Tender strips of steak, stir fried in a warming black pepper sauce with peppers and onions. This black pepper beef stir fry is a quick but luxurious dinner.
I love serving it up with a big bowl of steaming boiled rice - dinner heaven!
Pepper doesn't just have to be used as a simple seasoning. Freshly ground black pepper has a beautiful warming flavour to add heat to a dish without the need for chillies.
Two teaspoons of black pepper does sound a lot in a dish for four people, but it mellows in the sauce, so you get a gently heat, rather than the harsher heat of using chillies. My kids LOVE this dish (as do the rest of us!).
📋 What do we need?
The steak: I like to use thin sirloin steaks as it's beautifully tender in this stir fry. You can use a cheaper cut if you prefer, just be sure to cut off any excess fat and sliced it thinly, against the grain.
🔪 How to make this beef stir fry
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Toss the steak strips in a little salt and 1 tsp of black pepper. Fry in a mixture of sunflower and sesame oil, then transfer to a bowl.
To make the sauce, mix together cornflour, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine, beef stock and a further tsp of black pepper.
Fry up onions, peppers, garlic and ginger, then add in the sauce and bring it to the boil to thicken.
Add the steak back to the wok and stir together to coat in the sauce and heat the steak through.
👩🍳PRO TIP This recipe makes enough sauce to coat the steak and vegetables with a little bit left in the wok. If you like your sauce a little thinner or want to make it stretch a little further, add a splash of water or a further splash of beef stock when adding the steak back to the wok.
Serve the black pepper beef stir fry over a lovely pile of rice!
I love to use thin sirloin steaks in this recipe for a bit of a treat. Sirloin is fantastic tender cut (no chewiness!), and if you buy the thin cuts it's not too expensive.
📺 Watch how to make it
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Black Pepper Beef
Black Pepper Steak:
- 450 g (1lb) thin steak - , sliced thinly, against the grain (I use sirloin)
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 medium sized onions - peeled and chopped into thick slices
- 1 green bell pepper - deseeded and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper - deseeded and sliced
- 2 tbsp cornflour - (cornstarch)
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster Sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine - (or replace with dry sherry)
- 120 ml (½ cup) beef stock
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- Toss the steak slices with 1 tsp of the black pepper and the ¼ tsp of salt.
- Heat 3tbsp of the sunflower oil and the 1 tsp of sesame oil in a wok (or large frying pan) over a high heat until hot, then add the steak.
- Fry the steak for 2-3 minutes, moving it around the wok so it doesn't stick together, until browned.
- Spoon out the steak into a bowl, leaving any oil behind in the wok. Turn down the heat to medium.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp of sunflower oil to the wok. Add in the sliced onions and sliced peppers.
- Stir fry the vegetables for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
- Whilst the vegetables are cooking, take a small jug and add the 2 tbsp of cornflour, 2 tbsp dark soy sauce, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine, 120ml (½ cup) beef stock and the remaining 1 tsp of black pepper. Stir together to combine then put to one side.
- Coming back to the wok, add in the 2 minced cloves of garlic and the 1 tsp of minced ginger to the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
- Add in the sauce we mixed in the jug to to the wok and stir together. Let it come to a gentle simmer. If it looks too thick you can add in a splash of water.
- Add the steak back to the wok and stir through to coat in the sauce. Cook for a further 2 minutes to heat the steak back through.
- Serve the black pepper beef over boiled rice.
If you do, I would definitely recommend you use sirloin, as it stands up better to the reheating process, whilst still being tender. The vegetables will be softer upon reheating. To make ahead, make the black pepper beef stir fry, quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.
Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to reheat it to take the chill off it, then reheat over a medium-high heat in a wok. Stir often to prevent it sticking and add in a good splash of water or beef stock to help loosen up the sauce. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until piping hot throughout. Ingredient swaps
- Swap out the beef for thin strips of pork or chicken
- Add in other quick cook vegetables - such as thin strips of carrot, sugarsnap peas (snow peas), beansprouts (mung bean sprouts) and thinly shredded cabbage.
This posted was first published in July 2015. Updated in April 2021 with some recipe tweaks, new photos and a video.
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