This pepper steak recipe is straightforward with only a handful of ingredients. You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to make!
Here’s a common misconception about Chinese food: people think it is complex with lots of rare ingredients and too complicated for home cooks. Today we are going to prove otherwise! Not only are we going to make it simpler, but also a lot healthier. Rest assured that the flavor will still be delicious. Your days of greasy Chinese takeout are coming to an end. Let’s get you prepared!
What Is Chinese Pepper Steak Made Of?
Pepper steak is a Chinese-inspired dish that is popular in America. It is a stir-fried dish that consists of thinly sliced beef and bell peppers. Seasoning of the dish varies depending on the chef, but some popular ingredients are ginger, garlic, honey or brown sugar (for sweetness), soy sauce (and sometimes oyster sauce), spring onions, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.
Since it is a stir-fried dish, it tends to be greasy as restaurants sometimes go a bit heavy on the oil. While doing this might intensify the flavor of the dish, too much makes it greasy and not many diners enjoy the strong fragrance of oil.
Our recipe is going to be a bit different as we’re going to minimize the amount of oil as much as possible, creating a lighter, fresher dish. For this particular one, we’re going to leave out ginger, spring onions, and some other ingredients; but feel free to adjust to your liking. Consider our recipe as a foundation and guide for you to build your own take on pepper steak. Before we crack on with the main, let’s think about the side dishes.
What Do You Serve With Pepper Steak?
For a dish that is packed with protein and vegetables like this, you might think it wouldn’t need any side dish. Usually, it is served with rice, but today we are thinking outside the box and have come up with some alternative suggestions to pair with pepper steak:
- Roasted sweet potatoes: if you enjoy steak and fries, maybe you should try serving sweet potatoes with your pepper steak. The savory honey and soy sauce combination from the pepper steak should complement the sweetness of the potatoes. And vice versa, those lovely potatoes with a crispy crust and soft center will add more texture contrast to the steak.
- Roasted pumpkin: pepper steak and roasted pumpkin might sound like an unconventional combination, but they go surprisingly well together. While sweet potato adds a contrast of texture, pumpkin adds another dimension to the dish/a whole other level with its unique texture. The sweet pumpkin will also pair nicely with honey from the sauce. To make roasted pumpkin, simply cut into chunks, season with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs like thyme or rosemary. Bake until fork tender and serve with your pepper steak.
- Quinoa: unlike soft cooked rice, quinoa has a very interesting texture that falls between fluffy and chewy. Despite being high in carbs, quinoa is actually good for your health as it is high in fiber and antioxidants. Here’s an article on how to cook quinoa if you want more information about this fibrous grain.
How Many Calories Are in Chinese Pepper Steak?
According to our calculations, there are about 158 calories per serving in this Chinese pepper steak recipe. For a main dish, this one is very low in calories. However, do keep in mind that you are going to serve it with one or two sides, which will increase the overall calories. As long as the calories of your combination meal are about 750 or less, you’re good to go.
Is Pepper Steak Healthy?
Yes, this recipe is healthy for you. Here’s why:
First of all, check the nutrition facts below. You can see that this pepper steak recipe is low on carbohydrates, so would also work well for low-carb dieters.
At the same time as being a low-carb, low-fat dish, it is also packed with micronutrients and provides about 80% of your daily vitamin C intake. That amount of vitamin C comes from the bell peppers. Our body cannot produce vitamin C and the only way for us to get it is through food. If you would like to learn more about vitamin C, here is an article you might want to check out.
How To Make Pepper Steak Recipe
- 10.5 oz rump steak thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 15.9 oz bell pepper 3 medium sliced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1.5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce divided
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- In a big bowl, marinate the beef with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Set aside.
- In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add the sliced bell peppers and stir fry for 3 minutes or until just tender. Then remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the skillet and turn the heat up to high. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the marinated steak to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Return the bell peppers to the skillet.
- In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water.
- Add to the skillet 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, honey, and the cornstarch mixture. Cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Season with black pepper and serve.