Thai Beef With Onions, Peppers and Pad Thai Noodles

Often Asian cuisines, such as Thai versus Chinese,  have many of the same ingredients like ginger  or soy sauce. Also, there are some ingredients that set them apart. Like tamarind (it’s the secret ingredient of Pad Thai) or Thai long chiles.

In this recipe I have used a number of typical Thai ingredients such as tamarind, lime, soy sauce, red chili paste, ginger, palm sugar – even the noodles are Pad Thai. Sometimes it’s hard to find the exact ingredients such as birds eye chiles but there are substitutes you can use such as hatch or arbol. Or maybe you just want to use peppers you can eat and not use just for flavor.

I’ve used the velveting technique where I have coated the beef with a cornstarch/sherry (or rice wine)  slurry to keep the meat supple as it cooks on high heat in my wok. I’m not sure if this is done often in Thai cooking. The meat was so tender and with the sauce and starch from the creamy noodles and pasta water  the dish was absolutely delicious.

Thai Beef With Onions, Peppers and Pad Thai Noodles

  • 12-16 oz. Pad Thai rice noodles or linguine
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. dry sherry or rice wine
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. palm sugar, packed or you can substitute light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. roasted red chili paste or a few dashes red chili oil
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lime or use 1 tbsp. tamarind paste (lime is milder and results in a lighter colored sauce)
  • 1 lb. flank steak (freeze for 1 hour for easier slicing), sliced very thin against the grain
  • 2 tbsp. palm or canola oil (did you know Thai cuisine rarely uses peanut oil?)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • I used jalapeno, hot green Anaheim and sweet red Italian frying peppers, cut into strips/or pieces – use Thai long chiles or birds eye chiles for more of an authentic dish
  • garnish with Thai basil or lemon basil (I only had regular basil)

Cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain and save at least 1 cup of the pasta water.

Mix the soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, brown sugar, ginger, chili paste or oil, garlic and the juice of half of the lime. Pour a third of the marinade into a bowl with the sliced beef and toss to coat; marinate for a few hours. Reserve the rest of the marinade to use in the sauce.

Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a wok or large skillet. When hot, throw in the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the peppers and  stir-fry for a minute tossing until the peppers are slightly cooked. Remove the veggies to a bowl.

Add the remaining tbsp. of oil to your wok. Add the meat and stir-fry for a minute or so, turning once.  Then add the onions and peppers back into the skillet and reduce the heat. Pour in the remaining marinade and  simmer for a few minutes, until slightly thickened.

Add half of the noodles to the stir-fry. Toss and add more noodles as desired. Stir in some of the pasta water if needed to thin the sauce.

Garnish with Thai basil and some fresh lime juice (optional).

Recipe from

Linking to Fiesta Friday #186.


26 thoughts on “Thai Beef With Onions, Peppers and Pad Thai Noodles

  1. The dish looks amazing Aunt Juju. Lots of lovely flavours.I guess I can skip the wine though. Hope it doesn’t make much difference to the dish.


  2. Note to myself: DO NOT GO THROUGH THE READER around lunch time. My tummy is so hungry right now, I can only imagine what these wonderful bold flavors would bring. Lovely!


  3. Wonderful. I get a lot of the cuisines mixed up, because I don’t make a lot of any of them, but I’m with you. I do not eat at Chinese restaurants. Unless I’m in Chinatown!


  4. There’s just something so special about meat that’s been cooked with cornstarch…the texture is just so dreamy! Happy Fiesta Friday! – Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck – Colleen


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