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.
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?
- Cheesecake Factory Mandarin Cashew Chicken
- PF Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken
- California Pizza Kitchen’s Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Easy Mongolian Beef
- Many more Chinese food options…
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.
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.
- 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
- Cut the flank steak against the grain into thin ¼ inch slices.
- In a medium sized bowl add the beef, egg, salt and 1 teaspoon cornstarch and let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- 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.
- After the beef has finishing marinating add 2 tablespoons cornstarch to a bowl, add the marinated beef (discard the extra marinade).
- 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).
- With the last two tablespoons of cornstarch toss the beef one last time and shake off any excess cornstarch.
- Fry the slices, in batches, until golden brown (2-3 minutes).
- Heat a large pan on high heat and use two tablespoons of the oil you just fried the beef in.
- Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it just starts caramelizing on the edges.
- Add the garlic in and continue to cook a few more seconds until fragrant.
- Remove the veggies and put them with the beef on a plate.
- Add the Beijing Beef sauce to the large pan and cook on high until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the beef and vegetables into the sauce and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately.
This recipe is absolutely delicious!!! I make it quite frequently! I also grind up chicken and make the sauce to pour over with rice. Absolutely amazing!
this recipe is better than the restaurant. thank you so much. I’m in heaven
Really good. I doubled the sauce and served with chow mein noodles. Everyone loved it!
This was an amazing dish. Incredibly fun to make and tasted absolutely wonderful.
Everyone who tasted this LOVED it and said it tasted better than Panda Express. It did! My son even had it for breakfast the next day.? 5 ?????
I haven’t tried this dish before but after reading this recipe imma gonna need to make it sometime prob this weekend!!!
This was delicious…will be absolutely making this again. My husband raved about this dish….
This recipe is amazing and it tasted just like Panda Express. I didn’t have hoisin sauce so I mixed barbecue sauce with teriyaki sauce and added some red pepper flakes and brown sugar. It turned out wonderful! Will 100% make again!
This was good, but with modifications. The 1/4 cup sugar set off alarm bells since the hoison, sweet chili, oyster sauce, and ketchup are already heavily sugared, I cut the sugar back to 1/8 cup even though I doubled the recipe and still found it a little sweet. I think I’ll cut it back further next time.
We had fresh snow peas from the garden, so threw them in. The flavors complimented each other.
Made this tonight, used cube steak (can’t afford flank) and added a little sriracha to the sauce. It turned out so good!
Great dish! I didn’t have egg whites so I substituted with corn starch mixed with water slurry. I think 1/2 cup water made the dish too wet and it’s missing some spice. I will try adding some baking soda next time and maybe add more honey instead of sugar. Thanks for sharing.
I agree 1/2 cup water was a little too much. I used cube steak instead and added a little sriracha to the sauce, turned out so good
Came out great! I did need more meat. Found that I had alot more sauce left over. Look forward to making it again. I would probably use only 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar instead of the 2. I used the short cut method of just corn starch and not the mixture for the meet. It was quick and fun to make. Looking forward to making this again! This is my new go to meal!
I love Panda‘s Beijing Beef, so I wanted to try this copycat recipe. It’s delicious, but still different from Panda Express. I’d change just a few tiny things:
I think 3 egg whites is too much, next time I’ll use 2 and see how it goes. I hate to waste food, and after marinading you throw out most of the whites anyway not to mention the three yolks.
I‘d also use a large onion – easier to eat with chopsticks. I’d double the bell peppers too, they‘re delicious!
Finally, I added two tsp of starch (dissolved in a bit of water) to the sauce for consistency.
Just made this. I used some precut stir fry steak meat I found at Walmart (I forgot what kind it is. I think round?) Marinated it for a full hour. Used a touch more sugar in the sauce and 2 kinds of sweet chili sauce (1/2 Maggi, 1/2 Stubbs). No oyster sauce. No bell pepper. And a touch more corn starch for the second fry.
No oyster sauce tastes absolutely fine so it’s perfectly okay to omit it. No bell pepper was a little shame missing the extra crunch but not a big deal. It was still so delicious. I didn’t fry the meat quiet as long as I should have so it didn’t get particularly crispy but it was super silky. My dad who is picky about this sorta thing even liked it. Now I’m gonna have to make a double batch in a couple weeks lol. But it is actually gonna go into our rotation. I dunno how the actual PE version is but this was quiet good.
Sabrina… girl… you got this down pat. I’ve never left a review before on this recipe, but I have been using it for the past 3 years and it has never let me down. The flavors, so smoky and powerful. I prefer this to my local Panda Express. Thank youuuuu.
I don’t cook Chinese food very often, so I’m a little confused on your recipe. Ingredients and directions don’t coincide. Am I missing something? You list “3 egg whites beaten”, but don’t give directions what to do with them. Then in Step 12 you give instructions to add Beijing Beef sauce, but it’s not included on your list of ingredients nor does it say how much to add. I don’t know if I missed any ingredients. Directions are confusing because the list is not in order. Would you please clarify what to do with the egg whites and how much Beijing Beef sauce to add?
Hi, I am a little confused. The eggs are listed in the 2nd step. Beijing sauce is made in instruction number 3. You would then add all of the sauce in instruction number 13. Hope that helps.
I’m going to try this tonight but I feel like the recipe is written differently than most recipes. Typically, you see the list of ingredients in the order you would use them. In this case, it would be the beef, egg, salt, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. But, the recipe starts as flank steak, canola oil, garlic, and yellow onion. Which caused confusion for me from the start.
You are right! My mistake, I do usually list it in ingredient use order! Sorry for the confusion!
It was wonderful. Loved it and can’t wait to make it again! I’ll next time I will double the meat and bell peppers. There was a lot more sauce then meat. I will also cut down on the apple cider vinegar. But it’s tasted great. Making again tomorrow 🙂
Yes, be nice if the items were grouped by order and by particular purpose (e.g., Marinade, Sauce, etc.). But, I don’t know if that is possible in the Recipe System that you are using. But, be nice if it was sub-divided to purpose.
I made this recipe using left over Prime Rib Roast from Christmas. My husband said it was best he’d ever eaten.
We have now made this twice and followed your recipe exactly. And it is awesome! Yes it takes a little time to prep, drop the veggies and measure out the sauce; however it is totally worth it.My only suggestion would be in the actual recipe card to reverse the order of number five and six because the first time I made it I almost fried beef without doing the second corn starch dust. But really that would be have been my mistake, luckily I did read further and realized corn starch dust then fry. Thanks for the great copycat recipe.
I made this last night and thought it was DELICIOUS! I’ve never marinated in egg whites so I made them frothy, which I guess isn’t correct, but was still good! I also didn’t double fry (by accident) and I tasted a piece of leftovers this morning and it still has great texture. This has a great flavor! I did think I may reduce the sugar a little, but I think this probably varies with how much the sauce reduces while finishing up the dish. Overall delicious and taught me a new technique!
Beijing beef recipe is a little confusing. Is the beef fried twice? I am assuming it is since you divide the cornstarch. Thanks!
Hi! Yes its twice!
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!
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.
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? ?
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.
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.
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!
Thanks for all of your feedback and suggestions, Ron. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Making this tonight! But could you air fry this instead of frying it in oil?
I’ve not tested it using an air fryer. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks.
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.
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.
Do you fry it twice??
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!
Just until they’re beaten. No need to overthink, haha! Enjoy!
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
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