Hunan Beef
5/5 - (2 votes)

One of my favorite one-pan dishes is this homemade Hunan Beef. It has juicy flank steak marinated in a creamy, delicious sauce with fresh peppers and a hint of fire.

This wonderful recipe will become a staple in your meal rotation whether you serve it with steamed rice or steamed vegetables, or just eat it on its own!

Why Is This Recipe So Delicious?

Hunan Beef yum (1)
Food: Hunan Beef (Source: Pinterest)
  • The flavor in this beef stir fry is fantastic! The peppers add a little fire, the sauce adds a little sweetness, and the marinade adds a little umami.
  • At first appearance, Hunan Beef appears to be a complicated meal that will take a long time to prepare, but it comes together quickly! The 30-minute period during which the steak marinates takes the most time. The cooking time is only about 15 minutes!
  • Our Hunan Beef is more like the Americanized version you’ll find in your neighborhood restaurant than an authentic Chinese version. Try this dish from The Woks of Life for truly authentic Hunan Beef.

Important Ingredients For Hunan Beef

Steak Flank – It’s no secret that we love flank steak. It’s just amazing in so many different cuisines! Because this recipe calls for finely sliced steak strips, be sure you slice them carefully to avoid tough or chewy results.

Slice against the grain of the meat with a sharp knife at a diagonal angle. What’s the best way to tell if you’re cutting against the grain?

Look for muscle lines that run through the meat and cut perpendicular to them! Depending on the direction in which the fibers run, you may need to change the way you slice different parts of the flesh.

Oyster Sauce — This is one of my favorites. It’s a thick, syrupy sauce made with oyster fluids and a pinch of salt and sugar. The oyster sauce gives your Hunan Beef a rich, flavorful, multi-faceted umami flavor.

If you’re not a fan of seafood flavors, don’t be put off by the name. A modest bit of oyster sauce is used in the steak marinade, but it makes a big impact!

Peppers from Fresno – Fresno peppers are hotter than jalapeno peppers and provide a kick to your Hunan Beef.

Don’t worry about your dish being overly spicy because of the sweetness of the sauce and the mildness of the bell peppers. You can always increase the quantity of Fresno peppers if you want more heat.

Chef’s Advice For Hunan Beef

Hunan Beef Homemade (1)
Food: Hunan Beef (Source: Pinterest)

  • If you choose, you can use different peppers in place of the Fresno peppers. Some peppers, such as poblanos, are milder. Others, such as serrano peppers, are considerably hotter. To balance things out, you may use a combination of peppers.
  • The light cornstarch coating crisps up the steak strips in the pan while also locking in some of the meat’s moisture, keeping it juicy. If you don’t want or need cornstarch, try substituting arrowroot powder, rice flour, or xanthan gum instead.
  • Chop the peppers into similar-sized pieces to achieve consistent cooking. If the sizes differ too much, some peppers may be overcooked while others will be barely cooked!
  • When you initially fry the flank steak, make sure they’re all in one layer in the frying pan. The steak will not crisp up correctly if the skillet is overloaded, and the cornstarch coating may get greasy. No one wants slimy Hunan Beef, believe me. If you need to, work in many batches to avoid this! It will also crisp up wonderfully if the oil is really hot before adding the meat.

Beef from Hunan

15-minute prep time
15 minutes to prepare
30 minutes of marinating
1 hour total
One of my favorite one-pan dishes is this homemade Hunan Beef. It has juicy flank steak marinated in a creamy, delicious sauce with fresh peppers and a hint of fire.

This wonderful recipe will become a staple in your meal rotation whether you serve it with steamed rice or steamed vegetables, or just eat it on its own!


  • 1 pound flank steak thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup neutral oil
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger sliced
  • 3 Fresno peppers thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 small red bell pepper chopped, seeds removed
  • 2 scallions chopped

For the Steak Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce see Notes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar see Notes
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar


  • Large bowls (2)
  • Whisk
  • Small bowl
  • Large frying pan (or wok)
  • Tongs


  1. To make the marinade, whisk together avocado oil, oyster sauce, and water in a large mixing basin. Pour the marinade over the sliced flank steak into the bowl. 30 minutes after covering the bowl, marinate the meat.
  2. To make the sauce, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, and rice vinegar near the conclusion of the marinating time. Place aside.
  3. Remove the steak from the marinade after 30 minutes and place it in another big bowl. Toss or whisk in the cornstarch to lightly coat the steak.
  4. 14 cups neutral oil, heated in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat When the pan is hot, add the steak, being careful not to crowd it. If necessary, work in batches. Cook each side of the steak until it is brown and crispy.
  5. Set aside the steak from the pan. Drain everything but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the ginger is aromatic, about 1 to 2 minutes. To avoid sticking or burning, stir occasionally.
  6. In a frying pan, add sliced onions and minced garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until aromatic, then add Fresno peppers. Cook for about 30 seconds to one minute. To avoid sticking or burning, stir occasionally.
  7. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the green and red bell peppers, have softened slightly. To avoid sticking or burning, stir occasionally.
  8. Replace the flank steak in the frying pan. Pour in the sauce, followed by the scallions. Toss to coat. Cook until all of the sauce has been absorbed.
  9. Serve immediately, either alone or with rice.


  • Flank Steak: Cut your flank steak strips into 14-inch thick strips.
  • If preferred, you can substitute coconut sugar for the sugar.
  • Vegetarian/Veganize it: Use tofu instead of flank beef and oyster sauce that is vegetarian or vegan.
  • Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to make it gluten-free.
  • Make it Keto-friendly by replacing the sugar with Swerve or monk fruit, and replacing the cornstarch with 14-12 cups of rice flour or 3-4 teaspoons of xanthan gum. Instead of oyster sauce, use coconut aminos or a keto-friendly fish sauce (like Red Boat).

This recipe serves around 4 people. The nutritional values shown are for one serving alone and do not include any alternative ingredients or rice to serve. The exact macros will vary depending on the brands and types of ingredients utilized.

Prepare the recipe as directed to get the weight of one serving. Weigh the final recipe, then divide the weight (not including the weight of the container in which the food is stored) by four. The weight of one serving will be the result.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 382kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 861mg, Potassium: 585mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 821IU, Vitamin C: 54mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 3mg, Net Carbs: 13g.