Take-Out, Fake-Out: Crispy Beef


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 ;)

Take-Out, Fake-Out: Crispy Beef
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

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!

Servings: 4
  • 1 1/2 pounds stir fry steak slices or sirloin steak cut into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick, pre-sliced
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 medium-sized navel orange
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger (or substitute 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 scallions, chopped (for garnish)
  • 4 cups or 1 quart of canola oil, for frying
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When ready, heat up a canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a dutch-oven, to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Set up a large plate lined with two layers of paper towels.
  5. 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 :)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

There are affiliate links within this post.


Posted on January 06, 2014

dinner for two by julie wampler



Perfect for: singles & couples, newlyweds, empty-nesters, college students, YOU!


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  1. Joan Teitelman
    05/14/2016 at 8:21 pm

    Julie – Thanks so much for responding. I will be trying these recipes in the next few weeks. I see that not only you…but your fans…are loving these! And I’m always looking for something new to do with chicken so I can’t wait.

    Really appreciate your help…and so will my husband …especially after your incredible beef and broccoli. :)

  2. Lisa
    08/05/2016 at 1:16 pm

    I would love to be added to your website ty

    • Julie
      08/06/2016 at 7:30 am

      Do you mean an email subscription?

  3. Holly N @ Spend With Pennies
    08/24/2016 at 10:24 am

    We made this for dinner last night with a side of steamed broccoli and rice. It was delicious, crispy and had tons of flavor! Great recipe, it’ll be a regular in our rotation!

    • Julie
      08/24/2016 at 3:21 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this!

  4. Taunia
    09/06/2016 at 9:33 pm

    Just came across your recipe tonight and tried it for dinner – it was delicious! Just a couple notes from my experience: 1) I had no molasses, so I used brown sugar instead. Worked out great! 2) I also ended up doubling the amounts for the sauce because I added pepper and onion strips for veggies and we also like extra for the rice. Doubling gave us just enough sauce for that.

    Super-easy to make. Love this recipe – thanks! :)

    11/11/2016 at 10:00 am

    Thank you for your delicious recipes
    I so enjoy them

  6. Joan M
    12/24/2016 at 10:49 am

    Hi, Julie- We love your slow cooker beef and broccoli and this looks fantastic too.

    Question – Have you ever tried this in anew air fryer? I’m thinking about getting one by Phillips to cut out or down on oil for healthier meals. I’d love to make this…but hubby’s dietary needs have changed.

    • Julie
      12/24/2016 at 12:58 pm

      Hi! I’m glad you all love my slow cooker beef and broccoli! Unfortunately, no, I haven’t tried the crispy beef recipe in an air fryer. Sorry!

  7. Steve Leworthy
    01/29/2017 at 7:45 am

    Living in the UK i use UK equivalents. So, 6 tbsp on corn starch equates to 6 tbsp (table spoons?) of corn flour.
    Really? I mean, thats super crazy. Even quarter of that amount would result in a thick sticky gloop.
    Even 6 tea spoons is rediculous.

    This recipe looks awesome, but what am i missing here? Something is obviously not right.

    Thank you

    • Julie
      01/29/2017 at 8:03 am

      I don’t believe you are missing anything. It honestly works the way its written. The 6 tbsp. of cornstarch/corn flour is for 1 1/2 pounds of sliced beef; it’s quite a lot of beef. It’s sprinkled on top of the beef to coat it and tossed with the beef…so a good amount of it falls off anyway. I’m being generous in 6 tbsp. to make sure it’s all coated. If you think it’s far too much, please reduce and find what measurement works for you! Start with perhaps 1 tbsp?

      • Steve Leworthy
        01/29/2017 at 8:09 am

        Thank you for the reply.

        Even so, maybe the UK equivalent of cornstarch being corn flour is wrong. They must be different.

        Thank you again.

    • Karen
      01/30/2018 at 1:50 pm

      I live in the UK as well. Perhaps you are thinking the cornstarch goes into the sauce. The cornstarch is to coat the beef before frying. After coating, frying and adding the beef to the sauce, there will be no gloop.

  8. HoneyBadger
    03/08/2017 at 11:11 am

    My Wife sent me this recipe and we both loved it.

    I should have read through the directions more carefully and not just the ingredients before making this on a work night after shopping, Skipped the freezer/drying step but it didn’t in any way diminish the crispness of the beef.

    The thing about making this at home is we didn’t feel horrible the next morning unlike after eating americanized Chinese food out. Most low cost takeout places use the cheapest meats and other ingredients but at home you have the option to use good quality and it pays off!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  9. Anne Peniston
    04/02/2017 at 1:45 pm

    I love your recipes! Please be careful about labeling dishes gluten-free. Soy sauce is not gluten-free unless labeled as such. Thank you! Anne

    • Julie
      04/02/2017 at 9:14 pm

      Hi! I didn’t label this recipe as gluten free and I don’t believe I claimed it as such. If you’re coming over from pinterest, Pinterest has a horrible labeling system. They have labeled recipes as dairy free when there is clearly milk in it.

  10. Shawn McKeever
    02/15/2018 at 10:22 pm

    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.

  11. Erin windblad
    02/16/2018 at 10:35 am

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

    • Julie
      02/17/2018 at 8:56 am

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

  12. Tracy Jackson
    03/12/2018 at 10:12 pm

    This looks delicious! I’m looking forward to preparing this. 😀

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