This Beijing Beef recipe features tender beef, peppers, and onions in a tangy, sweet and spicy sauce. It’s even better than takeout, healthier, and on the table in less than 30 minutes!
My Own Panda Express Beijing Beef Recipe!
Our girls love to eat at Panda Express. And I have to admit that every time we do, I enjoy every last bite, right along with them.
My latest cravings at Panda Express have been their flavor-packed Beijing Beef over a side of their fresh Power Greens. Seems like I always get a brand new batch of that steamed broccoli, kale, and cabbage medley – which is not only delicious, but also helps me feel much better about my takeout meal.
Want to know what else makes me feel better? That I can make my own quick and easy version of Beijing Beef at home!
My Beijing Beef recipe features tender beef, peppers, and onions in a tangy, sweet and spicy sauce. It’s even better than takeout, healthier, and on the table in less than 30 minutes!
A few more recipes that you might be interested in: Thai Drunken Noodles is outrageously flavorful. Crispy Baked Chicken Wings with Oyster Sauce are super fun. And my family can never get enough of Egg Roll in a Bowl and this Easy Korean Beef!
I love an easy recipe that incorporates fresh produce, a hearty, delicious protein, and an insane amount of flavor. You do, too? Then prepare to be blown away by this crazy delicious and EASY Beijing beef recipe!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- beef steak – Choose from flank, skirt, or top sirloin, and cut it into thin slices across the grain.
- salt & pepper
- sesame oil – For sautéeing the beef and vegetables. This gives a beautiful flavor and aroma.
- green and red bell pepper – Cut into thin slices.
- yellow onion – Dice into pieces.
- sugar – This dish is savory, sweet, tangy, and spicy – so many good things. Please don’t leave out the sugar!
- ketchup – I can see you furrowing your brows. But just trust me. This helps to make an awesome flavored sauce!
- rice vinegar – I am a huge fan of vinegars, and this is what gives the Beijing beef sauce its wonderful tang.
- red pepper flakes – I’ve included 1/2 teaspoon in this recipe, which gives a noticeable amount of heat (actually more heat than Beijing Beef at Panda Express). If you don’t like heat, definitely reduce the amount. And if you like heat, increase it!!
- cornstarch – Used to create a slurry to thicken the Beijing beef sauce, so it coats the beef and vegetables.
How to Make Beijing Beef
If you’ve had the Panda Express Beijing Beef, then you know that the beef is coated in a batter and deep-fried. The delicious Beijing beef sauce soaks into the crispy breading and is pretty darn irresistible.
While it’s always a treat to order this dish at Panda Express, I prefer to omit the deep-fried batter portion when making this at home – to keep it healthier AND to save time. Naked beef, all the way. And I promise that you’ll love it!
Here’s how to make it:
- Season steak – Just sprinkle the slices with salt and pepper.
- Sauté steak – Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil. Once oil is hot, sauté steak for a few minutes, until just browned.
- Sauté vegetables – Stir in green and red pepper strips and diced onion. Sauté until onion is translucent.
- Create Beijing beef sauce – In a small bowl, combine a bit of water with sugar, ketchup, rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Add Beijing beef sauce – Reduce heat to medium, stir the sauce into the sautéed steak and vegetables, and let simmer for a few minutes.
- Thicken the sauce – In a small bowl, stir the water and cornstarch until dissolved. Stir into steak and vegetables until the sauce thickens.
How to Serve this Recipe
When we make this dish, we serve it straight from the hot skillet, over plain white rice.
And when I order it at Panda Express, I most often eat it over their Super Greens. So that’s another great option at home – to steam some fresh broccoli, kale, and cabbage – and serve the Beijing beef over the tender veggies.
Noodles and fried rice are a couple more options.
My Best Tips
Although this is an easy recipe, there are a couple things to keep in mind to ensure the best Beijing beef experience.
- Be sure to cut the beef across the grain. This reduces the length of the muscle fibers and makes the beef easier to chew. It also helps to lock in juices.
- Take care to not over-cook the steak before adding the vegetables to the skillet. The steak will continue to cook along with the vegetables and the sauce. And because the beef is cut into thin strips, it really doesn’t take much time to cook.
If you’re wondering about changing things up, here are a few ideas.
- Don’t like beef? Substitute slices of chicken breast.
- Maybe you don’t have sesame oil, or don’t like sesame oil? Swap it out for olive oil or your favorite vegetable oil.
- Want to get more veggies in? Of course I love that idea! Increase the peppers and onion, or add some broccoli or pea pods. (Depending on how much you add, you might want to also think about increasing the quantity of sauce.)
- Play with the heat. Beijing beef at Panda Express is only lightly spicy. My recipe includes more spice than that…simply because I like it that way. And if the kids aren’t around, I include even more. So what I’m saying is, include as little or as much as you like!
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- 1 pound flank, skirt, or top sirloin steak, thinly sliced against the grain
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 large green pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes - use more if you really like heat!
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Season steak with salt and pepper.
- Heat a wok or large skillet with tall sides over medium-high heat, and then add oil. Once oil is hot, add steak and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until just browned. Take care to not over-cook.
- Stir in green pepper, red pepper, and onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.
- Meanwhile, create the sauce. In a small bowl, combine water, sugar, ketchup, rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Reduce heat to medium and then stir the sauce into the sautéed steak and vegetables. Allow sauce to simmer for a few minutes.
- In a small bowl or cup, stir the water and cornstarch until dissolved. Stir the mixture into the steak and vegetables until the sauce thickens.
Serve hot, over rice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 32g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.