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This is one of my go-to dishes.  Whenever I ask Chris what he fancies for tea, you can pretty much guarantee that he’ll pipe up ‘Crispy Chilli Beef!’.  It’s not exactly a healthy dish, but it is seriously tasty!

I seem to end up making this (or variations of it) at least every couple of weeks.  It’s pretty versatile – I quite often use leftover cooked chicken or lamb instead. Prawns or tofu would work well too.  I’m afraid I can take no credit for the recipe.  I originally took it from bbcgoodfood.com – although the recipe isn’t on there any more.

The kids absolutely love this too (yes even the broccoli!).   I tend plate up the kid’s meals, and then I’ll throw in some freshly chopped chilli or some chilli flakes at the end and stir through for a minute for me and Chris.

Looking at the recipe, it sounds like a lot of sugar and soy sauce (and it is), but the combination with the lime juice just works to give that beautiful sweet/sour/salty taste.

I’ve even served up strips of this on sticks to serve as canapés, and they were the first to go!

Crispy Chilli Beef (Serves 4):

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 thin cut sirloin steaks (about 100-120g each steak) cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped/grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped/crushed
  • 1 large head of broccoli cut into small florets
  • 3 limes
  • 6 tbsp dark soy sauce (make sure it’s gluten-free soy sauce if you’re gluten intolerant)
  • 7 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 red chilli – chopped (discard the seeds if you don’t like it too hot)
  • 4 spring onions/scallions chopped

To Serve:

  • Boiled rice
  • Spring onions and/or chopped red chillies to garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying.  Mix the salt and pepper with the cornflour and toss the beef strips in the cornflour until completely coated.  When the oil is hot, tip the beef in and fry until dark brown and crispy.  I try not to move the meat around too much as this seems to reduce the amount of crispiness you get.  It generally takes about 5 or 6 minutes to crisp up the beef, with about 3 or 4 stirs during that time.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef from the pan and place in a bowl lined with kitchen roll to soak up excess fat.
  2. You should still be left some oil in the pan at this point.  Take the pan off the heat and throw in the ginger and garlic (the garlic will burn if you have it on the heat), give it a stir for 30 seconds and then add the broccoli to the pan.  Put it back on a medium heat and stir fry the broccoli for a minute or two.
  3. Mix the lime juice, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl, then pour onto the broccoli in the pan.  Turn up the heat and let it bubble for a couple of minutes until the sauce starts to reduce a little.  Add the beef back in, give it a stir and heat through for 1 minute, then add in the chopped chillies and spring onions.  Give it a quick stir and then serve with boiled rice.  Garnish with some spring onions and/or chopped chillies.