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Chinese Shredded Crispy Chilli Beef Fakeaway

Crispy chilli beef, fried steak coated in a spicy, sweet and sticky sauce is one of the most popular dishes in a British Chinese takeaway.

My fakeaway version of this dish will go from your fridge to your table in under 30 minutes making it quicker than your local delivery driver and save you a few quid too!

Chinese takeaway style sticky crispy chilli beef in a sticky sauce.

Chinese Takeaway Style Sticky Chilli Beef

Spending 13 years living in rural Central Europe gave me plenty of time and motivation to work on my Chinese fakeaway recipes… and this crispy chilli beef recipe is one of many that appear on my website!

I have everything from Chinese spare ribs and kung po prawns to Chinese chicken curry and sweet and sour pork balls to duck chow mein and Chinese beef curry.

This spice stick beef recipe is one of my favourites and the one that my wife requests most often.

Beef fried in cornflour and Szechuan pepper and then tossed through stir-fried peppers in a sticky, smoky and spicy sauce.

The spice comes from crispy chilli oil, I use the Lao Gan Ma brand and it is magic stuff!

It’s a nice quick cook recipe, coming together in under 30 minutes and that includes all the preparation. It is not only quicker than your local delivery service, but also a boatload cheaper too.

Chinese takeaway style sticky crispy chilli beef with peppers and egg fried rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of beef should I use?

I like to use sirloin or rump steak for this recipe, both are fairly lean and have good flavour, but you could use flank/skirt/bavette steak, this will be a little tougher.

The most important thing about the beef is “shredding” it thinly, but also so that the pieces are relatively uniform in size and shape.

Do I have to use a wok?

No, you could use a large (30cm or 12″) nonstick frying pan. You will need to have the oil at a shallower level than in a wok and as a result, you may need to fry the beef in more batches.

What do you use to monitor the oil temperature?

As you can see in the video below the recipe, I use a sugar thermometer, which is another great reason to use a wok rather than a shallow frying pan.

What is cornflour?

A question often asked by US and Canadian visitors to my corner of the internet. Cornflour is the name that us Brits use for what you guys call corn starch.

Can I make this in advance?

The sauce can be made hours, even days in advance, but the beef needs to be cooked and served immediately.

Can I substitute Szechuan peppercorn for normal pepper?

No, Szechuan pepper is unique and it is not even a pepper, but the “fruit” of a shrub. It is delicious and has an almost fizzy and numbing flavour.

Don’t worry about it languishing around the cupboard, I use it in countless Chinese fakeaway recipes, everything from dan dan noodles to my pork noodle stir fry.

Overhead Chinese takeaway style sticky crispy chilli beef in a sticky sauce.

Serving Suggestions

I have served my sticky crispy chilli beef with egg-fried rice in these pictures.

It does require a little planning and some “double wok” work, I tend to make the rice first and keep it warm in a low oven, and reheat it in a nonstick frying pan just before serving.

But plain rice is superb with this also, the big flavour from the sauce is more than enough to carry the whole plate.

If noodles are your thing then you could serve it with a plain chow mein too!

It is not unusual for me to serve this with vegetables and usually choose either my stir-fried asparagus or broccoli stir fry.

Don’t forget the prawn toast and prawn crackers to start either!

Close-up Chinese takeaway style sticky crispy chilli beef in a sticky sauce.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think 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, I use a large carbon steel wok with a flat base because it is ideal to use on an induction hob.
  • Thermometer for measuring temperature, I use a sugar thermometer.
  • 15cm or 6″ saucepan.
  • Pestle and mortar.
  • Mixing bowls.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Grater.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Slotted spoon and stirring/serving spoons.
  • Kitchen paper.
Chinese shredded crispy chilli beef in a sticky spicy sauce served with egg fried rice.
Yield: 2 Servings

Sticky Chinese Takeaway Crispy Chilli Beef Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

My version of the ever-popular British Chinese takeaway dish of shredded sticky and crispy chilli beef with peppers will go from your fridge to your table in around 30 minutes and save you plenty of money!


  • 300g (10oz) Beef Steak
  • ½ Tbsp Szechuan Peppercorns
  • 4 Tbsp Cornflour (Corn Starch in the US)
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • Oil for Frying
  • 1 Small (150g) Red Pepper
  • 1 Small (150g) Green Pepper
  • 1 Small (100g) Onion

For the Sauce:

  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Shaoxing Wine
  • 6 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Dark Soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Minced Chilli Oil (I use Lao Gan Ma)
  • 30g (Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ⅛ Tsp MSG


  1. Cut the beef into 2-3mm (⅛") thick strips across the grain steak.
  2. Top and tail the onion cut it in half and then into slices 5-6mm (¼") thick.
  3. Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers and cut them into strips the same size as the onion.
  4. Peel and grate the ginger.
  5. Peel and mash the garlic into a paste.
  6. Heat a 15cm or 6" saucepan over a medium heat and add all of the ingredients for the sauce, bring them to a boil stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Heat a dry wok over a high heat and toast the Szechuan peppercorns and then crush them in a pestle and mortar.
  8. Return the wok to the heat and add 3-4cm (1½") of neutral cooking oil and heat it to 180°C or 350°F.
  9. Just before the oil is hot place the beef in a bowl and add the salt, crushed Szechuan peppercorns and cornflour and mix well.
  10. Fry the beef in batches for around 90 seconds then remove and set aside on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
  11. Carefully drain almost all of the oil from the wok leaving a scant coating and return it to a high heat.
  12. Add the onions and pepper and stir-fry them for 90 seconds.
  13. Pour in the chilli sauce and cook for 30 seconds.
  14. Add the beef, stir to coat in the sauce and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 807Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 2735mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 3gSugar: 39gProtein: 46g

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!

Stuart Flanders

Sunday 9th of May 2021

Looks wonderful and sounds wonderful. My only question is that this recipy is for two. If, say I was cooking for six, would the ammounts be the same?

Brian Jones

Sunday 9th of May 2021

Hi Stuart... Yes to cook this for 6 just triple the amounts, I have a caveat though. If I were cooking this for six I would try and fry the beef in a fryer rather than a wok, it will allow you to cook more beef at the same time making the dish easier to serve.

Enjoy :)

Anthony Hollis

Saturday 6th of June 2020

Looks great, will definately give it a go.

Brian Jones

Monday 15th of June 2020

Enjoy :)


Wednesday 19th of June 2019

Omg...just made this, didn't alter the recipe...absolutely amazing, will definitely make again?

Brian Jones

Monday 24th of June 2019

So glad you liked it Kim, it is one of our favourites and one that my Mother in Law always has me make when she visitis ;)

Mike Hind

Saturday 18th of November 2017

I found this recipe on Yummly, so this is just to share what I wrote there.

One of the culinary highlights since I got Yummly. There's quite a lot of prep and multi-tasking involved but the results are outstanding. I think next time I'll serve it with a generous amount of pak choi to balance out the guilt of such a sugary base for that amazing sauce. Because there definitely will be a next time.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 21st of November 2017

Thank you for taking the time to comment Mike... I'm so glad you like the recipe, it is an indulgence but one that we really love, the pak choi is a great idea!

Byron Thomas

Wednesday 8th of June 2016

Oh my Lord, Brian! That beef is calling my name! This dish looks absolutely scrumptious! I allow myself to eat out for lunch during work once each week - usually on Fridays, the ladies and I will head off to the food court at the mall close to the office. I always get the same thing and it looks very similar to this. I'm making the real thing now. Thanks!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 8th of June 2016

Only once per week, I insisted on taking lunch every day to make up for the endless hours of unpaid overtime I did... Unfortunately now lunch tends to be what ever I pick out of the garden whilst working. Glad you like the idea of the dish it is a real corker of a recipe, I like it with beef but you could do it with pork, chicken or even play around with it on some Tofu.

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