Close up of Chinese Honey Pepper Beef
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4.98 from 73 votes

Beef Stir Fry with Honey and Black Pepper Sauce

Recipe video above. Copycat of restaurant style Chinese Beef with Honey and Black Pepper Sauce. Very fast and easy to make - it's on the table in 15 minutes! The sauce is absolutely divine - sticky, sweet, salty and with a subtle burst of heat from the black pepper. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Stir Fry
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: beef stir fry, honey pepper sauce, stir fry sauce
Servings: 4
Calories: 473.68kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats



  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (Note 1)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Oyster sauce (sub Hoisin)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine , Mirin or dry sherry (Note 2)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp coarsely crushed black pepper (or 1/2 tsp normal ground black pepper)

Stir Fry

  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 garlic clove , finely minced
  • 1/2 onion , peeled and sliced
  • 500g/1 lb thinly sliced tenderloin, flank, sirloin/Porterhouse/strip, or any other cut of steak suitable for stir frying (Notes 3)


  • Mix the Sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large heavy based skillet over high heat until it is smoking.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute or until the onion becomes translucent. Keep it moving so the garlic doesn't burn.
  • Add the beef and stir fry for 1 minute until just cooked to your liking, then remove into bowl.
  • Turn the heat down to medium high, pour in Sauce - it will start simmering very quickly! Let it cook for 1 minute or so until it becomes syrupy - the bubbles will be larger and caramel colour.
  • Add the beef and onion back into the wok, along with any juices pooled on the plate. Toss in the sauce until just warmed through - 1 minute at most. Don't overcook the beef - that would be tragic!
  • Serve immediately with rice - or for a low carb, low cal option, try Cauliflower Rice!


1. Soy Sauce - Use ordinary all purpose soy sauce or light soy sauce. Do not use dark soy sauce - flavour too intense.
2. Chinese cooking wine is an essential ingredient for making a truly "restaurant standard" Chinese stir fries. Click here to read more about it.
Substitute with Mirin, cooking sake or dry sherry.
Non alcoholic substitute - sub both the cooking wine AND water with low sodium chicken broth/stock, reduce soy sauce to 2 tbsp.
3. Beef - As with all stir fries, this cooks very quickly so you need to use a decent cut of beef for it. Rule of thumb: if you'd serve it as a steak, you can stir fry it. Rump, flank, sirloin/strip/Porterhouse (same thing), t-bone and scotch fillet/boneless rib eye are excellent for this recipe.
Slow cooking cuts, like chuck, are not suitable unless you tenderise it (see How to tenderise beef the Chinese restaurant way)
Slice the beef against the grain. When you look at the beef, you will notice that the fibres are mostly going in one direction. Place the beef in front of you so the fibres are going left to right. Then cut through the fibres i.e. cut perpendicular to the direction of the fibres (see here for illustrative image). Cutting it this way makes the beef more tender!
Other proteins - terrific with pork, chicken and turkey (finely sliced).
4. Nutrition per serving, excluding rice.


Serving: 178g | Calories: 473.68kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.02g | Protein: 24.21g | Fat: 34.34g | Saturated Fat: 12.39g | Cholesterol: 87.5mg | Sodium: 876.12mg | Potassium: 423.93mg | Fiber: 0.32g | Sugar: 13.77g | Vitamin C: 1.25mg | Calcium: 11.91mg | Iron: 3.27mg