg white in a large bowl and mix together. Add the steak and stir to coat all the strips. Cover and leave for one hour to marinate.
  2. Meanwhile you can prepare the seasonings and sauce. Mix together the ginger, spring onions, garlic and chilli and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together the ketchup, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then set aside.
  3. After one hour stir the cornflour into the beef –it will be a gloopy mess but don’t worry about it. Heat the oil in a large wok to180°c. Separating the beef strips out as best you can, in small batches, fry the meat for about 30-40 seconds. Lift out of the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Try to let the oil come up to temperature each time you add a batch. I keep a thermometer in the oil to check the temperature. Once all the beef has had a first fry you need to repeat the frying, again in small batches, for about 1- 1 ½ minutes until the strips are golden and really crispy. Lift out and drain on more kitchen paper.
  4. Carefully pour the oil into a heatproof container (either throw out when cold or keep for one more frying) and wipe out the wok. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the wok and add the ginger/garlic mix. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes until softened but not coloured. Pour in the sauce and leave to bubble for a couple of minutes. Add the beef and stir to coat every strip in the sauce. Sprinkle over some coriander and serve as soon as possible with noodles and stir-fried vegetables.
Crispy Chilli Beef