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Panda Express Beijing Beef Copycat

Panda Express Beijing Beef - the most delicious Beijing Beef copycat that tastes exactly like Panda Express, but healthier and much better than takeout |


Beijing Beef Recipe

Serves 2-3 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes


8 oz flank steak, sirloin or beef flap, cut against the grain into 1/4 inch slices
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium-sized yellow onion, sliced
1/2 medium-sized red bell pepper, cut into pieces
Cornstarch, to dust beef for deep-frying
Salt and sugar to taste


1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
A dash of ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beijing Sauce:

4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
1-2 teaspoons crushed chili peppers
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


Prepare the Marinade in a bowl and mix well. Marinate the beef for 15 minutes.

In a seperate bowl, mix all the Beijing Sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Place cornstarch in a bag/bowl. Toss marinated beef in cornstarch, coat well and set aside in the refrigerator.

Heat up enough oil over high heat. Coat beef slices with cornstarch again, making sure the beef slices are well coated. Shake off the excess cornstarch from beef slices. Prepare to deep-fry beef (in small batches). Drop in the beef slices and deep-fry for 1-2 minutes or until light golden brown. Dish out, drained on paper towel and set aside.

In a wok, heat up the oil over high heat. Stir-fry the onion and bell pepper until fragrant and slightly charred, add in the garlic and continue to stir-fry for 10 seconds. Remove from wok.

Heat up wok over medium-high heat, pour in the Beijing Sauce seasoning. Bring it to a simmer or until it thickens. You may adjust salt, soy sauce, water, etc., to taste.

Toss in the deep-fried beef and stir-fried onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir well for 1 minute or until the beef is completely cooked and absorbed the sauce. Dish out and serve with hot steamed rice.

Cook’s Notes:

Beijing Beef was made famous by Panda Express restaurant chain across the United States. Some may claim that Beijing Beef shared similar taste to the infamous Peking Pork Chops, but minus the heat and Plum Sauce, but with the addition of a major ingredient, Hoisin Sauce. Beijing Sauce Seasoning also makes a great marination to BBQ meats, or can easily transform into an easy Asian BBQ sauce.

You can use chicken instead of beef.

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26 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

    • My beef wasn’t that crispy, how dry should it be when frying? Mine was quite wet still, so the corn starch was more of a sauce consistency than a dry coating.

      • The recipe looks tasty, Rasa, I’ll try making it when I pick up some steak from the butcher. Thank you.

        @Jesse – here’s a few general ideas to help keep things less soggy when frying. Disclaimer though, these are general frying tips and I have not tried them with this recipe.

        1. Use egg whites instead of whole eggs. The yolks are loaded with fat and that fat will react with the pot you’re using which will reduce how crispy your food will get.

        2. Try limiting how long you marinate the beef for. Maybe try marinating it for no more than about 2 minutes–much longer than that and the wet and dry ingredients will form a paste which becomes almost impossible to get a perfect fry on.

        3. You can try adding a little club soda (even beer) to the batter. The fizzyness (bubbles) will help create a better crunch during frying.

        Or you could try using baking soda and some kind of acid. Have you ever seen what happens to baking soda when it reacts with acid? It fizzes over. You could use cornstarch and maybe a small amount of baking soda and then add some kind of acid to your wet marinade (lemon juice, any kind of vinegar, buttermilk, etc.).

        4. Not sure if this will change much as far as the recipe goes, but you could try going straight from the batter to the oil. The problem with dusting cornstarch over the web marinated steak is that you’re going to create a crust around the marinated beef which blocks the hot oil from frying the wet marinate. An alternate option would be to coat the beef in cornstarch, shake off excess (important), dredge in web marinade, then into frying oil.

        5. Instead of removing beef to a paper towel which will allow the beef to stay soggy, try removing them to a cookie sheet with a cross-wire cookie rack. This will allow air to circulate around the meat, thus drying all sides.

        Hope that helps. I’ll give it a try next time I stop by the butcher.

  1. Rasa Malaysia

    Hi Jesse, if you really like it really crispy, just omit the eggs marinade and dust beef with cornstarch only. Deep-fry until crispy. Make the sauce and do a quick stir-fried beef with the sauce. If you still want to use to egg marinade, make sure u coat the beef slices with cornstarch and make sure its dry before you deep-fry them. You can freeze the beef prior to frying if you wish. Hope this helps!

  2. tiphanie

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was very good! I’ve never had the Panda Express version, but my son said it tasted a lot like it, except mine wasn’t as crispy. I had the same problem as Jesse, I think. Although I tried coating each piece in cornstarch, it was so time consuming because it was sticky. Awesome recipe, though…. Thank you! I love coming to your website for Asian recipes.

  3. Lennis Williams

    Is this recipe similar to Beijing beef at panda express,and is this recipe in your cookbook? I also really love General Tso’s chicken, is it in your cookbook? Thank you!!

  4. Abby

    My hubby and I have Chinese every Thursday night so we have tried a lot of recipes! This is by far the best one we have tried! We didn’t have black vinegar I mis-read the ingredients and added a bit of black pepper LOL I am looking forward to trying it again with the vinegar!

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