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Beef in Oyster Sauce

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What is beef in oyster sauce?

Beef in oyster sauce is a popular Chinese dish that features sliced beef stir-fried with oyster sauce and other ingredients. The dish typically includes vegetables and you can add those you like or are in season. The oyster sauce adds a rich, savoury, and slightly sweet flavour to the beef, enhancing its taste.

My version of beef in oyster sauce will get you restaurant quality results every time.

Beef in oyster sauce.

What exactly is oyster sauce

Oyster sauce is made from oysters, soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings, creating a thick and flavourful sauce. The combination of tender beef, crisp vegetables, and the umami-rich oyster sauce makes this dish a delicious and savoury option in Chinese restaurants. It’s often served simply with rice or noodles.

When purchasing oyster sauce, be sure to look for brands that state oysters as the main ingredient.

Why do you add MSG to this dish?

MSG has a bad name but studies have shown that it is not as bad as once thought. You will find that adding MSG gives the dish an amazing flavour boost but it is optional. Your beef in oyster sauce will still be delicious if you leave it out.

Which cut of beef do you use and how is in prepared?

For stir fry dishes like beef in oyster sauce, I prefer to use skirt steak. This cut has a lot of flavour and really makes the dish. You could use other cuts of beef as well but if you can get skirt steak, use it. Other popular choices are beef chuck, sirloin, rump and ribeye.

Before adding tougher cuts like skirt steak to a stir fry, you might want to tenderise it which can be done using my velveting beef method. It is also important to slice it thinly against the grain. All is explained here.

What vegetables are best in beef in oyster sauce?

This is a very simple stir fry. You want to add both flavour and colour when adding vegetables. Popular choices are bell peppers, onion, peas, mushrooms, bean sprout or whatever sounds good to you on the day.

How long can you keep this dish in the fridge?

You can keep it, covered tightly in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat it, simply heat up your wok and heat it through over a medium flame. You can also heat it in your microwave for convenience but the wok method works best.

Can you freeze the leftovers?

Yes and beef in oyster sauce can be frozen for up to 6 months. If you decide to freeze it, be sure to freeze it in portion sizes that are convenient for you.

It is worth noting that the texture of the vegetables will not be as nice after freezing. Sometimes I take the vegetables out and then add fresh vegetables when I reheat it.

Pro tips:

  1. When using tougher cuts of meat like skirt steak, you should take the time to velvet it first. You could use more expensive cuts such as ribeye which does not need to be tenderized.
  2. Fry the meat over a really high heat. You want your wok to be smoking hot before adding it which will give the meat a nice, smoky flavour.
  3. Only add the freshest vegetables you can get your hands on.


Step by step photographs.

Ingredients laid out for the recipe.

Get all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. It is a good idea to slice and tenderise the meat before starting.

Slicing the meat.

Slice the meat thinly against the grain. You can use it like this or use my velveting method to tenderise it.

Frying the marinated meat.

Marinate the beef and then fry it over a high heat in a little oil in your wok. When charred and cooked through, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Frying the spring onions (scallions), ginger and garlic.

Frying the spring onions (scallions), garlic and ginger.

Frying the vegetables in the wok.

Add the sliced onions fry for about 3 minutes. Then stir in your other vegetables of choice. If using MSG, add it to the vegetables now.

Adding the sauce ingredients.

Pour in the sauce ingredients and give it all a good stir or two.

Adding the sauce ingredients.

Pour in the sauce ingredients and give it all a good stir or two. Bring it all to a simmer and stir in the slurry to thicken.

Returning the sliced beef to the wok.

Return the fried beef to the wok.

Stirring the beef into the sauce and vegetables.

Stir the beef into the sauce and vegetables. Try it and adjust the spicing to taste.

Beef in oyster sauce.

Divide the beef in oyster sauce between four bowl and serve with rice or noodles.

Holding a piece of the beef with chopsticks.

Dig in!

If you like this beef in oyster sauce, you might like to try some of these Chinese takeaway favourites too:

I am currently updating my blog with the most popular Chinese takeaway recipes so be sure to check back often for new recipes. There are a lot on the way!

    1. Bang Bang Chicken
    2. Peking Duck
    3. General Tso’s Chicken
    4. Crispy Chicken and Broccoli
    5. Salt and Pepper Chicken
    6. Sesame Chicken
    7. Sweet and Sour Chicken
    8. Kung Pao Chicken
    9. Dan Dan Noodles
    10. Orange Chicken
    11. Hainan Chicken
    12. Spicy Chicken Chow Mein
    13. Mongolian Beef
    14. Chinese Crispy Beef
    15. Egg Drop Soup
    16. Spicy Won Ton Soup
    17. Egg Fried Rice
    18. Potstickers
    19. Bam Bam Chicken
    20. Shrimp Rangoon
    21. Black Bean Noodles
    22. Chinese Chicken Curry
    23. Deep Fried Green Beans

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Yield: 4

Beef in Oyster Sauce

beef in oyster sauce

You can use whatever vegetables you like in this beef in oyster sauce recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 400g flank steak (thinly sliced against the grain)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp light brown sugar
  • A pinch of white pepper
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) or corn or peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger, minced
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly slice and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly slice and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large handful sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp MSG (optional and to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 spur chili, thinly sliced, to garnish
  • 3 tbsp spring onions (scallions) thinly sliced to garnish


  1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the meat and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 4 hours. If you're in a real rush, just go strait to cooking.
  2. While the beef is marinating, you can make the sauce. In another mixing bowl, whisk the stock, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and white pepper together and set aside.
  3. When ready to cook, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking hot. Add the meat and sear it for about 3 to 5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer the fried beef to a plate and set aside.
  4. Heat your wok over high heat until lightly smoking, and add the remaining oil and then add the garlic, ginger and spring onions (scallions). Fry for about 30 seconds to soften.
  5. Now stir in the sliced onion and fry for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Then add the remaining vegetables and fry to cook through. You want them to still be a bit crisp as they will continue to cook when you add the sauce. If you are adding MSG, add it now and stir it in.
  6. Stir in the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. As the sauce is coming to a simmer, mix the cornflour (cornstarch) and water and drizzle it in to thicken the sauce.
  7. Return the fried beef to the wok and stir well to combine. Try it and adjust the flavours to taste, adding salt and pepper to taste if needed.
  8. Garnish with the thinly sliced spur chilies and thinly sliced spring onions (scallions).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 595Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 2386mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 42g

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