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pepper steak over rice in a white bowl with salt and pepper shakers alongside a napkin in the background

Pepper Steak

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 25 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Units Scale

For the Savory Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos for gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the Pepper Steak:

  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil, plus more as needed (or vegetable oil of choice)
  • 1 red onion, small diced
  • 2 lbs. thinly sliced flank steak (or top sirloin steak or top round), cut into 1/2″ strips (Cut across the grain, not with it)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger/ginger paste
  • 4 bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into strips (Choose a variety of colors. I use one of each: red and green bell pepper, yellow and orange.)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon All Purpose Seasoning (my homemade is the best low salt version)
  • OPTIONAL: red pepper flakes, to taste, as garnish


  1. Whisk together the savory sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set them aside until time to cook.
  2. Slice the steak into strips. It’s so important to remember, (whichever cut of steak you use), to cut the strips ACROSS the grain, not running with it. If you cut the meat in the same direction as the grain you will end up with tough and chewy steak bites. Cut across the grain for the best, tender and flavorful bites. The strips should be thinly sliced and about 1/2″ to 3/4″ wide.
  3. Core all the red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers and cut them into thin strips.
  4. Over medium high heat, begin heating 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil in a deep skillet, (at least 12″ in diameter). This is a big batch and you’ll need all that space before the recipe is done.
  5. Add the onions to the hot oil. Stir fry them for about one minute. They will begin to brown, slightly.
  6. Divide the steak into two batches and add the first one to the skillet with the onions. Stir fry and move the steak around to separate the individual strips and get them seared. Move cooked pieces to the outside edges of the skillet, while pulling raw strips into the center to cook.
  7. When the first batch is done, move the steak and onions to a plate. Add a little more oil to the skillet and stir fry the second batch of steak strips in the same way as the first.
  8. Now, that all the steak is cooked, get it all back in the skillet.
  9. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir to combine and cook for about 30 seconds to start cooking off the raw taste and melding the flavors. Keep stirring through this so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  10. Add the bell pepper strips and stir them to combine with the steak. Continue cooking and stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bell pepper strips are heated through, tender-crisp and vibrant in color. (If you like the peppers softer, you can cook them longer. It’s a matter of personal preference.)
  11. When the bell peppers are hot, pour the soy sauce/cornstarch mixture into the skillet and stir continuously to avoid sticking. After 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, the sauce will begin to thicken. As you continue cooking, it will cling to the steak and peppers. There will be very little sauce in the bottom of the skillet.  If you like yours with extra sauce, double the sauce recipe.
  12. Serve.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Main Dish, Beef, Asian
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Asian-American