Chinese · Fakeaways

Crispy Chilli ‘Beef’

The one dish I always used to order from the chinese was crispy chilli beef, because lets face it, where can you go wrong with deep fried food smothered in a sweet chilli sauce?!

I’ve found it pretty hard to get a clear answer from any of my local Chinese’s whether their vegetarian dishes are egg and dairy free, so I decided to try and make my own. Before going Vegan I never considered the possibility of actually cooking a homemade Chinese, and now I realise I’ve been seriously missing out. Swap egg noodles for rice noodles and the possibilities are endless, since I’ve made vegetable chow mein’s, raw and fried vegetable spring rolls, peanut satay soy skewers and five-spice seitan ribs. However my firm favourite is still crispy chilli seitan beef. This recipe has gone down well with both my vegetarian  and meat-eater friends (there’s nothing more satifying than someone trying your food and genuinely not being able to tell the difference from the meat version), and best of all it’s so simple. If you cook a bach of ‘Beef’ seitan and keep it in the fridge this meal can be put together in 20 minutes, and goes fantastically with some garlic soy Pak Choi!


Crispy Chilli Beef – Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 with rice and extras


  •  Beef seitan – double batch (2 cups of flour) (Recipe here)
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 Red onion
  • 2 Spring onions
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 1 tsp ginger puree
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Oil (I use garlic infused oil)


  • Thinly slice the seitan
  • Heat a good lug of oil in a frying pan
  • Coat the seitan in the cornflour and five-spice, ensuring all slices are evenly coated
  • Fry for 5 minutes until crispy, if it burns rather than crisps add extra oil
  • Set aside the crispy seitan
  • Add a tbsp of oil to the pan, allow to heat and then add the pepper and red onion, stir fry for a couple of minutes until soft


  • Whilst the pepper and onion are cooking mix the tomato puree, white wine vinegar, sugar, sweet chilli, onion powder together in a jug
  • Add the garlic and ginger, stir frying for 1 minute until it becomes fragrant
  • Pour the sauce mixture in, cooking for 2 minutes, until it starts to bubble
  • Add the seitan back into the pan, toss to coat thoroughly
Ensure the beef is thoroughly coated
  • I like to sprinkle some spring onions and seaseme seeds on to serve, and then scoff the lot!

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