Chinese Onion Pepper Steak


Chinese cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors, vibrant colors, and aromatic spices. Among its many tantalizing dishes, Chinese Onion Pepper Steak stands out as a delightful fusion of tender beef, crisp vegetables, and savory sauces. This culinary masterpiece combines the bold flavors of onions, peppers, and succulent beef, creating a dish that is both comforting and exhilarating to the palate. In this article, we’ll delve into the tantalizing world of Chinese Onion Pepper Steak, exploring its origins, ingredients, and how to prepare it to perfection.

Origins of Chinese Onion Pepper Steak: Chinese Onion Pepper Steak, also known as “Cong Bao Niu Rou” in Mandarin, is a classic dish that hails from the rich culinary traditions of China. While its exact origins are uncertain, it is believed to have originated in the Sichuan province, renowned for its bold and spicy flavors. Over the years, this delectable dish has gained popularity both within China and internationally, thanks to its irresistible combination of tender beef, aromatic onions, and vibrant bell peppers.


  • 500 grams of beef steak (sirloin or flank steak works well)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers (one red and one green), thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Sliced green onions for garnish


  1. Begin by slicing the beef steak thinly against the grain, ensuring tender and flavorful bites.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and sesame oil to create a marinade.
  3. Place the sliced beef in a bowl and pour the marinade over it, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add the cooking oil. Once hot, add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  5. Add the marinated beef to the wok, spreading it out in a single layer to ensure even cooking. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the beef is browned and cooked through. Remove the beef from the wok and set aside.
  6. In the same wok, add a bit more oil if needed, then add the sliced onions and bell peppers. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they are tender-crisp.
  7. Return the cooked beef to the wok and toss everything together, allowing the flavors to meld.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with sliced green onions before serving.

Serving Tips:

  • Chinese Onion Pepper Steak is best served hot and fresh from the wok to preserve its tender texture and vibrant flavors.
  • Pair it with steamed white rice or noodles to soak up the delicious sauce and create a satisfying meal.
  • Garnish with freshly sliced green onions for a pop of color and added freshness.
  • Serve alongside your favorite Chinese appetizers or vegetable side dishes for a complete dining experience.

Storage Tips:

  • If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To reheat, gently warm the leftovers in a skillet or microwave until heated through, being careful not to overcook the beef.
  • If the dish has thickened in the refrigerator, you can add a splash of water or broth while reheating to loosen the sauce.
  • Avoid freezing Chinese Onion Pepper Steak as the texture of the vegetables and beef may change upon thawing, resulting in a less desirable consistency. It’s best enjoyed fresh or within a few days of preparation for optimal taste and texture.


  1. What cut of beef is best for Chinese Onion Pepper Steak? Answer: Sirloin or flank steak are ideal choices for Chinese Onion Pepper Steak, as they are tender and flavorful when sliced thinly against the grain.
  2. Can I use other vegetables besides onions and bell peppers? Answer: Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with other vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or mushrooms to add variety and texture to the dish.
  3. Is Chinese Onion Pepper Steak spicy? Answer: It can be adjusted to your preference. Traditional recipes typically have a mild level of heat, but you can increase or decrease the spiciness by adding more or less chili peppers or chili sauce.
  4. Can I make Chinese Onion Pepper Steak gluten-free? Answer: Yes, you can substitute gluten-free soy sauce and hoisin sauce to make this dish gluten-free without compromising on flavor.
  5. How do I know when the beef is cooked properly? Answer: The beef should be cooked until it is browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside. It should be tender but not overcooked and tough.
  6. Can I prepare Chinese Onion Pepper Steak ahead of time? Answer: While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
  7. What can I serve with Chinese Onion Pepper Steak? Answer: Steamed rice, fried rice, or noodles are excellent options to serve alongside Chinese Onion Pepper Steak. You can also pair it with stir-fried vegetables or a side salad for a complete meal.
  8. How can I make the dish less oily? Answer: Use lean cuts of beef and minimize the amount of cooking oil used. You can also blot excess oil with paper towels before serving.
  9. Is Chinese Onion Pepper Steak a traditional Chinese dish? Answer: While it’s inspired by Chinese cuisine, Chinese Onion Pepper Steak may not be considered a traditional dish in all regions of China. However, it has become popular in many Chinese restaurants worldwide.
  10. Can I make Chinese Onion Pepper Steak vegetarian or vegan? Answer: Yes, you can substitute tofu or seitan for the beef to make a vegetarian or vegan version of this dish. Simply follow the same recipe, adjusting the cooking time as needed for the alternative protein source.


Chinese Onion Pepper Steak is a dish that never fails to impress with its bold flavors and vibrant colors. Whether enjoyed with steamed rice or noodles, this savory delight is sure to become a favorite at your dinner table. With its simple yet flavorful ingredients and easy preparation, it’s the perfect dish to elevate your home cooking and embark on a culinary journey through the rich flavors of Chinese cuisine. So why wait? Gather your ingredients and get ready to savor the irresistible taste of Chinese Onion Pepper Steak today!

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