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Quick and Delicious One-Skillet Pepper Steak Recipe

Pepper steak is a beloved dish that combines the savory flavors of stir-fried beef, bell peppers, and onions with a sweet and savory ginger sauce. This recipe is not only delicious but also quick and easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknights. With a few simple ingredients and one skillet, you can have a flavorful and satisfying meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. Follow this step-by-step guide to create a mouthwatering one-skillet pepper steak that will impress your family and friends.


Sauce Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup low sodium beef broth
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (see notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Steak and Peppers

  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ lbs. beef (petite shoulder, flank steak, skirt steak, or top sirloin steak) thinly sliced against the grain
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


Preparing the Sauce

  1. Whisk together the sauce ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine ⅓ cup low sodium beef broth, ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons mirin, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Set the mixture aside for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.

Cooking the Steak

  1. Heat the oil and cook the steak. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced beef in a single layer. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook the beef until browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the beef from the skillet and set it aside. Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan.

Cooking the Vegetables

  1. Stir-fry the peppers and onions. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and yellow onion. Cook until the vegetables are just starting to brown on the edges, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside with the beef.

Making the Sauce

  1. Cook the ginger and garlic. Lower the heat to medium-low and add a tiny bit more oil if necessary. Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger and 2 cloves minced garlic to the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  2. Thicken the sauce. Whisk the prepared sauce mixture and add it to the skillet with the ginger and garlic. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.

Combining Everything

  1. Combine and heat through. Return the cooked steak, peppers, and onions to the skillet. Stir to coat everything evenly with the sauce. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until everything is warmed through. Serve immediately.
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Tips for the Best Pepper Steak

  • Choose high-quality beef: Use good cuts of beef like tenderloin, petite shoulder, porterhouse, or ribeye. If using flank steak, tenderize it first with a meat mallet for the best texture.
  • Prep ingredients ahead: Slice your onions and peppers into thin strips and have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. Stir-frying moves fast, and you want your veggies to be crisp-tender.
  • Don’t overcook: For the best results, avoid overcooking the steak and vegetables. They should be tender yet still slightly crisp.
  • Customize your veggies: Other vegetables to consider adding or substituting are asparagus, carrots, snap peas, cabbage, or baby corn.
  • Serve immediately: Pepper steak is best enjoyed fresh off the skillet. For a change of pace, you can also wrap it in a soft tortilla with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes.
  • Storing leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


What can I use instead of mirin?

Mirin is sweetened sake and adds a unique flavor to stir-fries. If you can’t find it, you can substitute it with dry sherry and granulated sugar in a 3:1 ratio. For every 1 tablespoon of sherry, add 1 teaspoon of sugar.

How do I tenderize flank steak?

To tenderize flank steak, use a meat mallet to pound the steak evenly. This helps break down the muscle fibers and results in a more tender bite. Marinating the steak in the sauce mixture for a few hours before cooking can also enhance tenderness.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce or tamari instead of regular soy sauce. Ensure that all other ingredients, such as beef broth and mirin, are also gluten-free.

What should I serve with pepper steak?

Pepper steak pairs well with steamed rice, fried rice, or noodles. You can also serve it with a side of steamed vegetables or a light salad for a complete meal.

How can I add more heat to the dish?

If you prefer a spicier dish, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a sliced chili pepper to the skillet when cooking the ginger and garlic. You can also drizzle some sriracha or hot sauce over the finished dish.

Is it okay to use frozen bell peppers?

While fresh bell peppers are preferred for their crisp texture, you can use frozen bell peppers in a pinch. Thaw and drain them well before adding to the skillet to avoid excess water in the dish.

Creating a delicious and satisfying pepper steak is simple with this quick and easy recipe. By following the steps and tips provided, you can enjoy a flavorful Asian-inspired meal that’s perfect for any night of the week. Happy cooking!