Chinese Black Pepper Beef

This Chinese-style black pepper beef  is one of my family’s favourite Chinese beef stir fry.  The family gets loads of satisfaction every time I cook this, where the only ‘complaint’ I will get is that I did not cook enough. Thanks to my friend Joyce whom I adapted her original recipe from.

See Also:

Black Pepper Beef Recipe

The black pepper marinade recipe can be used for stir frying other meats such as chicken, if you do not take beef. The hot pepper is great for a cool, rainy day and best enjoyed with a bowl of warm steamed rice.

black and white peppercorns

My family uses a combination of black and white peppercorns in our black pepper stir-fries, as we think that a mix of peppercorns taste better. You may always use all black pepper, if preferred. For best results, I buy whole peppercorns and grind or pound them to powder just before cooking – the peppery flavour will be more fragrant this way. If you are short of time though, you can use store-bought powdered pepper.

Note: First posted in Aug 2008, updated with improved recipe and new photos in Nov 2014

Black Pepper Beef Recipe

Adjust the quantity of peppercorns to suit your preference. For best results, pound or grind the peppercorns just before cooking (instead of using powdered ones) so that the pepper taste is most fresh and potent.


  • 200 grams beef suitable cuts include flank, sirloin, ribeye, rump steak or tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 thinly sliced ginger
  • half onion roughly sliced
  • half bell pepper sliced to bite-sized pieces; use mix of green, red, yellow for colour
  • 1 stalk celery sliced thinly and diagonally

(A) Marinade 1 – Pound or grind to powder

  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns (if not using, substitute with black peppercorn)

(B) Marinade 2 – Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp honey


  1. Slice the beef thinly, uniformly & against the grain.
  2. Prep black & white pepper. In a mortar/pestle or food blender, grind or blend (A) to powder with some coarse bits. Add the powdered powder, sliced beef and (B) in a wide bowl. Combine to mix well. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Cook aromatics. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry ginger, celery and onions until the onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Add bell peppers and stir fry for one minute, or until they are just cooked.
  5. Add the beef and stir fry briskly, until the beef is just cooked. Take care not to overcook the beef.