Crispy chilli beef

We ate ours with a fresh salad and some rice

Crispy chilli beef – home-made beats take-away – no contest!

Crispy chilli beef has to be one of the most popular dishes people order at Chinese restaurants or from take-aways.

More often than not though, the crunchy strips of beef are so tough and so over fried that all you can taste is the greasy batter and oil. Not nice.

I thought I’d post the recipe for how I make it because this is a meal that can be made in under 30 minutes tops!

I hope that when you see how easy it is to cook, you’ll want to try making this at home instead of reaching for the telephone.

I made this crispy chilli beef for our lunch on Sunday and I served it with some plain rice – a great base for tempering the syrupy sauce – and poured the beef onto a bed of finely sliced gem lettuce and halved cherry tomatoes. Gem lettuce is perfect because the inner leaves and core generally have a slightly bitter tinge, which is the perfect foil against the sweetness and sharpness of the chilli beef sauce.

The zing from the chilli sauce puts just the right amount of heat in my belly to warm me up against the cold spell we’re experiencing right now.

A MUCH tastier and better version of the classic crispy chilli beef than what your take-away will ever offer.

Have a great weekend!

Click here for a printer-friendlier recipe.

Lots of love


They only take a few minutes to turn golden, which means they retain the flavour of the beef.

Crispy chilli beef

1 sirloin steak, fat trimmed off and cut into thin strips

1-2 tablespoons of cornflour

Pinch of salt

Oil to cover about 2cm in the pan you’ll use for frying

In a bowl, sprinkle the salt and cornflour over your beef strips and ensure all the pieces of beef are coated by the cornflour.

Deep fry your beef in 1-2 batches. They’ll only take a couple of minutes so keep checking them.

You only need the cornflour coating to turn slightly golden to know that your beef is ready and cooked enough. Lift your beef out with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen/paper towels.

Crispy chilli beef is so much easier to make than you might think.

Chilli beef sauce

1 tablespoon minced/grated ginger

3-4 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce (the one I use is quite fiery too)

2 tablespoon soy sauce

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of ¼ of lemon

Half a medium carrot, finely diced

(optional) 1 tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

In a saucepan, mix all the ingredients together (apart from the sesame seeds) and simmer gently while you fry your beef.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add your toasted sesame seeds to the chilli beef sauce.

Fill a small side dish with some of the sauce so you can use it for dipping and pour the rest over your fried beef. Stir well and serve.

It’s best eaten as soon as possible or else the beef will lose its crispness!

40 Responses to “Crispy chilli beef”
  1. Hi!
    Thanks for this recipe, it looks wonderful… I’m going to make this tonight 😉

  2. this looks so good that I RT it on twitter:)

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve not heard of crispy chili beef — until now — and your recipe sounds delicious! Better still, it’s relatively easy to prepare which, for me, is essential when it comes to preparing Chinese foods. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

  4. What an excellent twist on a dish!

    • Thanks. You can easily play around with the marinade if you like. Add some cut plums to make it more fruity, or some real chillies if you want to make it truly spicy, so much choice!

  5. zestybeandog says:

    Looks tasty! I have never had it but now I want to try it!

  6. Ok, after this dish I declare to be in love with you (both my wife and I! LOL!) the white rice is an unbeatable side (Maybe it’s just the Dominican in me talking!) Beautiful pics!

  7. One of my favorite dishes and this looks like a wonderful recipe, will give it a try soon!

  8. billpeeler says:

    I love crispy chili beef – and you’re right – all too often, it is a greasy,over-fried mess. I feel just adventurous enough to give this a shot . . . thanks for sharing!

  9. Wonderful, I will try this! Is corn flour the same as cornstarch??

    • Hiya, if you’re going to try this, then do use cornstarch, which is what is called cornflour in the UK. We probably probably shouldn’t actually call it cornflour because cornflour is actually the ground kernel, which is used in making tortillas etc and is normally yellow. I’m definitely referring to the starching agent in this recipe.

      I don’t know why we call cornstarch in the UK cornflour… must have gotten lost in translation somehow… 🙂

  10. Joanne says:

    AH!!!!!!!! That looks SO AMAZING!!!!!!! I need to clean out my deep fryer so I can make this. This looks incredible and I’ve never done this at home before.

  11. Oh wow, Noodle. I bet it beats the takeaway. This looks really yummy. I do adore the added sesame seeds – they always add such a lovely flavour.

  12. Charles says:

    Aaaah, x100 yes! I love crispy chilli beef. They don’t sell it anywhere in France! Just doesn’t seem to exist. How was yours? It looks amazing – if I could make this at home I’d be SOOOO pleased!

  13. My husband would go crazy for this dish! It looks way better than the take out versions.

  14. Oh my it’s YEARS since I’ve eaten this dish, largely becasue as you say it’s chewy and not often very good. But your version, well it’s leaping out at me!

  15. Michelle says:

    Oh, yum. We make a somewhat similar dry fried beef dish, but I can’t wait to try this with the sweet undertones.

  16. This is one of those kind of addicting foods that you eat some for dinner and don’t finish it but it calls you in the middle of the night. Ayyhayyyy! Not that I have done that or anything… Hope your doing well, Noodle! BAM

  17. This looks delicious, BFN and I love that you put it over greens, so much healthier than noodles or rice. The sesame seeds look great on the photo too. Very nice recipe.

  18. This totally new to me and totally irresistable!
    I can only imagine how good this tastes

  19. Karen says:

    Thank you for the recipe it does look delious surprised you added orange and lemon. Will try doing this I hope it looks like yours .!

  20. Rachel says:

    Tried this tonight. ..yummy food….although I would definitely add at least another table spoon of hunny and possibly a table spoon of tomato sauce ( thicken the sauce slightly with cornflour). add some flour to the beef strips to puff thrm up slightly….I will definitely try this again….thank you 😊

  21. Craig says:

    Just made this for my wife and she loved it

  22. I love this dish. My favorite. Thanks so much for sharing. Simon

  23. Lisa Ecclestone says:

    Oh my goodness! I made this last night and it gets a great big wow from the family! I trebled the recipe for the sauce and added a tablespoon of honey and siracha sauce. I had mine with crispy tofu and the meat eaters had the beef. I have enough leftovers for my tea tonight 🙂 Thank you for a delicious recipe!

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