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Black Pepper Beef is a classic Chinese stir-fry made with beef, onions, and peppers.

Black Pepper Beef

Hei Jiao Niu Liu (黑椒牛柳), or Black Pepper Beef, is a fast, easy stir-fry made with beef, onions, and peppers seasoned with oyster sauce and loads of black pepper. My take on this Chinese classic features big juicy chunks of steak, which gives the dish more substance and a bold, beefy taste.
Course Entree
Cuisine Best, Chinese
Keyword easy, quick, stir-fry
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Beef
Diet Dairy-Free, Low-Carb
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 428 kcal


  • 6 grams whole black peppercorns (2 teaspoons)
  • 350 grams beef tenderloin (or other steak cut, cut into 3/4-inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 140 grams onion (~1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch squares)
  • 100 grams bell pepper (1/2 red, 1/2 green)
  • 12 grams garlic (~2 large cloves, chopped)


  1. Put the black peppercorns in a mortar and use a pestle to crack the peppercorns coarsely. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, put the peppercorns in a freezer bag, and use a rolling pin to crush them.
    Cracking black peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the oyster sauce, Shaoxing, soy sauce, sesame oil, and most of the black pepper (saving a little to garnish). Add the potato starch and mix that in until there are no lumps left. Stir the beef in, to coat evenly and let it marinate while you prepare the vegetables.
    Marinating beef tenderloin in Chinese black pepper sauce.
  3. Once all the prep is done, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the vegetable oil, and then use tongs to add the beef in a single layer. Try to leave as much of the marinade in the bowl as possible.
    Browning beef in a frying pan that's been marinated with black pepper sauce.
  4. Fry the beef on one side until golden brown, and then flip each piece and fry the second side until browned.

  5. Dump the onions, bell pepper, and garlic into the pan and turn the heat to high. Stir-fry, tossing the contents of the pan periodically to ensure everything cooks evenly.
    Stir-frying onions and peppers with marinated beef.
  6. When the onions become translucent, add the remaining marinade and toss everything together until the black pepper beef is shiny and evenly coated with sauce.
    Glazing the steak with Chinese black pepper sauce.
  7. Serve with rice and garnish with the remaining black pepper (to taste).
Nutrition Facts
Black Pepper Beef
Amount Per Serving
Calories 428 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 502mg21%
Potassium 536mg15%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 1044IU21%
Vitamin C 47mg57%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.