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

4.93 from 26 votes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
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 ¼ 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 ½ cup water, ¼ 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: 395 calories, Calories: 395g, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 1009mg, Potassium: 549mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 205g, Vitamin C: 3.8g, Calcium: 43g, Iron: 2.3g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: 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 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. Beijing beef recipe is a little confusing. Is the beef fried twice? I am assuming it is since you divide the cornstarch. Thanks!

  2. I made this today, and really liked it. I used ranchera meat instead of flank steak, two whole eggs for the marinade instead of whites, and homemade vegetarian oyster sauce (the missus has allergies.) The flavor does differ from the Panda Express version, so next time, I’m going to tweak it in these ways:
    -Reduce the sugar by a half to two thirds.
    -Use a greater quantity of dry batter, containing one part flour to two parts corn starch.
    -Increase (perhaps double) the chili flakes, oyster sauce, and the vinegar.
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  3. I made this recipe tonight for dinner and it was excellent! I have never even had Panda Express but may now need to try it. I did leave out the red pepper flakes from this recipe. I make several Asian dishes but this is my new favorite.

  4. A little confused, in the directions it says to Fry the beef 2 different times. But in the comments it says only once. Which is it? ?

    1. Twice, sorry about the comment confusion. The double fry keeps it crispy. I got mixed up on the recipe in the comments, it has you answer them in a central part of the website where they’re all in a row and I read a different recipe name when I answered it.

  5. Loved it….tastes just like Panda Express.
    I used egg white batter marinade and the beef was so crispy and held up to the sauce.
    Will make this again.

  6. I made this last night… and it was awesome! I followed the recipe pretty close because I wanted to see how close it could be to Panda. I cut up a decent steak I got on sale (chuck steak I think) and it turned out to be better beef flavor than I usually get at Panda. I did the double frying and I think it was worth the texture… and wasn’t hard. I did use a wok for everything and I found it to be fairly easy… just need to be careful when working with the hot oil. I was worried until the very end… because it wasn’t smelling quite right or tasting as I expected. Cooking the sauce down helped a lot. Then when I added the peppers/onions/garlic to the sauce it was like magic! Suddenly it was all the right smells and tastes! The Hoisin sauce I had was a garlic one but that didn’t seem to make a big difference. I had a mix of red and yellow peppers also didn’t seem to hurt. I added the apple cider vinegar as it notes but also added a teaspoon of pepper vinegar I had made from a different copycat recipe. Next time I make this I will probably add more pepper flakes… or something else to give it a little more spice… but because I like a little heat and would often add some hot sauce to my food at the restaurant! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this! My favorite so far!

  7. Nope , not at all like Panda Express. It had a great texture, but the flavor was not spicy and not sweet like the Panda Express Beijing beef. I spent money on buying sauces that I probably did not even need.

  8. Just made this tonight for some friends and it came out great!!! 🙂 I loved it. Used a meat thermometer to make sure I didn’t over cook the meat. Thank you for the great recipe. Everyone finished all the food.

  9. Just how beaten do the egg whites need to be? Just a little? Soft peaks? Am I overthinking this haha? This is my family’s favorite Panda dish! Can’t wait to make it!

    1. Though I think the recipe is very tasty, this is not even close to Panda’s Beijing beef. I will definitely keep the SAUCE recipe as its delicious however, the entire process was way too much bother for what we got out of it. Next time, I’ll just go to Panda, lol