Panda Express Beijing Beef (Copycat)

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Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original  with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.

Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.Panda Express Beijing Beef is the beef answer to the insanely popular Panda Express Orange Chicken everyone craves so much. My favorite part of Beijing Beef though is the added hint of spice that always was lacking for me in the slightly too sweet orange chicken recipe.

Turns out the idea was a hit, Panda Express Beijing Beef is a totally popular pick. The breading keeps a crunch to the outside even though it is covered in the sweet, spicy, sticky sauce and the red bell peppers and onions provide a soft, deliciously sweet counterpart to the spicy beef.

Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.

Keeping track of all the Panda Express copycat recipes here on the blog? I have a whole page dedicated to Panda Express Recipes… every single one in fact: Panda Express Recipes Index

Looking for more Chinese Food in general?

Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.

This dish may seem like it has a LONG list of ingredients, but that is because it is a multi-step recipe. If this is more in-depth or time intensive than you would like you can make some quick adjustments to help get dinner on the table sooner.

  • Buy presliced (but not seasoned) fajita beef meat from your butcher. It will NOT be as thin as I recommend but it is a quick swap if you’re in a rush.
  • Mix up your Panda Express Beijing Beef sauce the weekend before and keep it in the fridge. Most of the prep time is in combining these ingredients.
  • Skip the egg batter altogether and just toss the beef in cornstarch. Your beef will not have as much crust, but it will still be plenty crispy and delicious.
  • Grab some from Panda 😉 ok, ok, this one is a joke.

Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.

Tools Used in the Making of this Panda Express Beijing Beef Recipe:
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.
Wok: Great for high heat, quick cooking. This wok is a great addition to your kitchen if you love cooking Chinese food or stir fries in general.
Large Frying Pan: I use this Cuisinart for most of my non cast iron cooking unless I am going with a stainless steel option, then I choose my All Clad.
Oyster Sauce: This is a unique flavor and ingredient. If you avoid seafood and want another option I recommend Vegetarian Oyster Sauce (made from mushrooms) but I don’t recommend you swap this out for something else altogether.
Hoisin Sauce: Considered to be like an Asian BBQ sauce, this is a unique flavor I would not leave out of the dish.
Sweet Chili Sauce: Adds that sweet, glaze to the dish that you’ll have trouble replicating without quite a lot of work, this is at the heart of the dish. If you’re in a pinch use the Trader Joe’s brand, add a bit more than written of the crushed red peppers since the Trader Joe’s variety is not spicy at all.

Recipe

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Panda Express Beijing Beef

5
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese
Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 pieces red bell pepper cut into 1"
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg whites beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoons crushed red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cut the flank steak against the grain into thin 1/4 inch slices.
  2. In a medium sized bowl add the beef, egg, salt and 1 teaspoon cornstarch and let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. To make the Beijing Beef Sauce, in a small bowl whisk together the 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, ketchup, hoisin, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sweet chili sauce, crushed red peppers and apple cider vinegar.
  4. After the beef has finishing marinating add 2 tablespoons cornstarch to a bowl, add the marinated beef (discard the extra marinade).
  5. Heat a small saucepan with the oil on medium-high (I use a small saucepan so that I can get a deep fry on this without using a lot of oil. So I fry in small batches, if you don't mind using more oil, go for a bigger pot and you can fry these up much faster).
  6. With the last two tablespoons of cornstarch toss the beef one last time and shake off any excess cornstarch.
  7. Fry the slices, in batches, until golden brown (2-3 minutes).
  8. Heat a large pan on high heat and use two tablespoons of the oil you just fried the beef in.
  9. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it just starts caramelizing on the edges.
  10. Add the garlic in and continue to cook a few more seconds until fragrant.
  11. Remove the veggies and put them with the beef on a plate.
  12. Add the Beijing Beef sauce to the large pan and cook on high until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  13. Add the beef and vegetables into the sauce and toss to combine.
  14. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.

Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.
Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.
Panda Express Beijing Beef is an awesome copycat of the original with crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and sliced onions, tossed in the wok with a tangy sweet and spicy sauce.

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Comments

  1. I love a good copycat recipe and your photos have me wanting this one! We don’t have a Panda Express close so i rely on copycat recipes to enjoy my favorites at home.

  2. Copy Cat recipes are always fun to try. This recipe looks so delicious and easy to make. I will have to try this on the weekend.

  3. Hi Sabrina. I want to make this recipe and would like a quick clarification: is the beef marinade the egg, salt and 1 teaspoon cornstarch? How long do you suggest I marinade? BTW…thank you. Your recipes are so good!

    Read more at: Panda Express Beijing Beef (Copycat) //dinnerthendessert.com/panda-express-beijing-beef-copycat/

    1. Sorry for the confusion! I updated the recipe card. I’ve left it for an hour, even as short as 30 minutes. That is the whole marinade 🙂 And thanks!!

  4. THIS is what I’ve been looking for. I’ve tried it from some other sites, but something was missing. Whatever that was, you’ve found it! I love Panda’s Beijing Beef, but like anything else-if you can do it at home, homemade is even better. Thanks for posting!

  5. You should really think about reformatting the recipe to match Rasa Malaysia’s with marinade and finishing sauce listed separately as it makes the recipe easier to follow you almost don’t need instructions.

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Sorry I just found a huge number of comments over the last three months that was snared in the spam filter and I am trying to follow up with each one now even though in your case I am way too late to help. I love her recipe card format, but my software gets glitchy when I’ve tried it that way. We are working on a redesign though and it is on the list of to-dos.

  6. I was looking forward to making this all week. I followed the directions to a T. I’m a pretty skilled cook in the kitchen, and I’m sorry to say that this doesn’t taste even close to Panda Express.

    1. Hey there, thanks so much for coming back to let me know how the recipe turned out. I’m sorry it wasn’t close but can you give me more details? I may be able to help you troubleshoot? If you prefer to email I’m always available, contact @ dinnerthendessert.com

  7. At the moment the beef is marinating while I am reading the posts. I’m interested to know more from Spinkel and Sabrina’s response (troubleshoot). I will find out shortly how mine will come out. Beijing Beef, who would-a thought anything could be better than Firecracker Chicken? I am trying that next.

  8. I made some today, but to get the full effect of the dish, you definitely gotta marinate the bell pepper in vinegar for a day or two to let it cut through the sweetness of the sauce. Also, I would recommend maybe doing 1/4 cup of sugar, plus maybe a little extra, it was a bit sweet for my taste. Other than that, the flavor was incredible!

  9. I wonder if you could use a technique with ground beef similar to your Ground Orange Chicken recipe for Beijing Beef so you don’t need to fry but get a similar flavor? I’m planning on trying that soon myself, but if you or any of your readers have already tried it, I’d love to hear if it worked and what tweaks were used (for better or worse). (The ground orange chicken is spectacular!)

    1. So sorry about the late response. Your question was snagged by my spam filter. To clarify, no need to whip them to a peak. You just want to beat them until a bit foamy, just broken up. Hope this clears up any confusion you had. I hope you enjoy it!

  10. In the recipe there is 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar unaccounted for in the directions. What’s it for? There are two entries for each of these and only one of each is used in the directions. I highlighted different steps to match the ingredients used (marinade, sauce, etc.). And I’m left over with two stray ingredients. Just got my marinade in the fridge so hopefully it doesn’t go in the marinade. Idk. Help!

  11. Made this last night it was awesome. I cheated when looking for orange sauce I found Panda express brand beijing sauce. It made the recipe so simple to make.

  12. This was seriously SO GOOD. This was a recipe my husband pinned awhile back and I put off making it for awhile because I didn’t think it would be up my alley. BOY WAS I WRONG! I made this last night and it totally exceeded my expectations. The flank steak was perfect for this, and that sauce?! So so good. Thank you for this recipe! 

    Rating: 5
  13. Hi from Norway! My daughter and I visited California a couple of months ago. We had never been to the US before. We had lunch at Panda Express three times because we fell in love with the Beijing Beef. Yesterday we found your recipe and after visiting several supermarkeds here in our hometown in Norway we found all the ingredients. We just had dinner and it was exactly like we remembered it! Thank you so much. This will be on our dinner table again soon.

    Rating: 5
    1. Oh my gosh, how awesome!! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know how much you both enjoyed it!

  14. Me and my husband made this for the family and of course they loved it. Making it again today with fried rice!

    Rating: 5
  15. This looks yummy i have 1 problem the Oyster Sauce i am allergic to shell fish and the substitute is mushroom vegetarian substitute i am allergic to mushrooms too so what do i use ? Just leave it out ?

  16. I do not get an oyster sauce flavor from the Beijing beef ar my local Panda, or at least not a strong one, and I think this version is a little sweeter maybe and less vinegary. But, I say it’s about 90 percent the same, and it is very good. I see a comment on here where Spinkel is saying this taste nothing like the real thing and that they are a good cook. I cook every day, many types of food, from scratch…I feel I am steps away from being a professional, and in my mind Spinkel is wrong, do not let his review deter you from trying this. I also used the copy cat lo mein recipe with this. It takes a bit of work, but it’s worth it so long as you have someone else to wash the dishes. The only changes I made was I used gochujang (fermented sweetened chilis) instead of sweet chili sauce and crushed chili, I coated the beef a little more, and I cooked the beef a little longer for that extra crispiness.

    Rating: 5
  17. So this was absolutely the best, actually better than Panda. Add some Marciano cherry’s (halved) to the sauce & be prepared to be amazed. Hard to put down the fork. Yum, Yum, and I don’t usually comment 5 out of 5 stars on this one definitely a keeper. Before I go the only thing in the recipe that needs to be tweaked is when making the marinade the corn starch should be mixed in water 1st to avoid clumping. I knew it as soon as I did it that I should have done that, but it still worked out??

    Rating: 5
  18. Just wanted to make one more comment, I see some comments about it being to sweet. If you have the correct balance of apple cider vinegar to sugar ratio plus the added heat of the red pepper flakes while adjusting for your particular taste I found this recipe excellent.

  19. I didn’t see anyone mention it, and it’s been a while since I’ve had the real thing, but if memory serves they actually tend to use Ancient Sweets (pepper) in their Beijing, not a red bell pepper. They taste pretty different though, so I don’t know what it would do to the rest of this recipe balance-wise.

    Definitely going to try this out soon.

  20. I had to sub the oyster sauce for fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce for fresh chilli paste and red peppers for broccoli. Everything turned out great! So delish!

    Rating: 5