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A plate of kung pao beef with chopsticks

Easy Kung Pao Beef Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
A Chinese classic made right in your own kitchen! This Easy Kung Pao Beef recipe is layered with spicy, sweet and sour flavors, then topped with crunchy peanuts. It’s better than takeout every time!
Servings : 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain into ¼-inch thick strips
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the Sauce
For the Stir Fry
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 5 Thai red dried chiles
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cut into thin strips and each strip cut in half
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish


  • Place beef strips in a mixing bowl. Season beef strips with salt and pepper; add the cornstarch and mix well. Set aside.
  • Make the sauce; In a small mixing bowl combine ketchup, rice cooking wine or dry sherry, soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame seed oil; whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat.
  • Stir in pepper flakes and red dried chiles; cook for 10 seconds, or until fragrant and starting to char.
  • Stir in ginger; cook for just a few seconds.
  • Add green bell peppers and scallions; cook for 1 minute.
  • Add beef and continue to stir fry until browned; about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the sauce and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the peanuts and cilantro; cook for 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve.


  • For a velvety beef texture similar to takeout, coat beef in cornstarch and let it sit for several minutes.
  • Slice the flank steak against the grain to enhance tenderness, cutting it into ¼-inch thick strips for even cooking.
  • Substitute rice wine or dry sherry with balsamic vinegar if unavailable.
  • Don't skimp on peanuts; their crunch greatly enhances the dish's texture.
  • Feel free to replace green bell peppers with green beans or snap peas if needed.


Calories: 386 kcal | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Protein: 30 g | Fat: 23 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Cholesterol: 68 mg | Sodium: 561 mg | Potassium: 646 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 525 IU | Vitamin C: 27 mg | Calcium: 43 mg | Iron: 3 mg | Net Carbs: 11 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese takeout, homemade chinese food, kung pao beef, kung pao sauce