Crispy chilli beef


I’m quite dubious about Chinese-style cooking, mostly because the sweet and sour combos are a bit strange, for me anyway.  During my recipe booking adventures, I came across something which was intriguing. The Better Half was insistent we try it despite my protests. We did and it was great. It’s a BBC Good Food recipe which we’ve just tried as is – with a little bit extra ginger, garlic and five-spice.

If you, like me, are a bit dubious about the Chinese style foods, then give this a try…you won’t regret it. I also turned by nose up at the idea of putting ketchup in food, but it works, can’t taste it, promise.  It’s fresh, hearty and quite simple. Something a little bit different.


350g thin-cut minute steak, very thinly sliced into strips (or rump, sirloin, etc if you’re feeling fancy)
3 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
100ml vegetable oil
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, sliced, green and white parts separated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
thumb-sized piece ginger, cut into matchsticks
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
cooked noodles, to serve


Put the beef in a bowl and toss in the cornflour and five-spice. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan until hot, then add the beef and fry until golden and crisp. Scoop out the beef and drain on kitchen paper. Pour away all but 1 tbsp oil.
Add the pepper, half the chilli, the white ends of the spring onions, garlic and ginger to the pan. Stir-fry for 3 mins to soften, but don’t let the garlic and ginger burn. Mix the vinegar, soy, chilli sauce and ketchup in a jug with 2 tbsp water, then pour over the veg. Bubble for 2 mins, then add the beef back to the pan and toss well to coat. Serve the beef on noodles with prawn crackers, if you like, scattered with the remaining chilli and the green parts of the spring onions.