Lighter Chinese chilli beef

Don’t reach for the takeaway menu, try this beef stir-fry recipe instead. It’s just as tasty as your favourite Chinese and healthier too.

  • Prep:35 mins
    Cook:10 mins
    including freezing time
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 389
  • fat 16.5g
  • saturates 3.8g
  • carbs 26.3g
  • sugars 8.2g
  • fibre 4.2g
  • protein 33.5g
  • salt 1.6g


  • 250g lean beef, such as sirloin steak, trimmed of any excess fat
  • ½ red pepper
  • 4 spring onions, ends trimmed
  • 85g Tenderstem broccoli spears
  • 100g pak choi (baby pak choi is good)
  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp Chinese rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp hot chilli sauce, such as sriracha
  • 1 medium egg white
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1½ tsp self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 ½ tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped root ginger
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes, or a good pinch if you prefer it a bit milder


  1. Put the meat in the freezer 25-30 mins before you plan to start cooking. This will firm it up a bit and make it easier to slice really thinly.

  2. Meanwhile, remove the core and seeds from the pepper and cut it into very thin strips. Slice the spring onions diagonally and slice the broccoli spears in half or quarters through the stems and florets. Thinly slice the pak choi. Mix together the orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce and chilli sauce. Set aside.

  3. Slice the beef into very thin strips. In a bowl, beat the egg white with a fork to make it slightly frothy, then stir in the beef with the five-spice powder, cornflour, flour and a good grinding of pepper so everything is evenly coated. Pour 1 tbsp of the oil into a non-stick wok or frying pan. When it’s very hot (test if ready by dropping a small piece of beef in – it should immediately sizzle), put the beef in, stirring to separate, and stir-fry for 3-4 mins. remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  4. Steam the broccoli spears for 11?2 mins, then sit the pak choi on top and steam for another 45 secs-1 min until both are tender-crisp. Remove and cool under running cold water so that they stop cooking and retain their colour. Set aside.

  5. Pour the remaining oil into the wok and heat it again until very hot. Throw in the garlic, ginger, red pepper and spring onions, and stir-fry for 2-3 mins until starting to brown. Add the chilli flakes, then pour in the soy sauce and orange juice mix with 4-5 tbsp water. As it comes to the boil, stir in the beef and steamed veg, and cook briefly just to heat through. If you want a little more sauciness, splash in another 1-2 tbsp water.

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