Sliced steak, bell peppers, onions, soy sauce and sesame oil is all you need for a great tasting 30-minute meal. This low carb recipe satisfies that Chinese takeout craving to help you stay on track. Serve as is or over cauliflower rice for a great keto version of a restaurant fave.
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We love a good low carb stir-fry. Mom used to make this Chinese pepper steak when I was a kid. It’s an easy dish that brings back all the good childhood feels.
Most pepper steak recipes aren’t low carb – but we can blame most of that on the rice! Many new low carb and keto dieters avoid all Chinese takeout because they don’t know what to order. We know that most of the sauces on our favorite dishes from Chinese restaurants are thickened with starch – cornstarch.
This low carb stir fry recipe is free of added sugars and starch. Plus, it’s so easy to make you can throw it together on the busiest weeknight.
Keto stir fry recipes make easy weeknight meals
The beauty of stir-fry recipes, like this Chinese pepper steak, is that they cook very quickly. Most of the time required in making the dish is dedicated to gathering and chopping ingredients. And, everything happens in one pan (or wok!) so clean-up is a breeze.
You’ll find several low carb stir fry recipes Low Carb Maven as well as Asian inspired dishes. Some to note are this easy pork stir fry recipe and this nice and light tasting keto chicken asparagus stir fry. If you’re into cauliflower rice dishes I love this Thai cauliflower rice and Keto Korean beef bowls. Yummy!
And like those mentioned above, this Chinese beef pepper steak reheats well. So, if you’re looking for a great recipe for meal prep for the week, this is a winner. However, I don’t recommend freezing the recipe as the peppers get soggy when they thaw.
Chinese Pepper Steak – 3 easy steps:
ONE: Prep ahead by slicing the vegetables and the beef
The key to a successful beef pepper steak is prepping everything first. Cut the peppers and onions and set them aside. I like the visual appeal and difference of flavor between green and red peppers. Slice the peppers into strips or into squares.
I use flank steak for my beef stir fry recipes, but sirloin steak also works. Cut the steak to ¼ inch thickness so it cooks quickly and doesn’t steam.
It’s important to slice the flank steak against the grain which ensures the beef will be easy to eat. To do it, find the grain of the steak, which looks like ridges or lines in the meat. Cut perpendicular to the grain.
TIP: Cut the veggies and steak for this Chinese pepper steak recipe as much as three days in advance. Just store them in the fridge in separate airtight containers.
TWO: Choose a cooking oil rated for high heat cooking
I often use light olive oil for sautéing and a stir-fry but peanut oil and avocado oil are also good choices. Each of these oils has a higher smoke point which is good when cooking at high temperatures. I get mine in the regular grocery store.
THREE: Cook: Order of ingredients is important
Start with half the meat first cooked over medium-high heat with 1 tsp of oil. Let the meat cook for 2 to 3 minutes before flipping or it will stick to the pan. Don’t overcook the meat, it should still be a little pink inside. Remove the steak from the pan, add more oil and the remaining sliced steak.
Add the remaining oil to the pan with the peppers and onions and stir. Adding 2-3 tbsp of water and Tamari gluten-free Soy Sauce creates steam to help soften the peppers. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the peppers and onions are tender but crispy. Cook longer if you prefer softer veggies.
Finally, remove the cover and add the beef to the peppers. Continue cooking until the meat is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve as is or over cauliflower rice.
NOTE: If the sauce is not thick enough for you, add a slurry of 1 tsp of arrowroot powder mixed with 1 tsp of water while cooking. Keep in mind, adding arrowroot will add 2.33 g carbs to the entire recipe, which is 0.77 g carbs per serving. Stay away from xanthan gum for thickening as it clumps and dulls flavor.
Keto Chinese Pepper Steak Recipe
- 12 oz Flank steak sliced into 1/4 inch strips
- 3/4 large Red bell pepper* (4 oz/114 g)
- 3/4 large Green bell pepper* (4 oz/114 g)
- 1/4 small onion sliced (1 oz/28 g)
- 1 tbsp Light olive oil divided use
- 1 tbsp Gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Slice the peppers and onions, set aside. Thinly slice the flank steak against the grain, 1/4 inch thickness.
- Heat pan over medium high heat. When hot add 1 tsp of oil. Place half of the beef in the pan and do not touch until cooked half way through, about 2 minutes. Stir and cook for a minute more. Remove from the pan. Add another teaspoon of oil and cook the remaining strips of beef, removing from the pan after cooking.
- Add remaining tsp of oil to pan, all of the vegetables, the soy sauce and 2-3 tbsp of water. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
- Add the meat back to the pan to heat through. Remove from the heat and season with a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil.
- Enjoy as is or serve over cauliflower rice.
- Serves 3 people at 4.24 g NET CARBS each.
This was pretty good. I felt like it could be kicked up very easily so I added a little paprika and a squeeze of lime juice and it was great. Quick and easy. Great recipe.
I’ve been a low carb diet and have made pepper steak with cauliflower rice. Its wonderful! Its better than rice and it absorbs the flavors of the peppers and meat so much more. I’ve never tried it with sesame oil. I usually use some butter and extra virgin olive oil. I’ll have to give this recipe a try. Thank you!
This was a great recipe. The family gave it two thumbs up! I served it with cauliflower rice mixed with chopped green onions.
This is a great substitute for nights when I feel like getting take-out. Really easy – really good.
I grew up eating pepper steak, too. I thought it was a mid-west thing. There wasn’t a lot of sauce, but it was really good. I might double the sauce next time and add a little arrowroot powder to thicken. Thanks for another great tasting easy recipe.
Stir-fry is one of our go-to recipes while eating low carb. This is one of the best we’ve tried. I really look forward to trying more from your site!