is life a recipe

Black Pepper Beef


Black Pepper Beef

This little food journey starts with a recommendation from a friend and client who is actually Cambodian – Po. Po is a fellow foodie, and was delighted to hear that I had written my cook book for charity, and of course that that was all in aid of his country folk. Especially as his family was one of those lucky enough to escape Pol Pot, when they fled to Australia. So off to Changi Road we went, to Siamese Cat Restaurant. This has now moved though – take note. In tribute here is my version of their extremely delicious Black Pepper Beef.

Black pepper beef
My version of the wonderful Black Pepper Beef dish – they kept their recipe secret so I had to make this up
Po had recommended to me to try the Assam Fish Head Curry (I recommended that to Mary and Ollie, but as you all know that is clearly not for me). Mary and Ollie gave a thumbs up after polishing off a huge snapper head so tick that box.
But my absolute signature dish of this experience, the one I order for ME, the one I am still licking my lips about now as I type this was their Black Pepper Beef. Oh yes please, they really know what they’re doing with this one folks. A must try if you happen to be anywhere near their new address of 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, The Central @ Clarke Quay #B1-11/12.
Siamese Cat's Black Pepper Beef - it's a real good one, and worth a visit...
Siamese Cat’s Black Pepper Beef – it’s a real good one, and worth a visit…
Hot, hot, hot – a very spicy little number loaded with black pepper, and I think a sneak peak of some chili padi too. Beef that just melts in your mouth – how do they do that? Sauce that literally suck to the beef, and glistened in the light – I very much doubt any MSG in there though. Theirs was fantastic. I would go back to have this, and this alone again. It really was that good – enough said!
So rising to the challenge, I took it upon myself to have a go at recreating it. Actually this is a first for me as I have never tried to do black pepper beef. It turned out pretty damn good with family Kennett all giving rave reviews. That works for me, and I now need to test it on some poor unsuspecting public at some time – ha ha!
This is more than enough for 4-6 if you serve it up with some plain white rice, and that is literally all you will need as this is VERY flavourful believe me;
  • 400g of sirloin steak that I thinly sliced and then bashed with a tenderising mallet on both sides to soften it (do this to get that melt in the mouth beef).

Marinade the beef in the following for two hours;

  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce;
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oyster sauce;
  • 2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce;
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine;
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil;
  • 1 teaspoon sugar; and
  • 1-2 tablespoons of corn starch dissolved in a little cold water (this is what will make that sauce glisten, thicken and therefore stick to the meat).

Whilst that is marinading away prepare the rest of the ingredients;

  • 1 green capsicum deseeded and cut in to chunks (not too big and not too small – have a look at my picture);
  • 1 red onion peeled and cut the same;
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped roughly;
  • 1″ of young ginger chopped roughly;
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper corns (up to you here – less to calm it, more to burn you); and
  • I also added 2 Jalapeno peppers deseeded and sliced lengthways purely to give some colour at the end.

OK this is truly all in the prep as the cooking will take about 5-10 minutes tops!!! Heat a good glug or two of oil in a wok and get it hot. Then add the beef including the marinade and let that sizzle away for a minute or two – you do NOT want to cook the beef thoroughly here, so please two minutes tops on a high heat. Off the heat and remove to a plate for later. Clean your wok with dry kitchen towel, and get ready for the next phase.

Heat another good glug of oil to hot hot, and stir fry the garlic and ginger until the wonderful aromas start wafting around and they look a little sweated down. Throw in the capsicum, onion and pepper and sweat them down. You want these to retain some crunch in this dish, so please no over cooking and certainly not burning. So again two minutes should be fine.

Throw in the beef again and stir fry all together for another two minutes. You are done. The sauce should be thick and sticky (if not add a little more dissolved corn starch). Taste test to feel the heat – add more black pepper if you feel it needs it. Stir in the red and green capsicum for some colour balance and serve up folks. There it is Black Pepper Beef.

A great dish. It was seriously delicious. Salty, sweet, spicy all at the same time – just how I love it. Not far from the Siamese Cat Restaurant version, so I am quite proud of it. I hope you become proud of your attempt too. You really should have a go at this one. My Black Pepper Beef. ENJOY!

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