Lighter Chinese Chili Beef

Don’t reach for takeout, try this light and spicy Chinese chili beef stir-fry recipe instead. Made with tender strips of beef, crunchy vegetables and a tantalizing blend of Chinese spices, this dish offers a perfect balance of flavor and healthiness. You won’t miss out on your favorite Chinese dish with this delicious alternative that’s not only just as tasty but also lower in calories. Enjoy the bold flavors and the satisfaction of making a healthier choice. Take control of your dinner and experience the joy of making Chinese cuisine at home!


  • 250 g lean beef, e.g. E.g. sirloin steak, freed from excess fat
  • ½ red pepper
  • 4 spring onions, ends trimmed
  • 85 g tender broccoli stalks
  • 100g bok choy (baby bok choy is good)
  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp Chinese rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1 medium egg white
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1½ tsp self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 ½ tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger root
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes, or a good pinch if you like it a little milder

Preparation steps

  1. Place the meat in the freezer 25-30 minutes before you plan to start cooking. This makes it a little firmer and makes it easier to cut into very thin slices.
  2. In the meantime, remove the core and seeds from the peppers and cut them into very thin strips.
  3. Cut the spring onions diagonally and halve or quarter the broccoli spears through the stems and florets.
  4. Cut the pak choy into thin slices.
  5. Mix orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce and chili sauce. Put aside.
  6. Cut the beef into very thin strips.
  7. In a bowl, beat the egg whites with a fork until light and fluffy, then stir in the beef with the five-spice powder, cornstarch, flour and a good pinch of pepper so that everything is evenly coated.
  8. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a non-stick wok or frying pan. When very hot (check for doneness by tossing in a small piece of beef – it should sizzle immediately), add the beef, stir to separate and fry for 3-4 Stir for minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  9. Steam the broccoli stalks for 1 1/2 minutes, then place the bok choy on top and steam for another 45 seconds to 1 minute, until both are tender-crisp. Remove and let them cool under cold running water so that they stop cooking and retain their color. Put aside.
  10. Pour the remaining oil into the wok and heat again until very hot.
  11. Add garlic, ginger, red pepper and scallions and stir-fry until beginning to brown, 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the chili flakes and then pour in the soy sauce and orange juice, mix with 4-5 tablespoons of water.
  13. Once boiling, stir in the beef and steamed vegetables and cook briefly to heat through. If you want it a little spicier, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.

Nutritional Information

Equipment and tools

To make this lighter Chinese chili beef recipe, you will need the following equipment and tools:

  • dulcimer
  • Sharp knife
  • Frying pan or wok
  • measuring spoon
  • Bowl
  • Whisk

Allergen information

This lighter Chinese chili beef recipe contains the following allergens:

  • soy
  • egg

Storage and leftovers

If you have leftovers of this lighter Chinese chili beef, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply heat the beef in a skillet or microwave until warmed through.

Health Benefits of Lighter Chinese Chili Beef

Chinese cuisine often has a reputation for being high in calories and unhealthy, but this lighter Chinese chili beef recipe offers a healthier option. Packed with lean beef and a variety of vegetables, this dish not only satisfies your taste buds but also offers several health benefits.

Lean beef

The recipe calls for 250 g of lean beef, for example sirloin steak, trimmed of excess fat. Lean beef is an excellent source of protein, iron and vitamins like B12. It helps build muscle, repair body tissues, and promotes overall growth and development.

Nutrient-rich vegetables

This dish features a colorful mix of vegetables including red peppers, scallions, tender broccoli spears and bok choy. This vegetable is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support a healthy immune system and help fight various diseases.

orange juice

With 3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, this recipe gives the dish a zesty and tangy flavor. Orange juice is a great source of vitamin C, which boosts immune system health, supports collagen production, and improves iron absorption.

Spice and flavor

Using Chinese rice wine vinegar, dark soy sauce, hot chili sauce, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes in this recipe not only enhances the flavor but also provides potential health benefits. Many of these ingredients have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and metabolism-stimulating properties.

Low in fat and calories

By using lean beef and eliminating excess fat, this dish is lower in fat and calories compared to traditional Chinese chili beef recipes. It is a healthier option for those who are watching their waistline or trying to eat a balanced diet.

Preparation method

The recipe is made by combining beef with egg whites, five-spice powder, cornstarch and self-raising flour, creating a crispy and flavorful breading without excess oil. Additionally, using 1 1/2 teaspoons of canola oil for cooking further reduces the overall fat content.

Overall, this lighter Chinese chili beef recipe offers a delicious and healthier alternative to the classic dish. With its combination of lean beef, nutrient-dense vegetables and flavorful ingredients, it makes for a filling meal while promoting health.

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