This Crispy Chilli Beef is a healthy spin on a Chinese Takeout favourite! The beef is cooked until crisp and then tossed in a delicious sweet, spicy and tangy sauce with veggies. This delicious crispy chilli beef takes less than 30 minutes to make and it’s perfect for weeknight dinner that the whole family will love. 

Crispy Chilli Beef

What Is Crispy Chilli Beef

Crispy chili beef is a popular Chinese dish that is believed to have originated in the Sichuan province of China, which is known for its spicy cuisine. In the late 20th century, as Chinese cuisine became more popular around the world, crispy chili beef became a popular dish in Chinese restaurants in the West. The dish typically consists of thin slices of beef that are lightly battered and fried until crispy, then tossed in a spicy and tangy sauce made with chili peppers, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. This healthy spin on Crispy Chilli Beef has all of the same delicious flavour and texture, but is Paleo, Grain and Gluten Free. 



Why You Will Love This Crispy Chilli Beef Recipe

  • It’s SO GOOD! The crispy beef is coated in a delicious rich syrupy sauce and tossed with tender bell peppers, red chilli, scallions and onions.
  • While the classic beef dish requires deep frying, in this healthier version the crispy beef strips are simply pan fried until golden brown to obtain a crispy texture. 
  • It tastes just like the classic takeout dish Chinese Crispy Beef that I used to love, but this Paleo Crispy Beef is Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free and Dairy Free too! 
  • It takes less than 30 minutes to make, quicker then the time it takes to order takeout! Plus it’s incredibly easy to make. 


Paleo Crispy Chilli Beef


Ingredients You Need To Made This Crispy Chilli Beef

  • Steak: I like using sirloin steak as I find it to be the most tender beef, but skirt, flank steak  or rump steak can also be used
  • Egg: Egg asks as a tenderizer for the beef and also helps the arrowroot coating to stick to the beef pieces. 
  • Onion: Thinly sliced yellow onion
  • Bell Peppers: I like using red pepper but orange or yellow bell peppers can also be used. 
  • Spring Onions: also known as green onion. Cut them into 1 inch long pieces 
  • Serrano Chillies: Thinly slices red chilies are the source of spice in this dish, if you prefer it to be less spicy I recommend removing the seeds. 
  • Arrowroot powder: This is going to coat the fried beef strips and give them a golden colour and crispy coating. If you are not on a grain free diet, feel free to replace the arrowroot powder with corn flour. 
  • Ginger: Use fresh ginger root rather than jarred or from a tube
  • Tomato Paste: most crispy chilli beef recipes use tomato ketchup, but to keep this recipe clean I recommend using tomato paste instead. It creates a thick sauce that will coat the crispy strips of beef. 
  • Coconut Aminos: feel free to use 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari instead
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a nice acidity to the sauce and cuts through the sweetness. If you do not have apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar also works and can be used in an equal amount (ie 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar)
  • Honey: honey or maple syrup can be used in this recipe. If you are doing a whole30, it can be replaced with 1 large medjool date which has been soaked in hot water until tender and then blended in with the other sauce ingredients. 
  • Beef Stock: This is for the sauce. 
  • Ghee or Butter
  • Sesame seeds or more chopped scallions for garnish. 

Tips For Making This Crispy Chilli Beef

  • Cut the beef super thing for maximum crispiness. Don’t have a sharp knife? No worries! Place the steak in the freezer for 20 minutes to become slightly firm, this will make it much easier to cut into thin strips. 
  • Cut the beef against the grain, this will result in tender strips of beef
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when cooking the beef. Cook the beef in a single layer in 2-3 small batches, this will ensure it becomes crispy and golden in colour rather than resulting in chewy overcooked beef with a mushy coating. 
  • Cook the beef on medium-high heat for just a few minutes so that it becomes crisp on the outside without overcooking and becoming chewy inside. 
  • Taste the sauce mixture and make sure you are happy with the flavour before adding it to the pan. Feel free to add in more ginger, vinegar or honey depending on your taste. 


Crispy Chilli Beef


What Cut Of Beef Should I Use For This Crispy Chilli Beef

The beef in this Crispy Chilli Beef recipe is cut very thinly, so using a high quality tender cut of beef is less relevant than with dishes where it is served in larger sized pieces (such as these Beef, Fig & Red Onion Skewers). I like using sirloin for this dish but flank or skirt steak would also work well, just be sure to slice against the grain. 



What Should I Serve With This Crispy Chilli Beef? 

I like eating this Crispy Chilli Beef over cauliflower rice or regular steamed rice to soak up all of the delicious sauce. That being said it’s a filling dish so eating it on it’s own will leave you more than satisfied. 



What Other Vegetables Can I Add?

I like the combination of bell peppers, scallions and onions in this healthy spin on Chinese Crispy Chilli Beef, but feel free to add in more vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans or mushrooms.



Can I Use Something Other Than Beef? 

Absolutely! While I think beef is the best protein choice for this paleo crispy chilli beef recipe, as an alternative you could use thinly sliced pork (tenderloin or chops) or chicken (thighs would work best). 


Is This Crispy Chilli Beef Spicy? 

Yes this Crispy Chilli Beef definitely has a kick to it! If you aren’t a fan of spicy food or are serving this to kids I recommend reducing the number of serrano chillies you use to just one and be sure to remove the seeds as well as they are the spiciest part of the chilli pepper. I would rate the spiciness of this dish as a 7 out of 10, if you would like it spicier add in another chilli pepper for a real blast of heat. The sauce is not spicy, all of the heat comes from the chilies added in.  


I Don’t Have Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot starch is a grain free flour that is used often in Paleo and Whole30 recipes. If you are not following these diets than corn starch or potato starch can be used in its place to make the beef crispy. 



Can I Make This Crispy Chilli Beef In Advance?

Unfortunately the beef loses its crispiness once it is coated in the sauce, so it’s best to keep them separate until right before eating. The beef can be coated and fried up to a few hours in advance and the sauce and vegetables can be prepared the day before. Just before eating, combine the veggies, sauce and crispy beef in a skillet on medium heat and warm through for a couple of minutes before serving, don’t leave it to cook too long or the beef will become soft. 

What About Leftovers?

Leftover Crispy Chilli Beef will last for up to 4 days in the fridge and are best reheated in a very hot pan on the stove for a few minutes until warmed through. Unfortunately the leftover beef won’t be as crispy as it is right after cooking, but the coating on the beef absorbs a lot of the sauce while it rests in the fridge which makes it extra tasty. 



Paleo Crispy Chilli Beef

Here are a few more Asian inspired recipes that you might enjoy:

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Crispy Chilli Beef

Every Last Bite
This Crispy Chilli Beef is a healthy spin on a Chinese Takeout favourite! The beef is cooked until crisp and then tossed in a delicious sweet, spicy and tangy sauce with veggies. This delicious dish takes less than 30 minutes and leftovers will last for up to 4 days in the fridge.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Diets Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Whole30
Servings 4 people


  • 1 pound Sirloin steak or flank/ skirt steak (500 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1 red/yellow or orange bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch spring onions cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 serrano chillies thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey (or 1 medjool date for Whole30)
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp ghee/butter


  • Cut the steak into very thin strips against the grain. Place the beef in a bowl, add in the salt, pepper and egg and stir until all of the pieces of beef are well coated. Leave the beef to rest for a few minutes while you chop all of the veggies.
  • In a blender combine the ginger, tomato paste, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, honey (or medjool date) and beef stock. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  • Add the arrowroot starch to the beef and stir it around with a fork to ensure all of the pieces are well coated in the starch.
  • Place a walk or large skillet on high heat. Melt 1 tbsp of ghee before adding in 1/2 of the strips of beef. Cook them for approximately 2 minutes until golden brown before flipping and cooking on the other side. Once the beef is cooked set it aside on a plate and repeat, adding 1 tbsp of ghee to the pan and cooking the remaining half of the beef before setting it aside.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Next add in the chopped green onion and sauce, stir and continue to cook for another 2 minutes before returning the beef to the pan. Toss the beef to ensure its coated in the sauce and warmed through before serving.
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!