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{Recipe} Beef with Black Pepper Sauce | Yi Reservation

Beef In Black Pepper Sauce + Giveaway (CLOSED)

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Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉

Despite lingering summer heat in the past week, I can smell the cool, crisp, and dry air of fall approaching. That means when it’s chilly out, I get to spend more time in my kitchen to cook up interesting dishes such as today’s delicious Stir-Fried Beef with Black Pepper Sauce 黑椒炒牛肉 from my friend chef Kian Lam Kho’s exciting new cookbook Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees – winner of IACP Julia Child First Book Award.

Before I jump into the recipe, I’d like to remind everyone that the Mid-Autumn Festival is just days away (9/15/16 to be exact). While I am not giving out homemade mooncakes this year (sorry!), I am partnering with Anolon to give away a bundle of Kitchen Goodies valued at over $200 as part of the Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees Mid-Autumn Festival Blog Feast (YAY!).

More giveaway details can be found right after today’s step-by-step recipe but essentially one lucky winner will receive a copy of Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking AND a 12” Copper Stir Fry Pan AND a 10” Cast Iron Braiser.
Free Anolon-Nouvelle-Copper-12-inch-stir-fry-pan
Nevertheless, if you are really set to make mooncakes this year, make sure you check out the Snow Skin Mooncake Recipe I shared a few weeks ago.

ABOUT Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees

I am very excited about the opportunity to talk about this book and give away a copy to a lucky reader.

Unlike many other Chinese recipe books, chef Kian’s Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees not only is a great collection of detailed traditional Chinese recipes,  but it goes much deeper by exploring the richness in Chinese culinary history and dissecting the kaleidoscope of traditional Chinese cooking fundamentals.Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉

I’ll admit that trying to cover this 300+ pages culinary journey in one blog post is undoubtedly impossible, but if you have enjoyed the content on my blog, you’ll find Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees to be one of the most practical and detailed Chinese cookbooks available. Starting by an introduction to Chinese culinary history and regional cuisines, Chef Kian goes on to present traditional Chinese kitchen tools, condiments, and basic ingredients and stock preparations.

The rest of the chapters, which constitutes a major part of the book, focus on applying a wide spectrum of techniques and flavoring profiles to over 150 very detailed recipes (including step-by-step images) ranging from easy dishes like red cooked pork belly to more laborious dishes such as Beggar’s Chicken. Whether you are looking to learn the difference between dry-fry and moist-fry or trying to perfect the soup making skills, you’ll find your answers here.

If you are interested in learning Chinese cooking or improving certainly Chinese cooking techniques, you’ll find this cookbook an excellent reference. I’d highly recommend keeping a copy of this cookbook in your kitchen.

One more thing, if you are curious to what the book title  means, in Chinese culinary lingo, “phoenix claw” represents chicken feet and “jade tree” symbolizes Chinese broccoli or gailan. While both ingredients are common to Chinese households, they are still somewhat of mysterious items to Western home cooks. And I believe this cookbook is one of the bridges that could close the gape.


Chef Kian Lam Kho is someone I highly respect. I first got to know Chef Kian through his James Beard Award nominated blog RedCook.net. His incredible knowledge in Chinese cuisine and willingness to share became my aspiration for starting my own blogging journey.

Chef Kian’s culinary resume goes way beyond RedCook. He is also a culinary instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education and the Brooklyn Kitchen. He was the consulting chefs in menu concept for restaurants such as the Lotus Blue in Soho, New York City, and the San Lio in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He appears regularly as a speaker and discussion panelist on topics surround Chinese cuisine and its history at various occasions. He is also a frequent guest chef at restaurants. His Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking is the recipient of the Julia Child First Book Award from the International Association of Culinary Professional (IACP) in 2016.

Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉


Food is an essential part of Chinese festivals and while traditional mooncakes or Snow Skin mooncakes are essential for the Mid-Autumn Festival, I’d also like to share a classic Cantonese dish Stir-Fried Beef with Black Pepper Sauce from Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees.

Featured under moist stir-fry in the cookbook, this Cantonese style beef dish is a perfect marriage between Western style peppery flavor and Asian stir-fry. As chef Kian puts it thoroughly: “in this recipe the black pepper is the star, not a bit player. It should be coarsely cracked, not grounded. This dish has an European accent as the onions, black pepper, and oyster sauce resembles the mouthwatering savory steak sauce”
Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉
I used Anolon’s 12″ Copper Stir Fry Pan (the exact pan is included in the giveaway bundle) to demonstrate this recipe. This pan presented very satisfactory results. Its ability to perfectly and evenly dissipate heat without creating a sticky mess at the bottom of the pan way exceeds my expectation. Since I received this pan a week ago I’ve already used for a handful of times. Additionally, Mrs. YR also gave her two thumbs up for how easy it is to clean this pan.

Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees Cover

If you like to braise or make stews, you’d love to check out this Anolon Cast Iron Braiser (exact braiser included in the giveaway prize bundle).

I was going to, in this post, include a red cooked pork recipe done with the braiser but since the post is getting too long I am going to share that recipe in a separate post post as well as video recipe on my YouTube channel.

But I do want to tell you that this 5-qt braiser turned my red cooked pork into chucks of tender and juicy meat candy. The spikes inside of the lid recirculate steam, elevating meats cooked inside to another level of deliciousness.
Free Anolon Cast Iron Braiser
So once again,  if you are interested in the full recipe of this red cooked pork, please stay tuned or subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss it.

Step-by-step Instruction

Stir-Fried Beef with Black Pepper Sauce

Yield: 2-3 Servings

Prep Time: 20

Cook Time: 5

Total Time: 25

Check out this absolutely delicious Stir-Fried Beef in Black Pepper Sauce Recipe with step-by-step instructions at YiReservation.com


12oz/340g beef tenderloin or other tender cuts 6 thin slices ginger 2 clove garlic, thinly sliced 1 medium onion 1tbsp black peppecorns, coarsley cracked cilantro sprigs for garnish


1tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine 1tsp soy sauce 1tsp tapioca starch/corn starch


2tbsp oyster sauce 1tbsp dark soy sauce 2tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine 1tsp sugar 1/3 cup beef stock or water 2tsp tapioca starch    


Cut the beef against the grain into 1/8 inch thick slices and cut onion into 1/8 inch thick slices.Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉 Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉 In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the beef and mix well. Let marinate for 20 minutes. Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉 Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat. Add the beef to the wok and quickly fry until the meat is about 3/4 done, about 1 minute. Remove hte beef and drain off the excess oilCantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉 Return the wok to the heat, add 2 tbsp of oil and add the ginger, garlic. Fry until aromatic or about 20 seconds.Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉 Add Onion to the wok and stir-fry until fragrant. About 30 seconds.Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉 Return the beef to the wok and add the black peppercorns. Stir-fry for about 15 seconds.Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉 Add the sauce mixture and cook until the sauce thickens. About 2 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro sprigs with a side of steamed rice.Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 黑椒炒牛肉  
Recipe adapted from Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking by Kian Lam Kho
Free Anolon cookware and Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees Cookbook

Giveaway Details

This Giveaway is sponsored by Anolon. One winner will be randomly selected to receive a grand prize package worth over $200 including:

  1. A copy of the Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking by chef Kian Lam Kho, published by Clarkson Potter.
  2. One Aonlon 12″ Stir Fry Pan featuring Anlon Nouvelle Copper Hard-Anodized Nonstick”
  3. One Anolon 5-Qt “Vesta Cast Iron Braiser in Cobalt Blue”

Giveaway Rules

UPDATE: the giveaway has ended. The winner, randomly selected by GIVEAWAY TOOL, is Cheryl B! Congratulations Cheryl. You’ll be contacted shortly.

I’d like to thank everyone’s participation. If you don’t want to miss my next giveway (which is coming soon), please make sure you subscribe to my newsletter. Thanks.

giveaway winner

This giveaway is open to readers with U.S. mailing addresses (sorry overseas readers 🙁 )

This giveaway starts today Sunday, 9/11/16 and ends on Sunday, 10/9/16, at 11:59pm EST. One Lucky Winner will be chosen randomly at the end of the sweepstakes and winner will be announced on this page on Monday, 10/10/2016.

To enter, please simply leave a comment on this page answering the question below in red! Then confirm your entry in Giveaway Tools using your email address (see the Giveaway Tool  form below).

Question: Name a Chinese cooking technique you are interested in learning or improving upon.

Bonus Entries – to increase your chance of winning, you are more than welcome to enter into one or more of the following entries in Giveaway Tools:

  • Subscribe to Yi Reservation Newsletter (and receive Chinese New Year Cookbook for free!)
  • Visit and Like Yi Reservation on Facebook
  • Follow Yi Reservation on Pinterest
  • Follow Yi Reservation on Twitter
  • Twitter about this Giveaway on Twitter
  • Follow Yi Reservation on Instagram

I hope you enjoy today’s post. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the recipe or the giveaway.

I wish everyone good luck!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary cookbook, stir-fry pan and braiser to produce this post. However all views and opinions are my own.

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  1. 105

    Hello Yi, long time no see since the 46th floor! Hope you are very well.

    I’m trying to replicate a restaurant dish we often enjoy in Flushing and Chinatown, sizzling black pepper steak, which is often served on the cast iron plate for the sizzle. I’ll probably skip that part, but intend to make it with 2-inch cubes of flank steak which I will marinate, cook on high till seared outside/pink inside, then remove, and add into the rest at the last minute after the onions/sauce have cooked enough to thicken. The big pieces is more like what you get at the restaurants (same as Cantonese fillet steak), and should be easier to avoid overlooking, which we hate.

    Does this seem like a valid modification or should I take any other steps? Is this basically the sauce those restaurants like Jing Fong or Golden Unicorn do? I’m concerned about other recipes I’ve seen because not only do they go with the beef strips, but also, they load up the dish with sweet peppers, whereas the resto dish is all beef, onions (I’m considering adding mushrooms but probably not), and sauce.

    • 105.1

      hi Noah, great to hear from you. Yes it’s been a long time. Hope all is well with you. To answer your question, I’ve not tried the cooking method but I do think it’ll work as long as you add sliced steak to the rest of the stuff last minute and avoid overcooking. Yes the sauce is the same as the Chinatown black pepper sauce 🙂 and you can totally reduce or leave out the bell peppers to suit your own preference. Please let me know how the dish comes out 🙂

  2. 104

    We had beef with black pepper sauce when we were out for dinner in a local Shanghai style restaurant. I wanted to repeat the dish at home and used your recipe. I added a green pepper (because there was green pepper in the dish we had and I’d bought one in the market) and made a really lovely dish. Delicious!

    • 104.1

      Hi Deborah, thanks for the feedback. The addition of green pepper is a nice touch and sort of reminds me of a dish named pepper steak in some Chinese restaurants. Thanks again for checking out my blog 🙂

  3. 103

    How to make whole chicken (e.g soy chicken, wine chicken, hainanese chicken) and to cut it up (cooked) with the skin intact.

  4. 102

    I would love to get an intro on basic sauces, which ones go well together, and how to store them.

  5. 101

    Everything. Dim sum dishes

  6. 100

    Steamed fish with soy sauce and ginger. 

  7. 99

    Would love to learn a few of them. One thing I absolutely love and has become our go to when we can not decide on the lunch is Roast pork. That crispy skin, flavorful moist (not greasy) meat…undeniably one of my favorite Chinese dishes. There is definitely a process in getting the pork belly crispy and moist at the same time….and I would love to master this!

  8. 98

    I would like to learn how to make dumplings!

  9. 97

    I wanna learn to make handmade noodles/lapian! 

  10. 96

    Baking chicken wings in the oven.

  11. 95

    I’m still learning to eat with chopsticks!! But I really would love how to better my shrimp chow mein recipe.

  12. 94

    Hi Yi,

    Do you know how Chinese restaurants can make the chicken feet so plump and tender? I like to know that technique if you ever made them like restaurant quality. 

    Thank you.

  13. 93

    I would love to learn how to steam a fish. That intimidates me. Thanks!

  14. 92

    I am interested in learning how to steam the perfect Chinese rice and in making stir fry!

  15. 91

    When I had the opportunity to visit China I was treated to hand-pulled noodles in Guiyang. I would love to read and learn more about traditional Chinese noodles!

  16. 90
    Susanna Kavanaugh Reply

    I would like to learn more about traditional steamed buns and deserts.

  17. 89

    Red cooking!.. I saw the video you recently posted and im excited to try it out this weekend! thanks Yi

  18. 88

    Hello! I would like to learn about braising. Thank you.

  19. 87

    I love your recipes. They are delicious. What I need to improve is folding baozi. Even though I have been making baozi a few times now I still have difficulties folding them so they look good and not “slighlty deformed” (or as I calle it “with the personal touch” – laughter).

    Thank you for sharing your recipes with us.

  20. 86

    Foolproof rice and char siu pork!

  21. 85

    What dishes with step-by-step instructions that I can cook using the fish sauce.

  22. 84

    I would like to learn braising and improve my use of spices.

  23. 83

    Steaming. I have a bias that it’s not flavorful, but Chinese steamed recipes look delicious.

  24. 82

    Hmm…folding the dough for meatbuns. The past two times we have tried the recipe, I have never got them to look anything close to presentable. Luckily we don’t present them. Just eat them.,,,quickly.

  25. 81

    I have just recently started using a steamer and trying to cook new things. I’m very excited to learn how to make dumplings!

  26. 80

    This recipe looks so tasty, thank you for sharing it Yi! I can’t wait to enjoy all the treats this Sat  at Sarah Roosevelt Park my family just loves when I find an excuse to make a day trip to the city. 

  27. 79

    I want to learn how to cook in a wok!

  28. 78


  29. 77

    I would like to learn how to add the right amount of seasoning/spices in a Chinese dish.

  30. 76

    Feel like I understand braising techniques so I would like to improve my stir frying skills. Proper heat management and the techniques for layering in multiple ingredients and maximizing flavors.

  31. 75

    I would like to learn how to fold better dumplings! And master my stir fry skills — my food is always either too dry or too wet!

  32. 74

    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  33. 73

    I would love to be able to steam fish Chinese style correctly. Mine always comes out looking weird and not tasty at all.

  34. 72

    I would love to learn to fry. I love yang zhou fried rice but I cant seem to get it right. I am VERY VERY VERY new to cooking but it would definitely motivate me to try harder in cooking if I win this contest 😛

  35. 71

    I would really love to learn how to make my own udon noodles – with and without a noodle roller whatsit

  36. 70

    Would love to learn more about clay pots

  37. 69

    I have always wanted to create a steamed sea bass.

  38. 68

    This may seem strange, but I would love to be able to make great rice. Mine just never comes out as good as what we get at the local joint.

  39. 67

    I would like to learn to make pork dumplings

  40. 66

    Nice contest this month!  As bad as frying is generally, I have had some wonderfully light fried Chinese dishes.  I want to learn more about that.  Mine never turns out so light.

  41. 65

    I would love to learn how to make proper steamed baozi – especially how to make the right dough for the wrappers and how to pleat them. 

  42. 64


  43. 63

    I would love to learn to make chow fun with good wok hay without bits of charred fun throughout. Charred chow fun is no fun at all! 

    Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  44. 62

    Typically I simply stir fry. Most things I make taste similar…

    Braising is interesting technique I have not done very much of. Would love to see more Braising Recipes..

  45. 61

    I still have problems making crispy pork anything. I either get hard as a rock or soggy. Would love to master this as I just love crispy pork or crispy anything for that matter.

  46. 60

    I’d like to learn tea smoking. Had the best duck ever in Beijing a couple years ago at one of the Meizhou Dongpo restaurants. Outstanding elegant Sichuan cooking!

  47. 59

    I’d like to learn more about traditional seasonings and steamed foods, but I’d also like to venture into how modern Chinese cuisines interact with vegetarianism.

  48. 58

    I’m not a good cook, but I’m learning. I’ll probably start with learning to stir fry

  49. 57

    I am pretty good with the stir fry but I would like to expand my horizon’s and try some new recipes.

  50. 56

    I’d like to learn how to pan fry frozen dumplings without always coming close to burning my house down.

  51. 55

    I would like to improve my braising technique for Chinese dishes.

  52. 54

    Actually I’ve not tried steaming and want to try using that layered basket

  53. 53

    I did enjoy today’s post! That looks like a great cookbook and good choice on the recipe to feature. Since I never cook Chinese, I would just love to learn more about Chinese cooking and techniques.

  54. 52

    I want to learn to make dumplings

  55. 51

    Thank you for offering this giveaway. I could always use some improvement in my chinese stir-fry and roasting skills. I think roasting is technically a lot more intricate than stir-fry but stir-fries can be ruined so easily too.

  56. 50

    Hi, bro Yi, here wishing you and family BLESSED MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL!

    Blessings – Priscilla Poh

  57. 49

    I cannot seem to get the technique down for cooking quickly in oil..

  58. 48

    I would be interested in being able to make pot stickers — how to fold them, how to make the filling, the whole works!

  59. 47

    I want to improve my stir-frying skills. I would love to make a beautiful plate of chow fun that has that wok qi taste and without it being too oily.

  60. 46

    I would love to learn how to make pork potstickers.

  61. 45

    I just started following your blog ♡ your recipes

  62. 44

    I am interested in learning how to cook with a Wok.

  63. 43

    I’d like to learn steaming techniques.

  64. 42

    I like to learn how to bake things such as chicken, roast port and more in the oven.

  65. 41

    I would like to learn how to make Chinese dumplings and pastries! 

  66. 40

    My broth for noodle soup never comes out as flavorful as chinese noodle restaurants. I would like to get better at it

  67. 39

    Really all of it.  I’m not very well versed in Chinese cooking.

  68. 38

    I would like to learn more about braising.

  69. 37

    Would love to learn more about baking asian breads and cakes.

  70. 36

    I’d like to learn how to incorporate dried vegetables and preserved seafood into dishes.

  71. 35

    I’d like to learn how to get really good flavor into noodle soups, mine always seem a little lackluster.

  72. 34

    I would love to learn to make those steamed buns!

  73. 33

    I am interested in braising and cooking with a wok.

  74. 32

    I know zero about Chinese cooking! I really like stir-fry, so I’d like to know more about it!

  75. 31

    I would love to improve my dumpling making skills. Wonton is my absolute favorite soup!!!

  76. 30

    I would love to learn how to make Chinese pastries especially flaky egg tart.

  77. 29

    making noodles!

  78. 28

    I would love to make tastier sauces.  

  79. 27

    I would like to learn more about the braising method and stir frying.

  80. 26
    Beatrice Boschulte Reply

    Yi, I would love to learn more about stir frying , deep frying and steaming. Everything you fix looks soooooooo delicious!!!! I can’t wait to try my hand at it all!
    Best Wishes,
    The Boschulte Family 

  81. 25

    Please teach us to make pulled noodles such as

    Thank you!

  82. 24

    i want to learn how to ferment more

  83. 23

    I do stir fry almost everyday. But different ingredients or dishes might require different skills. I feel that there’s always room for improvement on that. 🙂 Thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway. Would love to win the book and the awesome cookware.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  84. 22

    I want to learn how to make noodles 

  85. 21

    i haven’t started searching yet, but i kind of want to learn to make some really awesome ramen!

  86. 20

    I would love to learn about the braising method that requires long slow cooking times, for example to make brisket (牛腩). My aunt does a method of cooking for 8 hours, resting for 8 hours, then another cooking for 8 hours. Is that necessary?

  87. 19

    I would like to learn how to  make crispy skin peking duck and the crepes that go with them. 

  88. 18

    How about tea smoking in a wok?

  89. 17

    I’d like to know about  how to use Chinese herbs and spices to make aromatic stocks, soups and sauces. Another interest I have is learning about Chinese condiments although it is not cooking techniques. 

  90. 16

    I’d like to learn an effective stir fry cooking method using stoves we normally have at home. How do we get a good stir fry like one from Chinese restaurants without having the very intense heat that Chinese restaurants stoves have.

  91. 15

    Mastering sauces and the coating of fried items.

  92. 14

    I’m interested in velveting – so many options!

  93. 13

    Would like to learn more about stir fry techniques and how to make different sauces.

  94. 12

    Would like to know more about steaming fish. Large fish especially are challenging to not overcook.

  95. 11

    I’d like to know more about sauces, soups, and dumplings. 

  96. 10

    “Bao” wok technique

  97. 9

    I would love to learn how to make potstickers with the thin crispy layer of dough on the bottom connecting them.

  98. 8

    Love to work on better stir-frying techniques to get enough “wok heat” but not overdoing

  99. 7

    I would like to work on sauces.

  100. 6

    I would love to learn more about smoking in a wok. Thanks!

  101. 5

    Frying technique. I’m still nervous about the excess amount of oil used for cooking. What do I do with all that oil after cooking? If there is an easier way to cook food like it’s been fried, I’d like to learn about it.

  102. 4

    Would love to learn how to make traditional chinese desserts, such as pastries! 

  103. 3

    Red cooking (红烧) & pressure cooking!

  104. 2

    would love to learn more about steaming fish and vegetables


  105. 1

    mastering the sauces as seems when and how much of each is key. I try a I might I can not duplicate some of the dishes as my favorite place and then another place does not taste the same. Also when to add the sauces and the different ingredients

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