14 Chinese Beef Recipes That Are so Much Better Than Takeout

They're Easy to Make, Too

Stir in sugar

​The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh

For beef lovers who are looking to shake up their grilling and roasting routine, you’ll love the variety of Chinese beef stir fries, stews, and braises that produce tender, juicy meat. Many of these stir fries are ready in 30 minutes or less, which makes them perfect for getting dinner ready on busy weeknights. The majority of the recipes use flank steak, sirloin steak, or beef chuck, which are very flavorful cuts and walk you through easy-to-master cooking techniques. These stir-fry mains, noodle dishes, and stews will have everybody coming back for seconds and demanding leftovers. 

  • 01 of 14

    Easy Beef Chow Mein

    Beef Chow Mein Recipe
    Liv Wan

    This easy beef chow mein with sirloin steak is a family favorite that kids will love. It’s easy to sneak vegetables like carrots and broccoli into the dish thanks to the aromatic ginger and garlic that impart delicious flavors to the veggies. You can have dinner on the table in half an hour with this recipe and it doesn’t require fancy equipment or ingredients.

  • 02 of 14

    Chinese Daikon, Carrot, and Tomato Beef Stew

    Classic Chinese beef stew recipe
    Liv Wan

    This belly-warming beef stew is perfect for a cold winter’s night. Make a big batch of it by doubling the ingredients and freezing the leftovers. Store it in plastic containers or Ziploc bags, which are easy to stack in the freezer. Reheat the stew and serve it with rice or noodles for a complete meal. If you don’t have daikon (or simply dislike it), substitute with potatoes or skip the daikon altogether.

  • 03 of 14

    Chinese Beef and Peppers in Black Bean Sauce

    Beef and peppers in the black bean sauce recipe

    The Spruce

    This classic beef stir fry is a favorite at Cantonese restaurants thanks to the savory black beans that pack this dish with umami flavor. Marinating the beef strips is the secret to make the beef tender and juicy. Once you master this recipe, it will be faster to cook this beef stir fry at home than to order takeout at your local Chinese restaurant.

  • 04 of 14

    Honey Beef with Sesame Seeds

    honey beef

    Combining honey and soy sauce makes a sweet and savory marinade that comes together in no time to tenderize flank steak. The oyster sauce adds complex flavors to elevate the honey beef. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving to add a nutty fragrance and enhance the dish’s appearance.

    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14

    Quick Beef and Snow Peas in Oyster Sauce

    Beef With Snow Peas
    kae71463/Flickr/CC

    It doesn’t get much easier than a beef stir fry with snow peas to get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Serve it with a side of jasmine rice and save leftovers for lunch the next day. You can substitute flank steak with pork, chicken, or tofu and use green vegetables like broccoli or green beans if snow peas are out of season.

  • 06 of 14

    Stir Fry Beef With Chinese Green Beans

    Beef With Chinese Green Beans
    Peter Cassidy/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Crunch Chinese green beans (also called long beans) add a contrasting texture to the stir-fried beef in this recipe. Because beans don’t contain as much water as leafy greens like lettuce, they make the perfect vegetable to use in this dry-frying dish. The trick is to make sure you drain the beans thoroughly after washing and the oil in the wok is hot enough to blister the green bean skins. If you can't find Chinese green beans, simply swap in regular ones.

  • 07 of 14

    Beef Chow Fun

    Beef chow fun recipe

    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Combining stir-fried beef with fresh rice noodles produces this classic noodle dish that's sure to evoke fond memories of delicious Chinese-restaurant dinners. The wide rice noodles soak up the flavor of the sauces to create a mouth-watering dish. This simplified recipe uses baby corn, but you can also easily substitute with mung bean sprouts. If using bean sprouts, add them at the end after the oyster sauce and cook for 1 minute to avoid soggy sprouts.

  • 08 of 14

    Mongolian Beef

    Mongolian Beef
    va103 / Getty Images

    Sirloin steak gets stir fried in a delicious sauce made from chili paste, hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, and rice vinegar in this Mongolian dish. Beef works well because it has a robust texture that holds up to this bold sauce. Start marinating the beef before preparing the vegetables and allow a full 30 minutes to tenderize the meat.

    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14

    Szechuan Beef

    Chinese szechuan beef recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh

    Whether you’re on a keto or Paleo diet or simply looking for a dish that packs a punch, this spicy dry-fried beef dish will add a zing to your dinner table. Using a small amount of roasted Sichuan peppercorns and balancing it with sweet bean paste lets you enjoy the tingle from the peppercorns without overpowering the beef stir fry. The carrot offers a sweet touch to the beef and chili paste.

  • 10 of 14

    Beef Chop Suey

    Chinese Chop Suey

    dulezidar/Getty Images

     

    Chop suey is an American-Chinese dish that restaurants created as a “stir fry of the day” using any vegetables on hand. The beauty of making beef chop suey at home is that you can use any vegetables sitting in your fridge to cook up dinner within 30 minutes or less. Broccoli, bok choy, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, carrots, celery, carrots, bell peppers, and any other sturdy leftover vegetables in your crisper are fantastic candidates for this dish.

  • 11 of 14

    Stir Fry Beef with Bamboo Shoots

    beef and bamboo shoots

    When you’re in the mood for beef, this stir fry with bamboo shoots hits the spot because of the higher meat-to-vegetable ratio than what you’d typically find in traditional Cantonese stir fries. The oyster sauce makes the dish extra savory. If you don’t have bamboo shoots, substitute them with sliced carrots and celery.

  • 12 of 14

    Stir Fry Beef and Mushrooms with Oyster Sauce

    stir fry beef and mushroom

    When you don’t have a lot of time, try this beef with oyster sauce stir fry which relies on the oyster sauce to do the heavy lifting to add plenty of flavor to your dish. Add sliced carrots, snow peas, or even broccoli for more texture and a balanced meal. You can serve it with white or brown rice to soak up the oyster sauce.

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Soy Braised Beef with Mixed Vegetables

    braised beef

    Getty Images 

    For an easy introduction to the Chinese technique of “red cooking,” this soy sauce-braised beef dish is hard to beat. You’ll learn the principles of braising with soy sauce and Chinese rice wine. Stewing the beef for over an hour makes the beef tender and infused with soy sauce. Root vegetables like turnips and carrots accompany this dish to make it a robust and hearty meal. If you don’t like turnip, you can use potatoes instead.

  • 14 of 14

    Chinese Beef with Broccoli Stir Fry

    Beef with broccoli stir-fry

    Mark Burstyn/Getty Images

    Fans of the classic beef and broccoli stir fry can rejoice at this homemade version. This recipe uses potato starch and baking soda in the marinade to tenderize the beef strips. Add a twist to the classic dish by sneaking in carrots and onions to add sweetness and color to the stir fry. Serve with white or brown rice or your favorite noodles.