Pepper Steak is a classic of Chinese American restaurants, usually found between General Tso’s chicken and Crab Rangoon on the menu of your local takeout place.
This is not a value judgement. My first question about a meal is not “is it authentic?”, but “how does it taste?” Chinese American cooking is one of the first fusion cuisines, where immigrants merged their old and new homelands to come up with something delicious. There’s a reason the classics of Chinese American restaurants are classics – they are just good recipes.
And, here’s where I take a few liberties. I’m not stir frying; I’m using my pressure cooker. It makes this a quick meal for a busy weeknight, and it’s hands-off once I lock the lid. I prefer flat iron steak – after all, steak is in the name of the recipe – but it will work with any cut of chuck roast. (Flat iron is the chuck blade roast cut into a long steak shape, and is one of my favorite cheap cuts of beef.) 2
I finish the recipe with a corn starch slurry to thicken the sauce. (There is no evaporation in a pressure cooker, thanks to the sealed cooking environment.) The sauce needs some help, and the corn starch turns it into a glossy coating for the meat. Serve over rice, and dinner is ready.
Pressure Cooker Chinese Pepper Steak – Time Lapse [YouTube.com]
Pressure Cooker Chinese Pepper Steak – the Chinese American classic as a hands-off dinner from the pressure cooker.
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 green onions (aka scallions), trimmed and sliced thin
- 2 pounds flat iron steak (or chuck blade steak, or boneless chuck roast), cut into 2 inch by 1/2 inch thick strips
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large onion, cut into 1 inch squares
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch squares
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch squares
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 2 inch squares
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce (or substitute 2 tablespoons brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
Garnish and Sides
- Minced green onions (scallions) for garnish
- Fry the garlic, ginger, and green onion: Heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat in the pressure cooker pot until shimmering. (Use Sauté mode in an electric pressure cooker.) Stir in the garlic, ginger, and green onion, and fry until you smell garlic, about 30 seconds.
- Pressure cook the beef: Sprinkle the beef with the kosher salt. Add the beef, onions, and peppers to the pot, and stir to coat with the garlic/ginger/scallion oil. Pour in the water and soy sauce, then stir in the hoisin sauce to coat the beef. Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 12 minutes in an electric PC or 8 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes.
- Finish the beef: Remove the lid from the pressure cooker, and stir in the toasted sesame oil. Whisk the cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl, then stir into the pot to thicken the sauce. Serve over white rice or noodles, sprinkling with minced green onions for garnish.
- This recipe will fit in a 6 quart or larger pressure cooker. I love my 6 quart Instant Pot pressure cooker.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos
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