A Chinese-American dish, Beijing Beef consists of slices of beef that are marinated, battered and deep fried then tossed with stir fried bell peppers and onion in a sauce that is all at once salty, sweet, sour and spicy.
The beef cut is the key to this dish. It has to be a cut that cooks fast. Sirloin or tenderloin will also work in lieu of top round, bottom round or eye round. Just don’t choose a cut meant for stewing.
The ingredients list for the sauce may seem long but each item in that list plays a role in creating a balanced sauce. Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and sweet chili sauce are all available in Asian groceries.
Beijing Beef a la Panda Express
Marinating the beef
For the sauce
To complete the dish
- cooking oil for deep frying
- 2 bell peppers julienned
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- Pat the beef dry with paper towels.
- Cut the meat thinly across the grain.
- Prepare the marinade by whisking the egg white, corn starch, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Add the beef to the marinade. Mix well.
- Cover the bowl and allow the beef to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Make the batter by mixing the flour and corn starch with enough milk to make a thick but still pourable paste.
- Make the sauce by stirring together all the ingredients.
- Heat enough cooking oil in a wok or frying pan to reach a depth of at least two inches.
- Add the beef to the batter and mix to coat each piece well.
- Drop the beef slices one by one into the hot oil and fry until lightly golden and crisp. Depending on the size of your wok or frying pan, you may need to do this in batches to prevent overcrowding.
- Drain the fried beef in a strainer or a stack of paper towels.
- Pour off the oil leaving only about two tablespoonfuls.
- Stir fry the bell peppers and sliced onion with a generous pinch of sugar until the onion slices start to caramelize.
- Add the cooked beef back into the wok.
- Pour in the sauce.
- Stir fry for half a minute until the beef pieces are glistening with the sauce.