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Sweet and Tangy Chilli Beef

I love deep-fried crispy chilli beef but deep-frying is not always healthy. So I have come up with a light but tasty alternative that cooks the beef in a fast and furious way – on the wok! It is seasoned with some dried chilli spices and then placed on a bed of baby spinach leaves and dressed with a delicious sweet and tangy dressing.

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  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil

  • 250g/9oz fillet of beef, cut into thin 5mm/1/4 inch strips

  • 1 teaspoon Shaoshing rice wine or dry sherry

  • 1 pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes

  • 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce

  • 1 pinch of ground white pepper

  • 1 large handful of baby spinach leaves, washed

  • 2 heads of pak choy, green stem variety, washed and sliced

  • 1 small mango, peeled, stoned and finely diced

  • For the sweet and tangy dressing

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 4 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoon orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon groundnut oil

  • 2 teaspoon caster sugar

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/3 cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and very finely chopped

  • 1 medium green chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped


  • 1.

    To make the sweet and sour dressing, combine the light soy sauce, lemon juice, orange juice, groundnut oil, caster sugar and honey into a bowl. Whisk to make the dressing and then add the very finely chopped cucumber and chilli. Stir and set aside.

  • 2.

    Heat a wok over high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the beef into the wok and stir quickly. Add the rice wine or sherry and cook for a few seconds.

  • 3.

    Add the crushed dried chilli flakes, light soy sauce and pinch of ground white pepper. Cook to your preference – a minute longer for well done or less than a minute for medium.

  • 4.

    Dress the serving plates with some baby spinach leaves and sliced pak choy. Spoon some of the chilli beef in the middle and the spoon generous amounts of the dressing over the top and sprinkle over some finely diced mangoes and serve immediately.

  • Tip: You could use tail end of fillet for a less expensive cut.:



  • To help vegetables cook in the wok, add a splash or two of water to help create some “steam” whilst stir frying.

  • Use msg free products where possible.

  • Groundnut oil can be substituted with vegetable oil, sunflower oil or corn oil.

  • A large number of dishes can be adapted to suit vegetarians. Look out for where you can substitute the meat for tofu or vegetables and use vegetarian sauces.

  • Use low sodium soy sauce where possible
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