As far as history goes, Crispy Beijing Beef seems to be pioneered by Panda Express. Although I’ve had it at multiple Chinese/Asian restaurants so far, the dish itself seems to originate from Panda express. It involves cornstarch coated beef, fried until crispy, mixed with bell peppers, and coated in a sauce to serve. It has a pre-dominantly garlicky, spicy sourish taste. Like other classic Chinese dishes on the blog, namely, the dragon chicken, chicken chow mein or Asian meatballs, this is also a crowd pleaser and if you are planning an Asian Menu for your next party, Crispy Beef should definitely be on your list!
Lets dig right into the basic steps of the recipe.
STEP 1 – PREPPING THE BEEF STRIPS
The first step is going to be to cut the beef steak into thin strips and marinate it into a mixture of salt, pepper, lemon juice, cornflour, all purpose flour and ice cold water. Ideally, any stir fried beef recipe calls for beef flank steak cuts which are either used for steaks or are also known as undercut beef cut.
Keep the marinated beef for half an hour or so and fry at high flame until they turn golden brown. Remove the beef from the oil and set aside.
STEP 2 – STIR FRYING BELL PEPPERS
Next up are the bell peppers. Some versions of this recipe also add sliced onions in their recipe, but I prefer just the colorful bell-peppers for my version. Simply stir fry the bell peppers at high flame in a little oil. I love using assorted colorful bell peppers, but by all means, use whichever ones you have at hand. Set the veggies aside with the beef and proceed with the last step.
STEP 3 – PREPARING THE SAUCE AND ASSEMBLING
In a cup or a bowl, add all the sauces (listed in the recipe card below) and mix them well so that they form a nice homogeneous mixture. Set this sauce aside and get back to the wok.
Add a little oil in the wok (I am not using a cast iron pan). I personally like using Chili Oil for this step and for stir frying bell peppers as well. Alternatively, you can use regular oil too, if you don’t have any chili oil at hand.
The garlic needs to be sauteed and turned golden brown. Once the garlic turns golden brown, add the sauce mixture and let it cook for a good 4 to 5 minutes. This is a good time to taste the sauce and check if you want to adjust the salt levels.
The beef needs to stay a little crispy so make sure your wok and sauce are bubbling hot when you add the veggies and beef in it. Once you add the beef, don’t cook for a longer duration. Just give it a good saute for 2 to 3 minutes and dish it out.
RECIPE ALTERATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
If you don’t have beef steak in the house, we can also tweak the recipe to use any boneless beef you have at hand. Remove the bone from the beef, cut the beef into strips. And boil the beef strips in water for 30 to 40 minutes along with a little bit of salt, pepper and garlic ginger paste. Proceed with the all the steps as listed above in the same way.