Try this Chinese pepper steak for a change!

For sure, pepper steak is not the staple food for the Chinese. However, garlic, ginger, and scallion are the most common combination of Chinese beef dishes. Mongolian beef, stir-fry beef with ginger and scallion, Chinese braised beef brisket are some of the best beef dishes cooked these aromatic ingredients.

This Chinese pepper steak is formulated by using this winning combination, along with soy sauce and mirin to add a touch of teriyaki flavor. You can use Chinese light soy sauce and Shaoxing wine to make it tastes utterly Chinese if you prefer a real Chinese pepper steak.

You will love this recipe which is very different from your regular steak.

Let’s get into the detail how do I prepare the steak, follow by how to constitute the garlic sauce.

I want to share with you how do I prepare the Chinese pepper steak with garlic sauce, with a touch of Japanese flavor. As such, I decided to prepare a steak sauce without cheese, and use garlic, ginger, and scallion as the primary ingredients.

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Part one: How to grill the steak

1. Remove the steak from the refrigerator

Remove the steak from the refrigerator twenty minutes before cooking.  This step is to let the steak return to room temperature before grilling.  Otherwise, the cold internal will remain raw when the external has already got the perfect charred marks.

The twenty minutes is only a guideline.  The best way is to insert a kitchen thermometer into the center of the steak to check the temperature.

2.  Pat dry the steak

Cut off the excess fat at the side of the steak, if any.   Use the kitchen towel to pat dry the steak. It will take a longer time to brown if the steak if wet.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper

  • Add some cooking oil to both sides of the steak. 
  • Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and salt liberally on both sides of the steak.  If you are unsure how much salt is required, follow the general rule which is 1g of salt per 100g of steak.
  • Press the surface lightly to secure the salt and pepper firmly on the surface.
  • Grill the steak immediately after season with salt and pepper.  The reason is that the salt will draw the water from the internal to the surface after resting for a while.  The wet surface will affect the browning of the steak.

4.  Heat grill pan

Since I am living in the city which does not have a grill at home, I am using a grill pan in this recipe.  

  • Brush some cooking oil on the surface of the grill pan.
  • Since we need high heat to cook the steak at the initial stage, it is best to use stainless steel or cast iron pan.  Non-stick pan is not recommended as it cannot withstand high heat.
  • Heat the pan over high heat until it is hot enough.  You should be able to gauge by putting your palm about five cm above the pan and able to feel the heat.  The pan is ready when smoke starts to rise from the pan.
  • Place the steak on the grill pan and leave it for about two minutes.  Do not move the steak to get a clear grill mark. Then move it ninety degrees with a pair of tongs and continue to the grill for two minutes so that it will form a crossed grill mark as you will get in the restaurants.
  • Reduce the heat if the pan is too hot.  

Once you get the grill mark on both sides, check the internal temperature of the steak. The doneness of the steak is as below.  However, the actual duration of grilling depends on the thickness, initial temperature, and the heat of the pan.

Internal temperature of steak:

Rare: 125°F-130°F
Medium rare: 130°F-140°F
Medium: 140°F-150°F
Medium well: 150°F-155°F
Well done: 160°F

The best way to determine the internal temperature of the steak is to use a reliable digital kitchen thermometer.  You will get a more accurate measurement if you insert the thermometer horizontally into the meat, rather then poking from top to bottom.  I like to poke the thermometer into the steak, nearly lying flat but with a small angle and leave it there during the last two minutes of grilling.

Do not overcook the steak. If you prefer medium, turn down the heat or move the steak to the colder section of the grill.  It is easier to control the internal temperature when the heat is lower. Check the doneness by using the digital kitchen thermometer.  Once it reaches the desired internal temperature, remove from the pan immediately.

Why medium is the best doneness?

At 54°C-60°C/130°F-140°F, the fat in the steak is at the point of melting. The loss of liquid from the steak at this temperature is also comparatively less than at higher temperature. Therefore, the steak that reaches this temperature is tender and juicy and is full of beef flavor.

When the temperature is getting higher, the fats will render (liquefy) and lost, and the meat starts to shrink. 

If you cook the steak until well done, nearly all the fat will render and most of the moisture will be lost. You will end up a tough and dry piece of meat, even though you begin with a prime cut of beef.

5. Rest the steak before cutting.

Rest the steak for five minutes before cutting. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

During the resting period, the juice inside the steak will redistribute as it cools.  The juice will be reabsorbed evenly rather than concentrate at the center of the meat.  The result is you will get a moist and tender cut.

If you cut it without resting it, the juice at the center will ooze out.  As a result, you will get lost the juice and get a tougher cut.

I want to share with you how do I prepare the Chinese pepper steak with garlic sauce, with a touch of Japanese flavor. As such, I decided to prepare a steak sauce without cheese, and use garlic, ginger, and scallion as the primary ingredients.

Part two: How to prepare the garlic sauce

I was exploring how to create a fusion steak sauce with the influence of Chinese with a touch of Japanese flavor.  The recipe is comprised of two sets of ingredients.

The first set of ingredients is the seasoning.  I am using the three standard seasoning items in Japanese cooking- soy sauce, mirin, and sake.

1. The seasonings

Japanese soy sauce has a unique flavor different from the Chinese and Indonesian soy sauce.  If you are unsure, get a Japanese brand of soy sauce. Kikkoman and Yamasa are common brands in many countries.  You can also purchase online from Amazon.

Mirin is the Japanese cooking wine which has more sugar but relatively low in alcohol. It is a staple in Japanese cooking, especially paired well with soy sauce.  The teriyaki chicken, yaki udon, and chawanmushi recipes in this blog are prepared with mirin.

Sake is Japanese rice wine.  You can substitute it with sherry or Chinese rice wine.

2. The aromatics

The second set of ingredients are aromatic.  I am using the standard aromatic used in Chinese cooking for beef- garlic, ginger, and scallion.

Garlic.  Crush the garlic and coarsely chopped.  You can add more garlic than the recommended quantity in the recipe if you like the flavor.  

Ginger.  It is quite a standard item to cook beef in Chinese cooking. MInce the ginger or at least coarsely chopped it so that you will not bite into the large pieces.  You can omit it if you do not like the flavor of ginger.

Scallion. The white section of the scallion is more aromatic than the leafy green parts. If you do not have scallion, substitute with coarsely chopped shallots.

3. Butter and cornstarch slurry

The base of the sauce is butter, similar to prepare the brown sauce.  The difference lies in the use of cornstarch as the thickener instead of making the roux by combining the butter with flour.

I find that it works quite well and is more straightforward than making the roux.  The textures the truly Asian, which is similar to the sauce for Chinese stir-fry.

Here  are the steps:

  • Bash the garlic, then coarsely minced.
  • Coarsely chopped the ginger.
  • Melt the butter in the pan.  Keep it at low heat to avoid burning the butter.
  • Add the garlic, scallion, and ginger and saute until it turns aromatic.
  • Next add the Japanese soy sauce, mirin, and sake. 
  • Now add the cornstarch slurry (constitute with one teaspoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of water) bit by bit until it thickens to the desired consistency.
  • Drizzle over the steak, and serve.

This Chinese pepper steak is served with the braised Chinese mushroom with oyster sauce, instead of potatoes and salad. You can get the recipe by clicking here to get the recipe.

Yield: 1 steak

Chinese Pepper Steak with Garlic Sauce

Chinese Pepper Steak with Garlic Sauce

I want to share with you how do I prepare the Chine pepper steak with garlic sauce, with a touch of Japanese flavor. As such, I decided to prepare a steak sauce without cheese, and use garlic, ginger, and scallion as the primary ingredients.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

The steak

  • 1 striploin steaks, about 400g
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • Salt 3/4 tsp
  • Ground black pepper 1/4 tsp

The steak sauce

Others

  • 1 tbsp scallion (white section), finely chopped
  • Green section of the scallion for garnish
  • Additional cooking oil for grilling

Instructions

Part one: How to grill the steak

  1. Remove the steak from the refrigerator twenty minutes before cooking.
  2. Pat dry the steak
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the steak immediately after season with salt and pepper.
  4. Brush some cooking oil on the surface of the grill pan.
  5. Heat the pan over high heat until it is hot enough.
  6. Place the steak on the grill pan and leave it for about two minutes. Then move it ninety degrees with a pair of tongs and continue to the grill for three minutes.
  7. Flip over to the grill to the doneness you want. The best way is to use a reliable digital kitchen thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  8. Rest the steak for five minutes before cutting.

Part two: How to prepare the sauce

  1. Bash the garlic, then coarsely minced.
  2. Coarsely chop the ginger and scallion.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan. Keep it at low heat to avoid burning the butter.
  4. Add the garlic, scallion, and ginger and saute until it turns aromatic.
  5. Add the Japanese soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
  6. Thicken with sufficient cornstarch slurry
  7. Drizzle over the steak.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1873 Total Fat: 142g Saturated Fat: 59g Trans Fat: 2g Unsaturated Fat: 68g Cholesterol: 408mg Sodium: 3160mg Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 14g Protein: 107g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 7/4/2019

    1 Response to "Chinese Pepper steak"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am pleased to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

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