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Crispy Chili Beef Recipe

perfect crispy strips of beef in a tangy spicy sauce. This is my favourite dish from the Chinese takeaway, so it has a lot to live up to.
I’m going to show you how to get that lovely craggly exterior and even better, we don’t need to use the deep fryer!


  • 360 g ¾ lb thin cut sirloin steaks – – (approx 3 thin steaks) cut into thin strips *Note1
  • 1 small egg
  • 4 tbsp cornflour – (cornstarch)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  •  tsp white pepper
  • 4 ½ tbsp sunflower oil – divided
  • 1 medium onion – peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 red chilli – – finely sliced- discard the seeds if you don’t like it too hot
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves – – peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree – (tomato paste)
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar – or superfine sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce – I use Thai-style


  • Place the steak strips in a bowl and add the egg. Mix together to thoroughly coat the steak in the egg.
  • Add the 4tbsp cornflour, ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper and ⅛ tsp of white pepper.
  • Toss together to coat the steak. It will be a sticky mixture.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) or wok over a high heat until very hot.
  • You will probably need to work in two batches, so when the oil is hot, add in half the beef – a strip at a time – and spread it out.
  • Fry the steak until dark brown and crispy. Try not to move the meat around too much as this reduces the amount of crispiness you get. It generally takes about 5 or 6 minutes to crisp up the beef, with about 3 or 4 stirs during that time.
  • Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the beef from the pan and place in a bowl lined with kitchen roll to soak up excess fat.
  • Add a further tablespoon of oil and repeat – cooking the second batch of beef and then placing in the bowl with the first batch.
  • Once you’ve removed all the beef from the pan, add the remaining ½ tbsp of oil to the pan and turn the heat down to medium.
  • Add in the sliced onion and cook for 2 minutes until slightly softened.
  • Add in the finely chopped chilli, 1 tsp minced ginger and 3 minced cloves of garlic and cook whilst stirring for 30 seconds.
  • Add the 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 3tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 6 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp tomato ketchup and the 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce to the pan.
  • Turn up the heat and let it bubble for a couple of minutes until the sauce starts to reduce a little.
  • Add the beef back in, give it a stir and heat through for 1-2 minutes – until the beef is hot.

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