This Hunan beef is thinly sliced steak that’s stir fried with colorful veggies in a spicy sauce. A take out classic that’s so easy to make in the comfort of your own home!
My family is crazy about Chinese food, they always request that I make beef and broccoli, crab rangoon and this savory and spicy Hunan style beef dish.
Whenever I go to my local Chinese restaurant, I always order the Hunan beef. The combination of steak and veggies in spicy sauce just can’t be beat! This homemade version is actually quite simple to make; add a side of steamed rice and watch the rave reviews come in!
What is Hunan beef?
Hunan beef comes from the Hunan province of China. That province is in the southern central region of China. The Hunan province is known for spicy and sour sauces. This region is also known for its vegetables and crops. Hunan beef is a flavorful way to showcase the hot and sour flavors of the Hunan region and to enjoy a hearty serving of veggies. You can control the heat in this dish by adjusting the amount of chili paste to your taste preferences.
How do you make Hunan beef?
This recipe starts with flank steak, which is browned in a pan. The meat is removed and a selection of colorful veggies goes into the pan. A simple sauce is made by mixing together soy sauce, oyster sauce, beef broth and chili paste. The sauce is poured over the meat and vegetables and simmered until thickened. Serve, and enjoy!
Tips for Hunan Beef
- Cut all your vegetables into similar sized pieces so that they cook in the same amount of time.
- You can use your favorite chili paste for this recipe. I typically use sambal oelek, which can be found in the ethnic foods aisle of most grocery stores. You can also use hot chili oil, chili garlic sauce, or even sriracha.
- Cook the meat in one layer so that it browns nicely – if you overcrowd the pan, the meat will steam instead of brown. You will want to cook the steak in batches which is a little more work, but totally worth it.
- I love to add baby corn to my Asian food dishes. Baby corn is found in cans and jars, and can be found in the canned vegetable aisle or the ethnic foods aisle.
What is Hunan sauce made of?
Hunan sauce is made of beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chili paste and cornstarch. These ingredients make a rich and flavorful sauce that coats the beef and vegetables. This recipe is written with 2 teaspoons of chili paste which makes for a moderately spicy sauce. If you like a spicier sauce, feel free to adjust up to 1 tablespoon of chili paste.
Beef Stir Fry variations
This recipe is flavorful and tasty; however, you can make some modifications if you choose.
- Veggies: You can use other vegetables in this dish such as carrots, snow peas, water chestnuts, bok choy or mushrooms.
- Meat: Instead of beef, you can make this recipe with thinly sliced chicken or pork.
- Nuts: Try adding a handful of cashews or sliced almonds for added crunch.
Hunan beef is a tasty way to enjoy beef and fresh vegetables with a spicy kick!
More great Asian recipes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound flank steak thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup broccoli florets cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup celery thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper cored, seeded and diced
- 1 cup canned baby corn drained and halved
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons chili paste such as sambal oelek
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat.
- Add the steak to the pan in a single layer and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. Cook in multiple batches if needed.
- Remove the beef from the pan and place on a plate. Cover to keep warm.
- Add the broccoli, celery and bell pepper to the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the baby corn. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add the beef back to the pan with the vegetables.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chili paste and cornstarch.
- Pour the sauce over the steak and vegetables; bring to a simmer. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Serve immediately over rice if desired.
This came together so fast! My kids loved it too, which is rare. Thank you for the delicious recipe!
I made this tonight and LOVED it! Very flavourful. A hint of spice but not too spicy. I added baby corn but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Will definitely be making this again!
Great Asian beef recipe! Easy to prepare and so tasty! Love it!
My favorite local Chinese place just closed due to the pandemic and I REALLY miss their Hunan beef, so I found this recipe. Made it a few days ago and it turned out GREAT — it tastes VERY similar to what I got at my local restaurant.
For veggies I used carrots (cooked them about 30 minutes in advance, otherwise they would have been way too firm), broccoli, sweet onions, water chestnuts, and baby corn, and they were delicious in this dish. It was the first time I’d ever used flank steak but it turned out very well. Oh, I did make LOTS of extra sauce — I made half the recipe (I usually do that the first time trying a new recipe, just in case!) EXCEPT I made the “full measure” of the sauce and that was about right. (We like sauce!)
Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!
Very simple and delicious. I’m always looking for ways to use Veggies before they go bad and this was perfect. I doubled the sauce and it was perfect! I will be adding this to our favorites
Would flat iron steak work with this recipe? looks delicious!
Yes that’s fine!
wow, this looks fabulous. Love all the veggies in this too!
I love easy stir-fries like this! So delicious!
This colorful meal will be a winner of the table during our upcoming adult party. Sounds yummy and delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Super YUMMM! Love this easy, delicious recipe and can’t wait for lunch leftovers 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
My mouth is watering! Wow wow wow this meal looks so amazing…never getting takeout again!
So yummy and I love those chunk of veggies too! Adding this dish on our menu!
I love all these veggies! The best weeknight dinner idea!
This is one of my favorite Asian dishes! So flavorful and delicious!
This is my favorite recipe to order when we eat out! So delicious and easy too! Excited to stir this up tonight for dinner!
This Hunan Beef recipe with the veggies is so colorful and delicious. So much better than takeout.
So much more budget friendly than ordering out all of the time. Loving all of the veggies too!