Crispy Sweet Chilli Beef

I think my fiancé Sam has a worm, as I have never known anyone to eat so much food yet never put an ounce of weight on (I guess he does do a lot of exercise so maybe that’s his excuse). I few weeks ago we went out for the evening, bearing in mind we had a lovely substantial meal before we went, and on the way home, about 9:30pm he decided that he was craving Chinese crispy chilli beef. Now Sam is one of those people that once he has something on his mind he is determined to have it, so we came home and ordered a takeaway to make sure that the worm was fed.

Those of you that are regular followers of homemade with mess will know that I don’t really do takeaways and it did bug me that I didn’t have the ingredients/time/effort to cater for Sam’s needs at this time. This continued to bug me for some time so I made it my mission to make crispy chilli beef that could rival the take-away, and I think I cracked it with this recipe. I seriously urge anyone who is reaching for the takeaway menu just to think again and give this a try; it tastes even better, is much healthier and you get the satisfaction that you cooked it yourself in a quicker time than the delivery driver could get it to your door!!

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Serves 2

–          200g steak – cut into very thin slices

–          2 tbsp cornflour

–          2 tsp Chinese five spice

–          Salt and pepper

–          200ml corn oil

–          1 red pepper – thinly

–          1 onion – thinly sliced

–          1 courgette – finely sliced

–          1 red chilli – finely chopped

–          2 cloves garlic – crushed

–          1 thumbsize piece ginger – cut into thin matchsticks

–          4 tbsp rice wine vinegar

–          1 tbsp soy sauce

–          2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

–          2 tbsp tomato ketchup

–          Rice or noodles to serve

–          Juice ½ lemon or lime

–          ¼ cucumber – julienned

–          Fresh coriander

Mix together the flour, five spice, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss the beef in it so that it is well coated.

In another bowl mix together the vinegar, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and ketchup and set aside

Heat the oil in a frying pan until really hot and then fry the beef until golden and crispy

Remove the beef from the pan and leave to drain, either over a sieve or on some kitchen paper

Heat a little of the leftover oil in wok or large frying pan and fry the onion, courgette and peppers for a few minutes until they just start to soften.

Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry for another couple of minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn

Stir in the sauce and the beef and cook through for 3-5 minutes until it is bubbling hot and the sauce has thickened

Squeeze over a drizzle of the lemon juice and season to taste

Serve hot with some egg fried rice of noodles and top with the cucumber and coriander.


41 thoughts on “Crispy Sweet Chilli Beef

  1. Haha I’m in the same ‘tribe’ as your Sam! It annoys my other half and he can’t believe a tiny person like me can eat so much. I’m also one of those who, once a food thought is stuck in my head, I have to have!

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  3. We tried it tonight and it was delicious! I’m not a spice fan but this is my boyfriend’s go-to takeaway fave so we had to give it a go, luckily it was just the right amount of heat for me. Feeling incredibly full now!

  4. This looks delicious. I think I’m going to “borrow” this recipe and try to convert most of the frying to grilling and see how it turns out.

    • 5 spice is made up of equal amounts of ground Szechwan pepper, Star Anise and fennel seeds and then half the amount of cloves and cinnamon. I’m not sure if these are easier for you to get hold of?

  5. This look fabulous. I had a bottle of Five Spice, but over many years on non-use, well . . . you can imagine. I’ll be looking for a replacement bottle, and this time, I’ll use it! Thanks for the push!

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