This pepper steak recipe is made with thin slices of flank steak, veggies, and a flavorful pepper steak sauce.
Why Pepper Steak?
Pepper steak is one of those delicious, go-to recipes that so may people crave all year round.
Pepper steak is a beef stir-fry made with bell peppers, pea pods, onion, and a delicious sauce that varies by different recipes! Our pepper steak recipe is a spin on a classic recipe with some delicious flavor adds that will make this recipe your new favorite.
How is this pepper steak different than other recipes?
The main difference between this pepper steak recipe and other pepper steak recipes is the delicious dry rub that both flavors the meat and tenderizes it before cutting it into strips.
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Ingredients for Pepper Steak
- Flank steak- you want to find a one pound flank steak that has some striations of fat, that’s where the flavor is. Flank steak is a common cut of meat that you can find at most grocery stores.
- Olive oil- you use a little bit of olive oil to brown the pepper steak. Butter works, too!
- Dry Rub Spices (kosher salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes)- this mixture of spices is a perfect combination of flavor. When it comes to the kosher salt, don’t skip it, a coarse salt works best for tenderizing and flavoring meat.
- Brown sugar- the brown sugar is the sweet in the dry rub that balances out all of the savory spices. It also helps to caramelize the flank steak.
- Green onions- cutting green onions are a classic and traditional ingredient in most pepper steak recipes. You will be using the whole green onion in this recipe cut into 2-3 inch pieces.
- Green + red peppers- the ‘pepper’ in pepper steak comes from the bell peppers that are sliced up and sautéd in the pepper steak sauce.
- White sesame seeds- sprinkling a finished pepper steak with sesame seeds adds just the right amount of crunch and nutty flavor.
WHAT IS PEPPER steak SAUCE MADE OF?
The key to a delicious pepper steak sauce is finding the right balance between salty and sweet. Then, thickening the sauce with a bit of corn starch to so it clings to the vegetables and beef just right.
Here are the ingredients you need for the pepper steak sauce.
Soy sauce- you can use any type of soy sauce that you would like! Tamari or coconut aminos would work, too.
Maple syrup- maple syrup is thick, sweet, and adds the perfect amount of natural sweetener to this pepper steak sauce. If you don’t have maple syrup, honey will do.
Rice vinegar- rice vinegar is a typical ingredient in pepper steak sauce. It adds the perfect amount of tartness.
Freshly grated ginger- adding a little bit of grated ginger to the pepper steak sauce sets this sauce above all the rest.
Looking for an easy way to grate ginger? Place the ginger root in the freezer. It firms up the ginger root and then grate the ginger with a zester.
Cornstarch- a little cornstarch thickens up the flavorful pepper steak sauce.
Be sure that the cornstarch is completely dissolved in the sauce before adding it to the meat and vegetables or you run the risk of cornstarch clumps in your pepper steak.
What Cut of Beef is Best for Pepper Steak?
Flank steak is the best cut of meat for flank steak, but if you are in a pinch and need to use a different cut of steak, any of the cuts below will work.
- round steak
How to Make Pepper Steak- At a Glance
- Tenderize the meat. No matter what type of steak you use, the key is pounding the meat with a tenderizer and making sure it the whole steak is the same thickness.
- Add the dry rub to the flank steak. Mix all of the dry spices and brown sugar together and sprinkle it over the steak. Use your hands to massage the spices into the meat and be sure ever inch is covered.
- Let the flank steak sit. You want to let all of the spices and salt sit and get all those juices flowing.
- Slice the flank steak. After the steak has sat, slice the flank steak against the grain into thin strips.
- Brown the steak. It won’t take long to brown the flank steak strips. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet pan and cook the steak for 1-2 minutes. You want to strips to remain pink because the meat will continue to cook in the pepper steak sauce.
- Sauté the veggies. Remove the meat from the pan and add all of the veggies to the pan with all the meat juices.
- Add the sauce. Finally, add the meat and pepper steak sauce to the pan and move all the ingredients around in the pan until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
- Serve over rice. When the sauce is hot, serve the pepper steak over rice.
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Pepper Steak Tips + Tricks
Make it Spicy
If you like a little extra spice in your pepper steak, add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the pepper steak sauce or sliced jalapeño.
Add More Veggies
If you are looking to add more veg to your pepper steak any of the vegetables below!
- red onions
We suggest storing pepper steak separate from rice. Store the pepper steak in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat the pepper steak, add the pepper steak ingredients to a skillet and heat it over medium/low. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to loosen all the ingredients up and bring them to a boil.
Pepper Steak Recipe
- 1 lb. flank steak
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 7 green onions sliced into 2-3 inch pieces
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or more, to taste
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large green pepper sliced into strips
- 1 large red pepper sliced into strips
- 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
- Prepare the flank steak by placing the steak on a cutting board and cover it with plastic wrap or wax paper.
- Use a meat tenderizer to tenderize the meat and pound it to a 1-inch thickness.
- Next, add the koster salt, pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes to a bowl and mix until combined.
- Pour the spice mix over the flank steak and massage the spices into the meat. Be sure the spices cover the steak completely.
- Let the flank steak rest in the spices for 20-30 minutes or longer for tender and flavorful meat.
- While the meat is resting, prepare the pepper steak sauce by adding the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and cornstarch to a mason jar. Cover the jar and shake until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
- When the meat is ready, slice the meat into thin strips being sure to cut against the grain of the meat.
- Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat and add olive oil.
- When the olive oil is fragrant add the meat to the pan and cook the meat for 1-2 minutes on each side depending on how thin the meat is. There should be a bit of pink left in the meat when you take it out of the pan.
- Set the meat aside and leave all of the juices and left over oil in the pan. Turn the heat to medium heat and add the red and green peppers to the pan. Sauté the peppers for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the green onions to the peppers and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
- Finally, add the steak pieces and the pepper steak sauce to the pan (be sure you shake the pepper sauce one last time to make sure that the cornstarch is dissolved).
- Stir the ingredients in the pan so that everything is coated in the sauce.
- The sauce will begin to thicken quickly. Heat the sauce and other ingredients until the sauce is thick and warm.
- Remove from heat and serve over white rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.