Skip the takeout with this easy pepper steak recipe. Ready in less than a half hour, it’s faster than delivery and just as tasty!

plate with Easy Pepper Steak over white rice


 

Everyone has their favorite dish at the local Chinese restaurant right? For me it is Pepper Steak.

If you haven’t had it before pepper steak stir-fry is made with thin strips of sliced of beef cooked with bell peppers and onions in a mouthwatering sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and ginger thickened with cornstarch.

The dish isn’t as sweet as the teriyaki sauce on our sheet pan beef teriyaki or stir fry vegetables. The rice vinegar balances that out giving the beef a sweet & savory flavor that pairs perfectly with the bell peppers and onions.

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Easy Pepper Steak ingredients

Ingredients You’ll Need

The following are the ingredients you’ll need and some possible substitutions where it makes sense.

  • Steak – Beef top sirloin steak is our preferred cut, but you could use ribeye, flank or skirt steak if you prefer.
  • Soy sauce – You can use a low sodium soy sauce to cut back on your salt. 
  • Rice wine vinegar – You could use white or white wine vinegar if you are out of rice wine
  • Corn starch – A couple of tablespoons cornstarch helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Packed brown sugar –  We use light brown sugar but dark will work as well. This adds a delicious sweetness to the glaze that balances out the vinegar. 
  • Seasonings – You’ll use salt, pepper, and ground ginger.
  • Vegetable oil – You could use canola or peanut oil if you prefer. Olive oil has a lower smoke point so it isn’t ideal for searing the meat at a high heat. 
  • Onion – You can use either white or yellow.
  • Garlic – You can use either previously minced or fresh garlic and mince it yourself.
  • Bell peppers – We use a combination of green bell peppers and red bell peppers, but you can mix and match your preferred colors.

We recommend you serve it with perfectly cooked white rice and homemade eggrolls.

how to make Easy Pepper Steak in a skillet

Instructions

Step 1: Prep the meat. First, lightly pat the steak slices with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. When ready, sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch, brown sugar, black pepper, and ground ginger until well combined.

Step 3: Sear the steak. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and then add the steak when it is hot. Cook the steak for 2 to 3 minutes or until nicely seared. Make sure to leave some room between the slices to avoid crowding the beef to give it a nice sear. Once cooked, remove the steak from the skillet.

Step 4: Cook the veggies. Add in the remaining oil and then saute the onion, bell peppers, garlic, and sauce mixture. Cook together, stirring the whole time, until the sauce begins to thicken and coat the veggies. This will take about 5 minutes. 
Step 5: Bring it all together. When the sauce has thickened, add in the cooked steak and stir in until well coated in the sauce. This will take about 2 minutes. Finally, serve over cooked white rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice.

Easy Pepper Steak on a black plate with chopsticks with a bowl of Easy Pepper Steak

Best Steak to Use 

We highly recommend sirloin for the same reason we use it in our beef bulgogi recipe. Sirloin doesn’t have as much fat as other cuts of meat and gives you a nice, tender piece of beef when quickly seared. 

If you prefer, you could use flank steak or skirt steak instead. These cuts are slightly tougher, so make sure you cut them thin so that a quick sear is all they need. 

We do not recommend fattier cuts of meat, such as ribeye, or tougher cuts that need low and slow cooking, such as chuck roast. Neither of these work well with a quick searing. 

Tips for the Best Results 

This is a quick stir fry recipe. Here are some tips to get the best results:

  • Pat the meat dry to give it a good sear quickly
  • Don’t crowd the meat to help give them a good sear, cook in batches if needed
  • Keep the veggies a bit firmer by quickly cooking them in the sauce until they start to soften but have not lost their crunchiness yet.

How to Store It

To make the stir fry ahead for a quick lunch or dinner, cook the steak and veggies completely and then allow them to cool. 

To store, place them in an airtight container and then refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

How to Reheat It

To reheat, place in a skillet and heat over medium low heat until warmed through. You will want to stir it regularly as it warms through.

If you are reheating frozen pepper steak you’ll want to allow the frozen meat and veggies to thaw overnight in the fridge. 

Easy Pepper Steak on a black plate with chopsticks

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Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Easy Pepper Steak Stir Fry

Skip the takeout with this easy pepper steak recipe. Ready in less than a half hour, it’s faster than delivery and just as tasty!
plate with Easy Pepper Steak over white rice
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds Beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin 2 inch long slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 4 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Ground ginger
  • 4 Tablespoons Vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Green bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 Red bell pepper, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Lightly pat the cut steak with a paper towel to remove the excess liquid and then sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch, brown sugar, black pepper, and ground ginger and whisk together until well combined.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and add steak. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it is nicely seared. Remove from the pan and set to the side.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan followed by the onion, bell peppers, garlic, and sauce mixture. Cook together, stirring the whole time, until the sauce begins to thicken and coat the veggies, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked steak back to the pan cooking and stirring together with the vegetables until well coated in the sauce, approximately 2 minutes.
  • Serve over cooked white rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25dish, Calories: 448kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 2014mg, Potassium: 918mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 1159IU, Vitamin C: 88mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chinese pepper steak recipe, pepper steak, pepper steak and rice, pepper steak recipe, pepper steak stir fry
Handwritten signature for Kat & Melinda