How to make quick, easy and delicious Black Pepper Beef stir fry.
I love black pepper! It’s one of my favourite ingredients ever. I make a lot of black pepper dishes, and this is my ultimate favourite black pepper sauce recipe – it uses minimal ingredients, but so so rich and addictive so let’s go.
If you’re looking for a delicious and quick weeknight meal that packs a punch of flavour, look no further than Black Pepper Beef Stir Fry. This dish is a delightful combination of tender beef, colourful vegetables, and a bold black pepper sauce that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
How to Get Tender Slices of Beef
I used flank steak, which is the typical cut of beef used for stir fries. I would use a cheaper cut of beef – save your sirloins and rib-eyes for a good ol’ fashioned steak dinners.
Cheaper cuts like flank and chuck has a tendency to be tough. To make them tender, I follow three simple rules:
1. Cut against the grain.
2. Cut at an angle: 45 degree angle, if you want to be specific about it.
3. Slice the beef thinly.
Using Baking Soda to Tenderise
Another tenderising technique I use is in using baking soda to break down the muscles. Sprinkle on about 1/2 a teaspoon (be very stingy with it) on the beef, massage it in and let that sit for about 20 minutes. Then rinse the beef thoroughly to wash out the baking soda. The meat should now be tender. Proceed to marinade or cook the beef as per recipe.
A couple of cons with this step though. Baking soda is an alkaline, which means if it’s left on too long or if you’ve used too much, you may end up with beef with a bitter after taste.
This is why you use very little baking soda, and it should not sit for too long. The baking soda should also be rinsed out. If not done proper, the beef might not tenderise to your liking. Results are too unpredictable with this method, which is why I stick to the cutting technique.
The Sauce Bowl for Black Pepper Beef
This sauce recipe is, in my opinion, the best because it hits so many flavours with the least amount of ingredients. I made a black pepper chicken stir fry recipe before which was more Chinese style. I honed the recipe even further to come up with this. The main ingredients for the sauce base are:
- Black Pepper: The most important ingredient in this is black pepper of course! Freshly ground black pepper will give you the best flavour.
- Dark Soy Sauce or Kicap Manis: This not only adds salt and sugar, it gives the dish an attractive dark colour. I always have Kicap Manis in my pantry, so that’s what I use. To me the use of kicap manis and dark soy sauce is interchangeable
- Light Soy Sauce: Light Soy Sauce is optional. I like to add it when I don’t want a sauce that is too sweet.
- Tomato Paste Concentrate: In my original recipe, I used tomato ketchup. In this one I used tomato paste concentrate which is more rich in taste. It also has no sugar, compared to the tomato ketchup.
- Oyster Sauce: The oyster sauce is the only constant for both recipes. It adds salt, and that extra hint of umami to the dish.
- Water or Stock: To dilute the salty flavours of the sauce, add water or stock. This will give you a nice gravy as well. I usually use water, but if you are using stock I recommend using unsalted stock.
As the intensity of the seasoning might differ by brand, adjust accordingly! How do you adjust? After combining the sauce, give it a taste test. If you enjoy the taste, the sauce is ready!
Sometimes I also like to add cornstarch to this sauce now so that I can skip a step later.
How to Make Black Pepper Beef Stir Fry?
1. Marinade the Beef Slices
Slice the beef thinly and against the grain. Add light soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper and cornstarch, and mix together with the beef. Allow the beef to marinade while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Prep the Sauce Bowl
Premix the sauce in a bowl for easier cooking. Combine everything in a bowl, and top with warm water for easier mixing, and stir to combine.
3. Cook the Beef Slices
To a pan add some oil and lay on the marinated beef. Allow the beef to cook.
I like to leave the beef slices to cook on one side, before flipping it over to the other side to finish cooking. You can use tongs for this, but I like to just run my spatula through and give the beef slices a toss.
4. Saute Aromatics
Once the beef slices are cooked, saute onions, garlic and ginger.
5. Add Sauce and Bell Peppers
Once fragrant, add bell peppers (or any other vegetables you are using) and stir through to combine.
Add cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. Once sauce comes to a boil and thickens, dish is done!
More Recipes Like This
Black Pepper Beef Stir FryCourse: Recipes
- Slice the beef thinly, and marinade with light soy sauce and cornstarch. Allow to marinade for about 15 minutes or while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Prepare the black pepper sauce bowl.
- In a pan, add oil. Once hot, add the beef slices and let it sear and cook.
- Add ginger, onions and garlic. Stir fry till fragrant.
- Toss in capsicums and the black pepper sauce bowl.
- Stir fry and let the sauce bubble.
- Once sauce bubbles, add cornstarch slurry. Done once the sauce thickens.
- *If using Chinese Dark Soy Sauce, add 1 tsp of sugar.
- ** If using Tomato Ketchup, use 2 tbsps.
- *** Adjust black pepper levels according to preference and tolerance.