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Chinese Takeaway Style Beef Curry

Chinese takeaway beef curry, an ode to a much-loved dish that has fallen a little from favour but remains a personal favourite fusion dish.

My version is a little darker thanks to the use of beef stock, but it packs in all of the wonderful flavours of your favourite takeaway, and all in under 30 minutes.

Chinese takeaway style beef and onion curry served with egg fried rice.

Chinese Takeaway Curry with Peas

My site is littered with classic Chinese fakeaway recipes, I have everything from chicken egg foo yung to sweet and sour pork balls and crispy chilli beef to chicken chow mein.

A love of cooking, a love of Chinese takeaway and spending over a decade living over 100 miles from the nearest takeaway focuses the mind!

I was asked fairly recently if I could make a beefy version of my Chinese chicken curry recipe, so I said that I would get on it. And here we are, Chinese takeaway style beef and onion curry.

I like to use a load of onions and fresh peas to add sweetness to the recipe.

The sauce remains very similar to my previous recipe. But I have started adding MSG to the mix to turn the flavours all the way up to 11.

My version is also darker than many, because I like to use beef stock. This is after all a beef curry and I think it makes a huge difference to the dish.

And all of this can be yours in under 30 minutes, meaning that it is quicker than your average delivery driver!

Close-up overhead Chinese takeaway style beef curry served with egg fried rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cuts of beef are best to use?

As I have mentioned in the recipe, my preferred cut of beef for this recipe is a piece of rump steak. This is because it has the best balance of tenderness and flavour as far as I am concerned.

But you could use anything from braising steak, flank or skirt, or even something like sirloin steak. The first in the list has the most flavour, is the cheapest, but it is the toughest, finishing with the least flavour, highest cost but most tender.

What sort of curry powder should I use?

You used to be able to buy Chinese curry powder many years ago which was ideal. However, this seems to have disappeared from the shelves.

I now use a mild fairly generic curry powder, I look for one where fenugreek is listed a long way down the ingredient list because I don’t think it works particularly well in a Chinese curry.

Alternatively, you can make your own, I use the ingredients below, toast them and grind them:

  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
  • 0.5-1 Teaspoon Dried Chilli Flakes

Can I make this in advance?

I prefer not to make this beef curry in advance. Aside from flavour, the tenderness of the beef is a major priority for me in this recipe.

Reheating the beef tends to make it toughen up a little.

But if you want to go for it, then it will be fone in the fridge for a couple of days an will freeze for up to 3 months.

Overhead Chinese takeaway style beef curry served with egg fried rice.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve served my Chinese takeaway influenced beef curry with the old stalwart, egg fried rice in these pictures.

Although this also works really well, with salt and pepper chips, or some air fryer chips if that is more your mojo!

A plain chow mein is also a popular side for many people, it is not my choice but many people love it.

Don’t forget some prawn toast or prawn crackers to kick off your fakeaway dinner in the proper way.

Close-up Chinese takeaway style beef curry served with egg fried rice.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Wok.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Whisk.
  • Sieve to defrost the peas.
  • Chopping board.
  • Weighing scales and or a combination of a measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Chinese takeaway style beef curry with onions and peas, served with egg fried rice.
Yield: 2 Servings

Chinese Beef Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

My take on a the wonderful memories of Chinese takeaway beef curry, my fakeaway version is medium hot and is loaded with onions and sweet garden peas... and it cooks in 30 minutes, making it both cheaper and quicker than the local delivery service!


  • 325-350g (12oz) Beef Steak I use Rump Steak
  • 150g (1 Cup) Frozen Peas
  • 2 Tbsp Cornflour
  • ½ Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine
  • 1 Tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
  • Pinch of MSG
  • 1 Large (225g-250g) Onion
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 15g (Half Thumb-Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 1 Green Chilli Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Mild Curry Powder
  • ½ Tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 185ml (¾ Cup) Beef Stock
  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Water
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Cut the beef into thin 2-3mm (⅛") strips across the steak.
  2. Whisk together the cornflour, sugar, light soy sauce, rice wine, Chinkiang vinegar, and MSG in a medium mixing bowl, then add the beef and allow it to sit while you prepare the vegetables.
  3. Place the peas in a sieve and run them under cold water to defrost them.
  4. Peel the onion and cut it into 8 wedges.
  5. Peel and finely dice the garlic cloves.
  6. Peel and grate the ginger.
  7. Thinly slice the green chilli pepper into rings.
  8. Heat a wok over a fiercely high heat and add the cooking oil and throw in the onions, stir fry for 1½-2 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli and stir fry for 15-30 seconds.
  10. Remove the beef from the marinade, add the beef to the wok and stir fry for 2 minutes. I do not colour the meat completely in this process because I want it to be just cooked and really tender in the final dish.
  11. Sprinkle over the curry powder and Chinese five spice and toss to coat.
  12. Pour in the beef stock, water and the marinade and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
  13. Add the defrosted peas and cook for another minute, then serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 677Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 801mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 54g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Carol ryan

Sunday 17th of December 2023

Hi Brian I always follow your recipes to the letter and I have the most amazing dinners. So ty. However we love Chinese chicken curry and for that I use a paste by goldfish it's in the international isle. Yes it maybe cheating but it tastes like my local Chinese. So winner winner in my book.

Brian Jones

Monday 18th of December 2023

We all have our own kitchen foibles and it's all good... as you say there is plenty here that you enjoy cooking if there is something that does not chime then there is no harm done... you carry on enjoying your Chinese chicken curry the way you do, when we are eating the only people we have to please are ourselves and those that we are feeding :)

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