Our Beef with Oyster Sauce Recipe is a must-try this Chinese New Year!
Bursting with rich flavors and tender beef slices, this recipe brings the essence of a Chinese restaurant into your home.
It’s an easy recipe to make for a festive family dinner or a cozy meal with friends. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up this mouth-watering stir-fried beef dish that’s sure to impress!
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While you may prefer to skip to the recipe card, we suggest reading the entire blog post to avoid missing valuable tips and substitution suggestions and to ensure you have the necessary ingredients, equipment, and understanding of the steps and timings.
Beef with Oyster Sauce Recipe
Beef with oyster sauce is a classic Chinese takeaway dish that is super simple to make and, with less than 10 minutes of cooking time, a quick meal to enjoy any night of the week.
We first shared this beef stir fry recipe back in 2012 for our Year of the Dragon Chinese Banquet, and it is somewhat of a personal favorite!
The basic recipe is simply stir-fried beef with a sauce made with common Chinese seasonings, including soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine—and if you often cook Chinese Food, you’re likely to have them in your kitchen already.
This makes it a great dish to customize with vegetables, such as bell peppers, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, or bamboo shoots, and serve with some egg noodles or steamed white rice.
What Can I Serve with Beef in Oyster Sauce?
A simple bowl of steamed white rice or Jasmine rice compliments the rich, flavors of this dish, as does a serving of egg noodles. Serve it with a vegetable stir fry on the side.
How To Make Beef in Oyster Sauce
If you want the quick printable recipe card, scroll to the bottom of this post to print it out. But for all the tips, keep reading!
Number of Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 8 mins | Marinating: Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 13 mins
Step 1 – Gather Your Ingredients
- Beef Steak – You can make this dish with any cut of lean beef steak that you wish: ribeye, sirloin, or rump steak all work well, as does filet if your budget stretches to it. Flank steak or skirt steak are great options, especially if you are on a budget.
- Spring Onions – Also known as green onions or scallions. These are finely chopped for garnish.
- Light Soy Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- Shaoxing Rice Wine – You may find this in your local supermarket, and you will definitely find this in Asian grocery stores—it is a key ingredient in many Chinese recipes! It’s what gives Chinese food its distinctive flavor.
- Shaoxing Wine is named after its city of origin—Shaoxing—and is one of China’s oldest and most popular rice wines.
- Rice wine is alcoholic, so if this is a concern for you, you can leave it out, but this will affect the flavor profile of your homemade dumplings. Replace it with some chicken stock/broth.
- If you are unable to source Shaoxing rice wine, you can substitute it with dry sherry, Japanese Mirin, or cooking sake.
- Cornstarch – also known as Cornflour.
- Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce – This is a very popular brand of oyster sauce, but you can use any brand you wish in this recipe.
- Oyster Sauce is a thick, dark brown condiment made with oyster extracts, sugar, salt, and cornstarch.
- It is a sweet and salty condiment used in Asian cuisines, in stir fries, in marinades, and in dipping sauces.
- The oyster sauce is a key ingredient for this particular recipe, so it can’t really be substituted. You could use Hoisin sauce, but that then becomes beef in Hoisin sauce! More options on swaps you could make.
- Groundnut Oil – Also known as peanut oil, and used for stir-frying the marinated beef in this recipe.
- If allergies are a concern for you, or you can’t source this oil (another common ingredient used in Asian cuisine), you can use another type of neutral oil, such as canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil.
- Do not get this confused with sesame oil, which is for dressing and flavoring the food rather than cooking with it.
The complete list of ingredients with measurements is on the recipe card at the end of this post.
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Step 2 – Kitchen Tools
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping/Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowl
- Large Wok – You can use a Large Skillet or Nonstick Frying Pan
The Purple Pumpkin Blog uses both cups and weighted measurements in its recipes, making American cups and kitchen food scales valuable tools for trying all the recipes. We provide US customary, imperial, and metric measurements. Still, it’s important to note that while you can combine cup measurements with weighted measures, never mix US customary/imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.) with metric (kilograms, grams, liters, etc.).
Step 3 – Prepare Marinade
Place the marinade ingredients—light soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine, and cornstarch into a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set it aside.
Step 4 – Marinate Beef
Cut the beef into thick slices about 2″/5cm long and place into the bowl of marinade.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (or overnight) to marinate.
TIP! Cutting across the grain of the meat shortens the muscle fibers and makes the meat tender and easier to chew.
Step 5 – Stir-Fry Beef
Heat a wok over high heat until very hot, then add the groundnut oil. When the oil is hot and slightly smoking, add the beef to the hot wok and stir fry for 5 minutes until cooked.
Remove beef from the wok, drain, and discard oil.
Step 6 – Oyster Sauce
Reheat the wok and add the oyster sauce. Bring to a simmer and add the drained beef slices to the sauce. Stir to mix thoroughly, then transfer to a serving dish.
Garnish with spring onions, serve, and enjoy!
Storing Leftovers & Freezing
- Storing Leftovers:
- This dish is best served fresh, but if you have leftovers, cool (within 1 hour), transfer to an airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart for Cooking
- You can always consult the Food Standards Agency in your country for the most up-to-date advice on storing and freezing foods: Food Standards Agency (UK) | Food Safety (USA).
Printable Beef with Oyster Sauce Recipe Card
The printable recipe card is below. Any demonstration photos on the recipe card are not printed out to save ink.
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- 450g (1 lb) beef fillet
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsps sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tsps cornflour (cornstarch)
- 3 Tbsp groundnut (peanut) oil or vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped spring onions, to garnish
- Place the marinade ingredients—light soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine, and cornstarch into a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set it aside.
- Cut the beef into thick slices about 2"/5cm long and place into the bowl of marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (or overnight) to marinate.
- Heat a wok over high heat until very hot, then add the groundnut oil. When the oil is hot and slightly smoking, add the beef and stir fry for 5 minutes until cooked. Remove beef from the wok, drain, and discard oil.
- Reheat the wok and add the oyster sauce. Bring to a simmer and add the drained beef slices to the sauce. Stir to mix thoroughly, then transfer to a serving dish.
Garnish with spring onions, serve, and enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 687mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Dinner Party Menu Suggestions
You’ve made the main dish, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to create a menu for a dinner party or special meal: