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Take-Out, Fake-Out: Crispy Beef

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If part of your New Year’s resolutions is to eat better by going out to eat less, then you should try this Take-Out, Fake-Out: Crispy Beef! It’s easy to prepare and has loads of delicious flavor. You won’t miss take-out!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

Hello there! Seems like I have been gone for ages. Or at least, I feel like I’ve been gone for ages! I’ve been around, but just haven’t quite gotten the motivation to start up with the blog again until now :) it was a nice break. I think I need to do it often – and I know I say that a lot but it’s really nice to just refresh yourself and not churn out content all the time. I was feeling a bit burned out by the end of December and was barely able to think of anything to write. Now that I took an extended break, I feel like I have loads to say, now! Haha, lucky you? ;)

There are some exciting new changes coming to Table for Two late this month and I seriously am having a REALLY hard time keeping my lips shut over this. The word facelift is a good allusion to what’s happening. It’s a really good thing and I get giddy thinking about all of it.

So, tell me..what’s been going on with you? How were your holidays? Did you stay in town or did you travel? What did you do for New Year’s? We kept it low-key and ate to our heart’s content at Jaleo (a José Andrés tapas restaurant) with a few friends. I think the hardest part of being off my full-time job for 10 days was going back to work and getting used to waking up at 5:45am again. The first day back at work last Monday, my alarm went off and I was in a serious daze & confusion. I was like, “WHAT. is that obnoxious noise?!”

Oh, so the coldest day of the year for the DC area so far was this past Thursday night and into Friday and our furnace decided it didn’t want to work anymore :) the motor had to be replaced the next day. Thank goodness for lots and lots of warm blankets that night!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

One of my all-time favorites when ordering take-out or going to Panda Express is getting crispy beef. I know it’s probably horrible for you but it’s like one of those “it’s so good it hurts” kind of treats to have every now and then. I really wanted to try to make it at home so when I saw a recipe for it on Joanne’s blog where she used an American Test Kitchen’s recipe, I knew I had to make it! The flavor of this homemade version have a nice orange-citrus note and has a little bit of heat from the jalapeños.

I hate frying things at home because of the oil splatter and just the amount of oil you have to use, but I’m starting to do more and more frying (is this a good or bad thing? lol) at home. It’s actually not horrible and I don’t hate it as much as I did before. Frying the crispy beef didn’t have a lot of oil splatter. I think a large part of what prevents the splattering is the way this is prepared (by freezing it for 30 minutes) and also my deep dutch-oven. Seriously, the high walls on that pot and even-heating makes frying a breeze. Haha, sounds like an advertisement but I swear it’s just cause I love my dutch-oven a tremendous amount. I want a second one since I use it every single day of my life and sometimes washing it after everything gets annoying ;)

This take-out, fake-out: crispy beef is easy enough to make at home that you won't miss take-out!

Take-Out, Fake-Out: Crispy Beef

Crispy beef is one of our favorite take-out items to order but now we can make it in the convenience of our own home!
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Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) stir fry steak slices or sirloin steak cut into thin slices, about 1/4-inch thick, pre-sliced
  • 3 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 6 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 medium-sized navel orange
  • 3 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, (or substitute 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 scallions, chopped (for garnish)
  • 4 cups (946 ml) or 1 quart of canola oil, for frying

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.


  • In a large bowl, toss beef strips in 1 tbsp. soy sauce then sprinkle cornstarch on top and toss to coat evenly. Place coated beef on a wire rack atop a baking sheet and place into freezer for 45 minutes. You'll need to do this because the freezer will dry out the surface moisture of the beef thus helping with the crispiness of the beef.
  • In the meantime, using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer zest of the orange into long strips then slicing them into thinner strips. Cut the orange in half and juice it until you get 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice.
  • Place the orange zest strips, orange juice, the remaining 2 tbsp. of soy sauce, molasses, rice vinegar, sesame oil, jalapeño slices, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • When ready, heat up a canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a dutch-oven, to 375 °F (191 °C). Set up a large plate lined with two layers of paper towels.
  • Once the fryer has reached the correct temperature, gently place 1/3 of the beef into the pot. You don't want to place all of it at once or else it'll drop the temperature too low and you don't want the beef strips to clump :)
  • Fry the beef strips for about 3 minutes. They will be a nice golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or spider strainer and place onto lined plate. Repeat until all the beef strips have been fried.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the soy sauce mixture with the orange zest strips to the pan. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat then add the fried beef strips to the pan and toss to coat evenly.
  • Serve warm over white rice and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I use this candy/frying thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil. It's really handy because it just clips onto the side of my pot!
I use this spider strainer for all my frying.
Source: Source: Cooks Illustrated via Fifteen Spatulas 


Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 436 kcal | Carbohydrates: 36 g | Protein: 38 g | Fat: 15 g | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 23 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: take out, fake out

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Recipe Rating


Saturday 25th of August 2018

Thanks for the response. It wont get soggy if fried ahead of time?


Saturday 25th of August 2018

They shouldn't; if you don't cover them in sauce or cover them (the steam would make them soggy).


Friday 24th of August 2018

i plan to make this on the weekend for a large dinner party. Wondering if i can fry an hour before and just combine with sauce just before serving? Your response would be greatly appreciated!


Saturday 25th of August 2018

Yes, definitely!

Tracy Jackson

Monday 12th of March 2018

This looks delicious! I'm looking forward to preparing this. ?

Erin windblad

Friday 16th of February 2018

Can you pan fry this? Or even oven bake?temp? Time?


Saturday 17th of February 2018

I honestly don't know. I haven't tried it that way.

Shawn McKeever

Thursday 15th of February 2018

The Crispy Beef recipe came out very good. It was a delight to everyone. The recipe was easy to follow but my prep time turned out to be a little longer. Other than that it was a very good recipe.