Beef Stir Fry with Honey Pepper Sauce

1 hour Cook
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NomNom Recipes 17 2

The beef is fried to death! Tender strips of beef served in a thick sautéed sauce with honey and black pepper are one of my favorite dishes at the local Chinese restaurant. This might be the quickest stir-fry recipe you’ll make all year – 1 minute to cook the beef, 1 minute to make the sauce. you have finished!

Honey Pepper Sauce
Beef Stir Fry with Honey Pepper SauceNomNomWow

Beef Stir Fry with Honey Pepper Sauce

Chinese Beef with Honey Black Pepper Sauce is one of my favorite things to order at a Chinese restaurant. Never take it out. It must be in a restaurant because I love the way it’s served – sizzling in a cast iron skillet.

I won’t recreate the sizzle at home – wish I could! If you have a cast iron skillet or small saucepan so you can take it straight from the stove to the table, you’ll get the sizzle. I’m so jealous.

But I managed to recreate the delicious sauce for this stir-fry! Sweet, salty and subtly spicy, it really tastes like what you would get in a restaurant.
Check it out! Who can resist? ?

What you need 

I simply agreed to you without exaggerating! That’s all you need:

  • Beef – Stir-Fry Rules: If you treat it like a steak, it’s great for a stir-fry! Use decent to good sirloin, flank, New York steak/sirloin/sirloin (same thing!), boneless rib eye/Scotch tenderloin. It doesn’t have to be a premium dry-aged steak! To use slow-cut beef, tenderize it Chinese style (“veal velvet”) before serving;
  • Honey and black pepper – the two main flavors of the sauce!
    Oyster sauce – complex and the secret weapon of Chinese/Asian cooking. Proceed to Hoisin;
  • Chinese Wine aka Shaoxing Wine – the secret ingredient to 99% of Chinese cooking. Read more here, paired with mirin, dry sherry or sake. For non-alcoholic subs, use chicken stock/broth (see recipe notes);
  • Soy Sauce – Everyday, regular soy sauce. or light soy.
    Do not use dark soy – too thick!
  • Garlic and Onions – because there wouldn’t be much food in this kitchen without these two!

How to make it

As with all stir-fries, once you start cooking it moves pretty quickly, so make sure you have everything ready to throw in the pan before you start!

In this dish, the beef is cooked before taking it out, to control the cooking time of the beef. We then simmered the sauce in the pan until it was syrupy and poured the beef back.

Intense flavoured stir fry sauce!

My stir-fry recipes tend to err on the side of lots of sauce because a stir-fry isn’t a stir-fry if you can’t eat the rice drenched in the sauce. Nobody wants to have a bowl of plain rice left over after a stir-fry! !

However, the special fried beef is one of the exceptions. This Honey Pepper Stir Fry Sauce is incredibly rich in flavor because it is a concentrated syrupy sauce rather than being thickened with cornmeal/cornstarch as usual.
So you don’t want a ton of sauce. But the taste of rice is enough!

Another difference from most of my stir-fry recipes – this beef stir-fry is light on the veggies, whereas most stir-fries are a kaleidoscope of colors with little protein and lots of veggies!

So serve it with a fresh side dish – like a crisp Asian salad, this Chinese lettuce with a creamy sesame dressing or a leafy Asian salad with sesame seeds.

You can also add vegetables to the stir-fry – thinly sliced ​​carrots and similarly shaped vegetables are ideal.

Beef Stir Fry with Honey Pepper Sauce

Beef Stir Fry with Honey Pepper Sauce

The beef is fried to death! Tender strips of beef served in a thick sautéed sauce with honey and black pepper are one of my favorite dishes at the local Chinese restaurant. This might be the quickest stir-fry recipe you'll make all year - 1 minute to cook the beef, 1 minute to make the sauce. you have finished!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
1 hour
total time
1 hour 10 mins




  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (Note 1)

  • 3 tbsp honey

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Oyster sauce (sub Hoisin)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine , Mirin or dry sherry (Note 2)

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 1 tsp coarsely crushed black pepper (or 1/2 tsp normal ground black pepper)


  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable or canola oil)

  • 1 garlic clove , finely minced

  • 1/2 onion , peeled and sliced

  • 500g/1 lb thinly sliced tenderloin, flank, sirloin/Porterhouse/strip, or any other cut of steak suitable for stir frying (Notes 3)


Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl.
Heat oil in wok or large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat until smoking.
Add onion and garlic and cook 1 minute or until onion is translucent. Keep moving so the garlic doesn't burn.
Add beef, sauté 1 minute, until cooked to your liking, then transfer to bowls.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and pour in the broth - it'll start boiling in no time! Let it boil for about 1 minute until it becomes syrupy - the bubbles will become bigger and caramelized.
Return the beef and onion to the pot along with the juices that have accumulated on the plate. Add sauce and cook until just warmed through - up to 1 minute. Don't overcook the beef - it will be miserable!
Serve immediately with rice - or for a low carb, low calorie option, try cauliflower rice!


Soy sauce - Use regular soy sauce or light soy sauce. Don't use dark soy sauce - it's too strong. Chinese cooking wine is an essential ingredient in making true “restaurant standard” Chinese stir-fry. Click here to learn more about it. Replace with mirin, sake or dry sherry. Non-Alcoholic Substitute - Replace low sodium chicken stock/broth with cooking wine and water, reduce soy sauce to 2 tbsp. Beef - Like all stir fries, this cooks quickly, so you'll need a good cut of beef to make this. Rule of thumb: If you want it for steak, you can fry it. The rump, flank, sirloin/steak/porter steak (same thing), T-bone and scotch tenderloin/boneless rib eye are perfect for this recipe. Slow-cooked cuts, like chuck, are not suitable unless tenderized (see How to Tenderize Beef Chinese Restaurant Style) Cut beef against the grain. If you look at beef, you'll notice that the fibers mostly go in one direction. Place the beef in front of you so that the fibers flow from left to right. The fibers are then cut, i.e. cut perpendicular to the direction of the fibers (see here for an illustrative image). This cut makes the beef more tender! Other Proteins - Delicious with pork, chicken and turkey (finely chopped).
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