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. 01/06/2014 at 7:43 am

    I love your take-out, fake-out recipes! My take-out loving fiancé would go nuts for this. He always orders crispy beef. Julie, I don’t fry much but I have a few fried things on my bucket list to make this year!

  2. 01/06/2014 at 7:53 am

    yesss come to the dark side and fry with me lol ;) So glad you weren’t without heat for too long. That noise would’ve freaked me out.

  3. 01/06/2014 at 8:57 am

    my boyfriend is going to love this one. keep doing take out fake out please :) I had a good holidays, nothing too crazy but lot of good food and great people. Happy Monday.

  4. 01/06/2014 at 9:16 am

    Much better than takeout!

  5. 01/06/2014 at 9:18 am

    Glad you got to try this recipe! It is one of my favorites. Hope you’re feeling refreshed in the new year! I took a bit of a break too and it has done wonders.

  6. 01/06/2014 at 10:31 am

    OMG I LOVE THIS. I can’t wait to make it.

  7. 01/06/2014 at 10:56 am

    You have me drooling over here! this is better than take out!!

  8. 01/06/2014 at 11:03 am

    This will be happening on Friday night (instead of ordering out!)

  9. 01/06/2014 at 11:11 am

    Julie this jumped off the page on Pinterest this morning and sounds even more delicious upon reading. Love it and pinned it! Happy New Year!

  10. 01/06/2014 at 12:00 pm

    What I wouldn’t give for a big bowl of this right now! OMG!

  11. 01/06/2014 at 12:27 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious Julie… holy moly.

  12. 01/06/2014 at 12:40 pm

    Better than takeout and I can stay in my PJs!

  13. 01/06/2014 at 1:16 pm

    Oh man I’m loving this take out fake out meal. I can’t wait to see what blog changes you are making.

  14. 01/06/2014 at 2:42 pm

    I can’t wait to hear about the upcoming changes! Stay-in, take-out is the best!

  15. Christa Lahue
    01/06/2014 at 2:50 pm

    Can you do the same process with chicken?

    • 01/07/2014 at 8:35 am

      Hi Christa, you probably could but I’m not positive it would turn out the same. Smaller strips of chicken might get too dried out during the frying process, however, it really doesn’t hurt to try! Good luck and if you do try it with chicken, please let me know how it goes!

    • Karen
      02/22/2014 at 11:33 pm

      America’s Test Kitchen has an Orange Chicken recipe that’s similar to this that is SPECTACULAR!! Just go to your local library or Barnes & Noble to the cookbook section, and look through the fat white Cook’s Country cookbook until you find it. They have a handy index in the back, of course. I’m pretty sure it’s in that cookbook, but if not, it will definitely be in one of the others. We have a bunch of their cookbooks so I can’t always keep them straight! haha

  16. 01/06/2014 at 2:58 pm

    This is one of my absolute favourite meals to make at home! It’s so full of flavour and so much better than the take out versions; can’t wait to give your recipe a try lovely!

  17. 01/06/2014 at 3:23 pm

    I love making take-out at home – so much easier and healthier! And this crispy beef looks amazing! Friday nights are our usual take-out nights but we’ll have to skip that and make this instead!

  18. 01/06/2014 at 5:14 pm

    What a great dinner! Love your take out fake out dishes!! Looks delish!!!

  19. 01/06/2014 at 6:31 pm

    I’m drooling and really wish this was on my dinner plate tonight. It looks amazing!

  20. 01/06/2014 at 7:59 pm

    I’m the biggest meat eater ~ my kinda meal!!

  21. 01/07/2014 at 12:14 am

    I love a good take out fake and this would surely not disappoint!! Such a good looking meal!

    Glade you enjoyed your break!!

  22. This will be made very soon. I can almost smell it. Yummy.

  23. 01/07/2014 at 10:54 am

    This looks amazing and love that added spice in there as well! Must try!

  24. 01/07/2014 at 11:31 am

    Mmm! Sounds and looks heavenly!
    Happy New Year Julie!

  25. 01/07/2014 at 12:27 pm

    This crispy fried beef looks AMAZING! Yum yum. Glad you took a nice break over the holidays. It’s nice to “unplug”. I got to go skiing in Tahoe over Christmas, it was gorgeous. Can’t wait to see this “facelift” to your blog you’re referring too. Fun!

  26. 01/07/2014 at 12:28 pm

    I think I need this to refuel from my next barre workout! I’m still powering through that video. It’s killing me! And I am all for end-of-year breaks from blogging. So glad you’re back in the swing of things :)

  27. 01/07/2014 at 2:23 pm

    Wonderful recipe !
    I really love this kind of food

  28. 01/07/2014 at 2:44 pm

    We had Panda Express right around the corner from us when we lived in Chicago, but I never tried it! Now that we don’t have it anymore, I’ll definitely have to give this recipe a go. :)

    Can’t wait to see the big changes!! You have me in suspense!! xoxo

  29. 01/07/2014 at 3:33 pm

    This crispy beef sounds tasty!

  30. 01/07/2014 at 4:38 pm

    This dish is right up my hubby’s alley. Looks super!

  31. 01/07/2014 at 6:30 pm

    This looks incredible, and 100x better than take out!

  32. 01/07/2014 at 10:22 pm

    This looks amazing, Julie! My Hubby would love this take-out fake-out!

  33. 01/08/2014 at 10:50 am

    Hey!! First of all, I am new to your blog and I love it!! I have so many things bookmarked!! Second, I am such a sucker for good Asian food at home. It’s hard to find something with the crispy texture of takeout and the identifiable, clean flavors you get from making it at home from scratch. This looks like it fits the bill!!! Can’t wait to try it!! Cheers!!

    • 01/09/2014 at 8:54 am

      Welcome to the blog! Great to have you here, Kate! If you make this, I hope you enjoy it and try out some more recipes :)

  34. 01/08/2014 at 1:57 pm

    This looks ten times better than take out! Yum! You’ve got me drooling

  35. Rosemary
    01/08/2014 at 9:31 pm

    These turned out great! I didn’t have an actual orange on hand so I used some orange juice concentrate in the freezer (usually used for making orange chicken) and i think it was just as good.

    • 01/09/2014 at 8:51 am

      I’m so glad this worked out for you, Rosemary! I hope you enjoyed it :)

  36. 01/11/2014 at 11:21 am

    Oh.My.Word. I need this in my life! Beautiful photos!! Pinning :)

  37. 01/16/2014 at 2:38 am

    Thanks so much for sharing. I can’t wait to try. If I had an orange I’d be doing this for tea tonight!

    • 01/16/2014 at 8:54 am

      I hope you try it soon, Steph! Enjoy.

  38. 02/09/2014 at 1:22 am

    Even though I`m Chinese, I seriously LOVE these Americanized Chinese dishes!! Must be because I`m an ABC and I`m totally loving this! :D

  39. Mandy Howard
    04/11/2014 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Julie, I’m new to your blog but am already sure that I’m going to be visiting often!! Found you googling for an easy cheese sauce recipe for my broccoli tonight. So happy to have found you! The recipe for crispy beef is going on my bucket list for sure! My son is a serious at home chef (he grew up in the kitchen with mom trying every recipe under the sun…LOL) so I pinned this one as Asian food is one of our favorites to make together. I know he’ll be visiting your site too! His name is Josh. Can’t wait to see what changes are coming. Thanks for a spectacular site that feels like “home”.

    • Julie
      04/12/2014 at 11:39 am

      I’m so glad you found me and that my blog feels like “home” to you!! :) I hope you enjoy the recipes on here! xoxo

  40. 05/05/2014 at 2:22 am

    mmmmmmmmm delicious another one to add to my list of recipes to do

  41. Sarah
    05/13/2014 at 3:18 pm

    Would this be good cooked in advance and warmed up?

    • Julie
      05/13/2014 at 10:05 pm

      If you don’t mind the crust being a little soft and soggy, then absolutely!

  42. 05/20/2014 at 3:01 pm

    My mum is a HUGE fan of the takeout, so I’ll try making this at home! Looks glorious! <3

  43. Kathy Kendall
    09/08/2014 at 1:33 pm

    I saw this posted on Pinterest with the tag line “Gluten Free”. I don’t think it is with the soy sauce. So I wandered over to your page and am happy to see you don’t have it tagged that way. Also, I got intrigued and now want to look at a lot more of your recipes.

    • Julie
      09/08/2014 at 9:16 pm

      I don’t have enough knowledge for anything gluten-free so sometimes when I make dishes that ARE gluten-free, I don’t even know, haha – anyway, yeah this recipe isn’t gluten free but I thought you could get gluten-free soy sauce so then this would be gluten free? Regardless, enjoy the recipes on the blog!

  44. Stan
    01/01/2015 at 7:19 pm

    Although the pictures are appetizing this dish is WAY better when devoured! I’m adding this to my all-star “Asian roster” recipes (sesame noodles, shrimp fried rice, and hot/sour soup). So delicious. The fact that molasses was an ingredient gave me an opportunity to open the 5? yr. old jar sitting unused way back in the pantry. Thank you so much. I’d encourage others to try this. Next time I’m going to use pork. That would probably be good too.

    • Julie
      01/04/2015 at 6:17 pm

      Awesome – I’m so glad this turned out for you and you enjoyed it with your tweaks!

  45. 02/08/2015 at 12:13 pm

    A local cook used to serve exactly this over fresh cold lettuce (iceberg actually)…it is absolutely delicious that way… me…

  46. susan
    02/10/2015 at 10:29 pm

    This was dinner tonight and everyone loved it. Thank you!

    • Julie
      02/11/2015 at 9:40 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed it!

  47. Marty
    02/27/2015 at 12:07 pm

    Your recipes are good but your site isn’t. I had to fight like 90 just to get a recipe. I almost gave up. I’m not telling you this to find fault, I’m telling you this so maybe it can be fixed and you don’t lose future viewers like you almost lost me. Thanks.

    • Julie
      02/27/2015 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Marty, could you clarify? What do you mean you had to “fight like 90?” 90 what?

  48. Jim Hill
    04/10/2016 at 7:01 pm

    Great recipe! I’m a little confused by the NOTES at the end, that say, “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.”

    Were there supposed to be photos showing this equipment?

    • Julie
      04/10/2016 at 7:57 pm

      Sorry, when I changed recipe plugins, I guess it didn’t bring the links over. I linked to the ones I used. You can see what I mean in the notes section now :) thanks for asking!

      • Jim Hill
        04/10/2016 at 9:49 pm

        Thank you for your prompt reply! I have added those items to my Amazon Wishlist and will buy them soon. Good tips are always appreciated! Best wishes to you!

      • Julie
        04/11/2016 at 6:01 am

        You’re welcome and thanks again for pointing it out! :)

  49. Joan Teitelman
    05/13/2016 at 9:01 pm

    When your guy asks for 2nds, gives you a big thank you and says: “That was delicious!”….you can say that dinner was a success.

    That’s why this is the 3rd time I’ve made this. Crockpot for 4 hours. Added a bit more cornstarch in the end and put fresh broccoli in about 5-7 minutes before the end of the extra 30 minutes.

    A break also because it’s so easy.

    Who could ask for morer? Thank you!


  50. Joan Teitelman
    05/14/2016 at 10:03 am

    Julie – Question. Can you suggest another one or two of your absolute favorite entrees? I’d like to try them. (And, yes, I know that you have a section on “best” recipes) – but … can you help here?

    Your beef and broccoli makes me look like a champ – and something I’d consider making for company (and I don’t normally make Crockpot meals for guests.).


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