Pepper Steak Stir-Fry

The Hubs was recently gifted the cookbook “The Wok” by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. Stir-fries are one of our favorite go-to dinners when we crave something quick and healthy, so this was a welcome addition to our culinary library. The Pepper Steak recipe was the first dish we tried and if the rest of them follow suit, they all promise to be winners!

Make sure to to follow the instructions for marinating and massaging the beef—it makes a tremendous difference in the tenderness of the steak. And if you have leftovers, they were just as tasty as the first time!

Pepper Steak Stir-Fry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 lb. flank steak, skirt steak, hanger steak, or flap meat, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (divided)
  • 1/3 cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (divided)
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large green bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips from pole to pole
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, whites only, finely minced, green parts for garnish if desired
  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Steamed rice, prepared as per package directions


  1. For the Beef: Place the beef in a medium bowl, cover with cold water and vigorously agaitate it. Drain through a fine mesh strainer set in the sink and press on the beef with your hands to remove excess water.
  2. return the beef to the bowl, add the baking soda, and vigorously massage the baking soda into the meat, lifting the meat, throwing it down and squeezing it for 30-60 seconds.
  3. dd the soy sauce , wine, sugar, and cornstarch and roughly work the marinade into the meat for at least 30 seconds. Set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  4. For the Sauce: Meanwhile, combine remaining soy sauce with corn starch and stir with a fork to form a slurry. Add remaining Shaoxing wine, chicken stock, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper. Set aside. Combine peppers and onions in a bowl and set aside. Combine garlic, ginger, and scallions in a bowl and set aside.
  5. For the Stir-fry: When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of beef and cook without moving until well seared, about 1 minute. Continue cooking while stirring and tossing until lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 1 minute.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and remaining beef, adding beef to same bowl. Wipe out wok. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon oil and half of peppers and onions. Transfer to bowl with beef.
  7. Repeat with remaining oil and remaining peppers/onions. Return wok to high heat until smoking. Return peppers/onions/beef to wok and add garlic/ginger/scallion mixture. Cook, tossing and stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sauce and cook, tossing and stirring constantly until lightly thickened, about 45 seconds longer. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and serve over steamed rice.

Recipe from “The Wok” by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt


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