Easy garlic pepper beef is so much better than take out. The beef and peppers are cooked in a savory, rich garlic pepper sauce inspired by Chinese cuisine. Make this quick dinner in 30 minutes or less.Jump to Recipe
I’m so excited for you to give this delicious garlic pepper beef recipe a try. Fresh garlic and pepper are two flavors that are strong by themselves and even stronger combined. The sauce is simple, rich, and slightly spicy from the pepper. This garlic pepper steak recipe is better than restaurant takeout and it’s cheaper too.
Why You'll Love Garlic Pepper Beef
- It's the perfect weeknight meal because you don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen. Everything can be made in 30 minutes or less. Once you've prepped the veggies and the sauce, the cooking will fly by.
- It's packed with Chinese inspired flavor that tastes homemade and is better than takeout. Plus, since the chinese style pepper steak is homemade you don't have to worry about extra added ingredients like MSG or other preservatives.
- You don't have to worry about going to a specialty store to find ingredients you'll only use once. The sauce is made up of basic ingredients you can find at your local food market no need to find an Asian market in your area.
- Don't worry about doing a ton of dishes when you make this. All you need is a small bowl for mixing the sauce ingredients and a skillet. That's it.
Is This A Copycat Jollibee Garlic Pepper Beef Recipe?
Since garlic pepper beef is in the title you may be wondering if this is a Jollibee garlic pepper beef copycat recipe. It is not. If you don't know Jollibee is a fast food restaurant with Filipino roots. This recipe differs from the food chain’s in a lot of ways. For example, the restaurant cooks their beef with a brown gravy topped with crispy garlic. It does not bell pepper like this one does. This garlic pepper recipe is also Chinese inspired which differs from Filipino food. I would say the biggest similarity is the use of garlic and pepper together but it is very different.
What You Need to Make Garlic Pepper Beef
For The Sauce
Chicken Broth - consider using reduced sodium since the soy sauce adds a lot of sodium already. Don't have chicken broth on hand? You can substitute beef broth or water.
Soy Sauce - consider using a low sodium soy if you’re watching your sodium. This is what brings the delicious umami flavor to the dish
Rice Wine Vinegar - for added tanginess and punch of flavor
Sugar - to cut the acidity and balance the flavors, this doesn’t make it too sweet, it's just perfect
Black Pepper - you can use course ground or fine ground, either will work and make the sauce delicious, this is the star ingredient adding so much aromatic flavor and spice
Cornstarch - to help thicken the sauce as it simmers
For The Stir Fry
Vegetable Oil - for stir frying the beef and veggies
Onion - I used white for this recipe but you can also use sweet or yellow
Red Bell Pepper - for color and bright flavor, what’s a stir fry without some bell peppers?
Garlic - use fresh garlic cloves for this recipe, avoid the preminced if you can, fresh has the best and most potent flavor for this stir fry
Best Beef to Use to Make Garlic Pepper Beef
So what exactly is the best beef to use in this garlic pepper beef recipe? This garlic pepper beef is a stir fry. When it comes to shopping for the right beef for a recipe, it can be intimidating. If you choose the wrong cut you could have a meal that’s chewy and not cooked the way it was meant to be. On the other hand choosing the right beef for this recipe will give you a tender, juicy, meal you’ll want more of. Below I’ve broken down the most common types of beef used in a stir fry to help you out!
Flank - this might be the most popular cut when it comes to choosing stir fry. It's long and thin and comes from stomach muscles of a cow. This cut is extremely flavorful and is great when marinated.
Skirt Steak - similar to flank steak, it’s also a long thin cut except skirt steak comes from the diaphragm of a cow. It's best cooked at a high heat for a short amount of time to maintain the tender juicy texture we're all looking for.
Sirloin Steak - this cut is very flavorful, and inexpensive. It's also known as porterhouse steak and is a great choice for stir fry. The cut comes from the large part of the t-bone. When buying, choose sirloin from the tip side or the tip center side for optimum results. Much like skirt steak it's best to cook this on high heat for a short amount of time. Overcooking can turn this cut tough and dry.
How to Make Garlic Pepper Beef
Would you believe me if I told you this garlic pepper beef could be made in just 4 easy, simple steps? That’s right. It's so simple. Everything is made in one skillet and it can be thrown together in 30 minutes or less.
Step 1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a skillet. Once heated, add onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and ginger. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook to create the base flavor until the onion starts to cook translucent and the garlic becomes softer.
Step 2. While the veggies are cooking, in a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
Step 3. After the veggies have cooked down, add the stir fry beef pieces and top with an additional pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on medium high heat until the beef is browned on all sides. Try not to over cook the beef preventing it from drying out and becoming tough.
Step 4. One done, give the sauce a quick stir to redistribute the corn starch then pour into the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half or about 3-5 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, stir well making sure the veggies and beef are coated then serve immediately.
Tips for Making Garlic Pepper Beef
- High heat is the way to go with this garlic pepper beef stir fry. There are a few reasons to cook with high heat for this recipe. The first reason is because the beef used for stir fry will toughen up and dry out if cooked for too long. Cooking on high heat will brown the beef while leaving each piece nice and juicy. The second reason for this is to reduce the sauce faster. The quicker the sauce reduces, the less time you’ll have to cook the beef.
- Stir frequently as the sauce is cooking. Because there's cornstarch, the sauce will need to be stirred because cornstarch has a tendency to sink and thicken the part of the sauce closest to the bottom of the pan. This can increase the chance of burning and can thicken the sauce unevenly. Stirring well and frequently will prevent this from happening.
- Have all your veggies prepped before starting. The cooking process is quick in this garlic pepper beef recipe. Having everything ready to go and throw in is going to make everything easier on you and it will take less time overall.
- Consider letting the stir fry beef sit at room temperature for about 10-20 minutes. Adding ice cold meat to the pan will instantly cool off the pan with the veggies which can slow the cooking process.
- Consider slicing your own sirloin, skirt, or flank steak for the garlic pepper beef. Yes it's an extra step but this extra step will help the beef be more tender, juicy, and fresh! This step is totally worth it.
What to Serve with Garlic Pepper Beef
- Try Steamed Rice
- Fried Rice
- Roasted Carrots and Green Beans
- Steamed broccoli
- Spring Rolls
- Steamed dumplings
- Hot and sour soup
- Sesame garlic noodles
Tender Garlic Pepper Beef
For The Sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
For The Stir Fry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 white onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 lb stir fry beef
- salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat in a skillet. Once heated add onion, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent.
- While the veggies are cooking, stir all the ingredients for the sauce into a small bowl. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
- After the veggies have cooked add the stir fry beef and top with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the stir fry beef has browned on all sides.
- Once done, give the sauce a quick stir to redistribute the corn starch and pour into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half or about 3-5 minutes. The sauce will be thickened by this point. Serve immediately.