Beijing Beef (Panda Express Copycat)
Beijing Beef Recipe- This beef with veggies stir fry is sweet, tangy, and satisfying! It’s easy to make with wholesome ingredients for a Panda Express copycat dish that’s sure to be a family favorite.
Why We Love This Recipe
Some people’s guilty pleasure is a big greasy burger, but for me, it’s fast-food Chinese takeout. And I know I’m not the only one, because all of our copycat Panda Express recipes – like our Kung Pao Chicken, Orange Chicken, and Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry – are extremely popular!
Today we’re sharing what we know will quickly become another reader favorite recipe, our rendition of Beijing Beef à la Panda Express. The simple stir-fry combines crispy beef strips, onions, and peppers kissed with a sticky sweet glaze. The beef is fried in oil, before stir-frying with the sauce and vegetables, to create the special texture you know and love.
The whole dish is ready in only about 30 minutes from start to finish. And because it’s wonderfully simple to make, you’ll have no trouble whipping up a side dish like fluffy rice while the meat and vegetables cook. So it’s the perfect recipe for a casual family-friendly weeknight dinner that’s got plenty of flavor. Plus, leftovers are fantastic – so you definitely want to work this into your meal prep routine!
Ingredients For Panda Express Beijing Beef Recipe
For the Stir Fry –
- Flank steak – or flat iron steak, if you prefer
- Egg – large
- Cornstarch – to coat the beef strips
- Salt – a pinch for flavor
- Bell pepper – your choice of red, yellow, orange, or green peppers
- Onion – white has the most bite and best flavor here
- Oil – for frying, so choose a high-heat and neutral flavored oil like vegetable/canola or avocado
- Scallions – thinly sliced, for garnish
For the Stir Fry Sauce –
- Ketchup – low sodium is always a good idea
- Hoisin sauce – use a GF variety to make a gluten-free recipe
- Sweet chili sauce – a bright and tangy sauce that isn’t really spicy
- Soy sauce – low sodium, or coconut aminos
- Garlic – minced
- Crushed red pepper – optional for a classic slightly spicy Beijing beef Panda Express copycat
Pro Tip: Although some recipes call for oyster sauce, we found it unnecessary to create the right flavor.
How to Make Beijing Beef (Better Than Panda Express!)
Slice the beef flank steak into thin strips, against the grain, about 2 to 3 inches long. This is easiest when the beef is partially frozen so it holds its shape and makes it easier to cut.
Place the beef slices in a large bowl. Add in one egg, ¼ cup of cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Gently toss to coat the beef strips on all sides.
Chop the bell pepper and onion into 1-inch cubes and set aside. Chop the scallions for the garnish.
Set out a medium bowl or measuring pitcher. Add in the ketchup, hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper. Mix well.
Place a wok, or a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the wok. Place a holding plate on the side of the wok.
Once the oil is hot, carefully place about ¼ of the beef strips into the frying oil. Use tongs to move the strips around the wok. Stir fry for 1 to 3 minutes. Once the beef has been browned, use the tongs to move it to the holding plate. Repeat with three more small batches of beef strips.
Get the Complete (Printable) Panda Express Beijing Beef Copycat Recipe + Video Below. Enjoy!
Carefully pour most of the remaining oil out of the skillet, leaving about 1 tablespoon to stir-fry the vegetables. Place the onions and peppers in the hot wok and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes
Then add the beef strips back to the wok, followed by the sauce. Toss well and continue to stir fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle the Beijing beef with chopped scallions.
Enjoy this classic Chinese takeout-style dish with fluffy white rice or brown rice. For more carb-y goodness you can swap our rice or add a serving of Lo Mein with Vegetables on the side for an even heartier meal.
Or keep low-carb with Roasted Cauliflower Rice or loaded Cauliflower Fried Rice!
Either way, you definitely want to enjoy it with homemade Panda Express Super Greens for that complete better-than-the-restaurant vibe. I also love this Potstickers recipe with Beijing Beef!
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Beijing Beef taste like?
Strips of tender beef are quickly cooked and tossed with sauteed peppers, onions, and a sweet/umami-licious sticky sauce. The combination has just the right bit of sweetness with also a hint of spicy flavor from the crushed red pepper.
Is Beijing Beef gluten free?
This recipe is totally gluten-free if you buy GF hoisin and soy sauce!
Can you make this stir-fry recipe without oil?
For health purposes, you can omit the majority of the oil and skip the deep frying in this recipe, but it will not have the same texture that it does at a panda express restaurant. To do this, add just 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the wok, and stir-fry the beef for 1-3 minutes, before stir-frying the vegetables.
How long do leftovers last?
Beijing beef tastes just as delicious – if not more so! – the next day. Once leftovers are cool, transfer them to an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. I love to use this recipe to meal prep lunches with a side of rice.
I do not recommend freezing this dish… Bell peppers tend to get a bit mushy when frozen and then reheated.
Easy Recipe Tweaks
If you like a little more heat, add red pepper flakes.
If you want the sauce a bit tangier, add a splash of vinegar.
Want to add extra vegetables? Through in broccoli florets, chopped boy choy, or sliced carrots.
Looking for More Easy Dinner Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Easy Hunan Beef Recipe
- Chinese Chicken with Garlic Sauce
- The Ultimate Bourbon Chicken
- Easy Szechuan Beef
- Chinese Hot Pot Recipe
Beijing Beef (Panda Express Copycat)
For the Stir Fry –
- 1 – 1 ¼ pounds flank steak
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large red bell pepper seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup onion 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup vegetable oil for frying
- ¼ cup chopped scallions for garnish
For the Stir Fry Sauce –
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3-4 cloves minced garlic
- ½ – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Slice the beef flank steak into thin strips, against the grain, about 2 to 3 inches long. This is easiest when the beef is partially frozen so it holds its shape and makes it easier to cut. Place the beef strips in a large bowl. Add in one egg, ¼ cup of cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Gently toss to coat the beef strips on all sides.
- Chop the bell pepper and onion into 1-inch cubes and set aside. Chop the scallions for the garnish.
- Set out a medium bowl or measuring pitcher. Add in the ketchup, hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper. Mix well.
- Place a wok, or a large sauté pan, over medium high heat. Add the oil to the wok. Place a holding plate to the side of the wok.
- Once the oil is hot, carefully place about ¼ of the beef strips into the fry oil. Use tongs to move the strips around the wok. Stir fry for 1 to 3 minutes. Once the beef has browned, use the tongs to move it to the holding plate. Repeat with three more small batches of beef strips.
- Carefully pour most of the remaining oil out of the skillet, leaving about 1 tablespoon to stir fry the vegetables. Place the onions and peppers in the hot wok and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the beef strips back to the wok, followed by the sauce. Toss well and continue to stir fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped scallions. Serve warm over fried rice or white rice.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
love these copycat recipes, if only just to tweak some of the ingredients just a bit and know what’s going into them, so for that alone, thank you but also appreciate the recipe!
I was very surprised by how easy this was to make. I will never buy this at the restaurant again! I feel like this was a much healthier option. Thanks for posting!
This is one of my favorites!! And, it tastes so much better made at home!! There is so much flavor. My kids love it!
this dish really does taste like the panda express recipe, just a little better though! thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe
Loved this beef with rice! So much better made at home! Can’t wait to make again