Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce with Sichuan Peppercorns

A super tasty and quick recipe for Chinese Orange Beef with Sichuan peppercorns. Made in less than 30 minutes!
Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce
Beef in Orange Sauce
Beef in Orange Sauce

Here’s another classic: Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce. Chinese New Year is just around the corner, only 3 days to go, so I thought I’d squeeze in another recipe that This would be perfect if you’re planning a Chinese New Year menu or if you just fancy some Chinese this weekend!

I think it’s one of my late husband’s favourite Chinese recipes, but don’t quote me on that! I love making this Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce because it satisfies all of one’s cravings – its orange flavoured sauce is rich, a little sweet, sour and salty, epitomising, in my opinion, Sichuan cuisine.

On top of that, the orange peel adds just a hint of bitterness, the merest of suggestions, to add yet another layer of flavour to the dish. And then, we have the Sichuan peppercorns, adding one more dimension, this time giving you a slight tingling sensation on the tongue as you savour every mouthful! If you like, you can even add red chillies to make it spicy which I sometimes do and have given as an option here.

Sichuan Peppercorns
Sichuan Peppercorns

Sichuan Peppercorns

Their claim to fame is their mouth numbing characteristic; you get a tingling sensation on your tongue which sets the stage for the typically spicy dishes found in Sichuan cuisine. 

Click here to read more about them.

Dried or Fresh Chillies?

Dried chillies impart a deeper, earthier flavour, so they work better here, in keeping with the depth of the sauce. If you want your dish to be spicy, cut up or slice your chillies but if you’d like just a hint of heat, leave them whole as the heat of the chillies is found within the chilli, on the white part, the membrane.

This is a really quick and easy recipe, even getting the ingredients together doesn’t take long. You start of with marinating the beef for 20-30 minutes, then it’s just a 5 minute job of cooking the beef. That means the cut of beef is important; we need something that will cook quickly.

Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce

What cut for Beef in Orange Sauce?

Because the cooking time is very brief, we need tender cuts of beef that require minimum cooking. Tender cuts come from the middle – the rib and loin – as these are support muscles that have less connective tissue because they get less exercise.

What’s perfect for this recipe?

  • Sirloin – lean and boneless, great for all quick cooking, my favourite but maybe not for stir-fries, what a waste to mess with greatness!
  • Rib Eye – probably with the most flavour but fattier
  • Fillet Steaks – very lean and tender
  • Rump Steaks – firmer but full of flavour
  • Feather Steaks – taken from the blade, not as well known and are relatively inexpensive. I quite like these, you get flavour without the price tag
Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce

How to Serve Beef in Orange Sauce?

With plain steamed white rice. As is. Unadorned. The white rice absorbs and highlights the multifaceted constitution of this recipe the best.

But, if you like your egg fried rice, by all means, that’ll work too! It makes the perfect side dish in any Chinese meal or even mixed with Thai or Vietnamese dishes.

More Chinese Recipes on LinsFood

Head on over to the Chinese page and the Singapore/Malaysian page for more Chinese recipes like the following:

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce

Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce

A super tasty and quick recipe for Chinese Orange Beef with Sichuan peppercorns. Made in less than 30 minutes!
5 from 18 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: beef, easy recipes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 6 (4-6)
Calories: 281kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor
Cost: £1 ($1.30) per head


  • 500 g (1.1lb) quick cook beef (see above)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or other flavourless oil
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 Tbsp sichuan peppercorns dry roasted for 2 minutes and pounded
  • 5 cm (2") fresh ginger, grated or pounded
  • rind from 2 oranges not the bitter white part
  • 2 dried Sichuan chillies or 2 fresh any red chillies of your choice
  • 3 spring onions (scallions) sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 125 ml ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil


  • 125 ml (½ cup) fresh orange juice roughly, from 2 oranges
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Marinate the beef and set aside for about 20 – 30 minutes while you get all the other ingredients ready and make yourself a cup of tea. Or coffee.
  • Heat the peanut oil in a roomy wok or frying pan on high heat.
  • Take the beef out of the marinade either just with your hand and squeezing it or by using a colander or slotted spoon. Reserve the marinade.
  • Toss the beef into the wok and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the rice wine or sherry and cook for a further 30 seconds.
  • Now add the reserved marinade along with all the other ingredients apart from the green spring onion slices and stir thoroughly.
  • Cook for a further 3 minutes and turn the heat off. The beef should just be lightly cooked. At this stage, it will still be pink n the middle.
  • Drizzle the last bit of sesame oil all over and stir through, off the heat.
  • Sprinkle with the green spring onions and serve immediately.


Use lean beef strips for a lower fat dish.


Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 549mg | Potassium: 323mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
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31 thoughts on “Chinese Beef in Orange Sauce with Sichuan Peppercorns”

  1. 5 stars
    Oh it looks so good, Lin! Nasir is a huge fan of Chinese beef stir fry and in-sauce recipes. Oranges are almost on their way out, I must make this for him real soon. This must get done quicker than ordering a Chinese takeaway! I love how you take care of everything in your posts – special ingredients, substitutes, even meat cuts.

  2. We love anything that involves beef and Chinese foods being my favorite I am in love with this delicious looking recipe right away. The combination of beef in orange sauce should taste amazing for sure to try out.

  3. Misty Dawn Nelson

    This is really look yummy! I bet my hubby would love this too. Glad you share this

  4. That looks delicious! I have never considered making something like this before, but I think it would be a fun surprise for my husband. Thanks!

  5. I love making Asian food at home. I love orange sauces, in particular, so I can’t wait to try this! Your recipe sounds great!

  6. Lhourdes Mercadero

    This dish looks so yummy. Would love to try your recipe this coming weekend.For sure they will love it!

  7. Interesting recipe! I would love to make this dish but first, I have to find out where to get those peppercorns! Love the easy to follow recipe and the short preparation time. Dinner served in less than an hour!

  8. MMmm this sounds so very tasty! I’ll have to see if I can find some of these peppercorns. Dry roasting them sounds like a great way to bring uor the flavour!

  9. love this recipe, we eat a lot of beef at home, my husband is from australia hehe. this is another recipe i can try on every weekend with the family

  10. Oh my God, that looks so good! I love Asian food in general and this looks like I’d really love it! Now I’m hungry tho O:))

  11. robin masshole mommy

    That sounds like a meal my whole family will enjoy! I am going to have to make it for them.

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