Super crispy beef tossed with a sweet and sticky sauce – better than take out!

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When it comes to take out, I am all about the sweet sauces. There’s something seriously addictive about something sweet and sticky tossed with a super crispy meat – sadly most of the time I end up with sweet and sticky soggy meat but that’s about to change because now we can make this at home totally tweaked with crispiness galore – better than take out! πŸ™‚


Sweet and Sticky Crispy Beef


One of the most delicious ways to enjoy take out is to have it as leftovers – sometimes even cold! This recipe will not maintain the crispiness the next day BUT it won’t be soggy either! It actually has a bit of a nice chew! Make once, enjoy twice – my kinda meal.




Most ingredients can be found at a local grocery store, except for hoisin sauce and shaoxing cooking wine which can be easily found at an Asian grocery store or online.


Sweet and Sticky Crispy Beef Ingredients


For this recipe, I usually use a top sirloin steak but this can easily be substituted with flank steak or skirt steaks as well.


This recipe uses quite a bit of soy sauce in it so it is very easy to over-do the saltiness which is why I used light soy sauce (reduced sodium soy sauce). If you don’t have reduced sodium soy sauce, cut back on the amount of soy sauce by a few tablespoons and replace it with water to dilute it a bit. As always do taste tests until you get it just the way you like it πŸ™‚





Marinade & Beef Shape Tidbits

Here are a few things I like to do to ensure maximum flavour and texture!

For the marinade, I like to use a food processor to blitz everything together. It makes it more like paste which coats the beef quite nicely so each piece of beef has crazy flavour! However, I know not everyone has a food processor kicking around so you can do this by hand as well, just make sure to finely chop it or grate it. Eating chunks of ginger is not fun πŸ™‚


Sweet and Sticky Crispy Beef Preparation


How you cut the beef is totally your preference in this recipe! πŸ™‚ However, I do like to cut them into 1 cm thin strips – gives me more surface area for more crispies! Woohoo!

If your steak is more than 1 cm thick, cut the strips in half length-wise again.


Extra Crispy Beef? Yes Please!Β 

Deep Fried Crispy Beef


There are a few things I like to do to make sure the beef is as crispy as it can be:

  1. Use a Lot of Corn Starch – There is quite a bit of corn starch in the recipe – it’s intentional! To get the beef extra crispy, you will need to coat the beef twice (after it has marinated). The first time you coat the beef with 1/2 cup of corn starch you will notice that the moisture in the beef will just sop up that starch. After 10 minutes starch it again with the other 1/2 cup of corn starch and it should be nicely coated! Just keep in mind that the recipe is using 1.5 lbs of beef so cut back on the starch if you are using less beef.
    Note: After you toss the beef with starch, you might notice that the beef will clump together – not a big deal, use your fingers to separate it before frying it up.
  2. Make Sure the Oil is Hot – When you are ready to deep fry the beef, make sure the oil is hot before adding the beef in. To test if the oil is hot enough, add a small piece of beef in. It should sizzle instantly. If the oil is not hot enough the beef will end up soggy and absorb all the oil. πŸ™ To maintain a consistent hot oil, cook the beef in batches so you don’t have too many things in the pan at once dropping the temperature.
  3. Double Fry All the Thingz! – Double frying does wonders to making things extra crispy. Since the beef is cut very thinly, you only need to fry it for 1 minute the first time, and another 1 minute the second time! Quick!


Super crispy beef tossed with a sweet and sticky sauce

If you need me, I’ll be here drinking the sauce.



Sweet and Sticky Crispy Beef

  • Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-5 Servings
  • Category: Main, Asian, Takeout
  • Cuisine: Chinese, American


Super crispy beef tossed with a sweet and sticky sauce – better than take out!


  • 1.5 lbs top sirloin steak (any type of beef works – flank steak, skirt steak)
  • 1 cup corn starch (divided in half)

Beef Marinade

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4-5 slices of ginger (sliced thin, 2-3 mm)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (reduced sodium)

Sweet and Sticky Sauce

Garnish & Toppings (Optional)


Marinate the Beef

  1. Slice the steak into 1 cm wide strips and place it in a bowl. (If your steak is more than 1 cm thick, cut the strips in half again length-wise)
  2. In a food processor, blitz the onion, garlic and ginger until it is a paste. (If you do not have a food processor, you can grate them or chop it very finely by hand, just make sure the ginger bits are very tiny)
  3. Add the marinade and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to the beef and mix well and marinade it in the fridge for 1 hour (or 20-30 minutes in room temperature)

Deep Frying the Beef

  1. After the beef has marinated, dust 1/2 cup of corn starch on the beef and use your fingers to loosely coat the beef with it. Let it sit for 10 minutes
  2. While you are waiting for the meat, heat up a heavy bottom pot (or wok) set the temperature of the oil to 375F (191C) (or medium heat) and add at least 1 inch of oil and wait for it to get hot.
  3. Once the beef has sat for 10 minutes, dust the other 1/2 cup of corn starch on the beef again to lightly re-coat the beef and lightly dust off any excess starch. Deep fry it immediately.
  4. Using your fingers separate the beef if they are clumped together and deep fry it in the oil in small batches (make sure the oil is hot but not smoking – to test if the oil is hot enough, add 1 small piece of beef first and see if it instantly sizzles)
  5. Deep fry the beef for 1-2 minutes, and remove it from the pot onto a plate with parchment paper or newspaper.
  6. Once all the beef has been cooked once (first fry), add all of it back in for the second deep fry for 1 more minute.

Sweet & Sticky Sauce Time!

  1. Remove all the oil from the pot and set it back on the stove on medium low heat
  2. Add in all the sauce ingredients, except the corn starch slurry ingredients.
  3. Stir until everything is combined well and wait until it comes to a low rolling boil
  4. In a small bowl, combine the corn starch and cold water to make a corn starch slurry and add it into the sauce and keep stirring until the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add in the crispy beef and coat it with the sauce
  6. Serve immediately! Goes amazing with plain rice. πŸ™‚


  • You can double up the sauce ingredients to make more sauce if you love things super saucey. This stuff is amazing drizzled on plain white rice! πŸ™‚
  • If you’re pressed for time, shorten the marinating time to 30-40 minutes by leaving the beef in room temperature for 20-30 minutes – instead of in the fridge for an hour.
  • They key to a crispier beef is hot oil and double frying! πŸ™‚
  • No low sodium soy sauce? No problem! Cut back the amount of soy sauce by a few tablespoons and replace it with water to dilute it for a lighter and less salty soy sauce.
  • This is amazing with a bit of heat as well! Add a few chopped up peppers while you are cooking the sauce or add a few teaspoons of cayenne pepper for a bit of a kick!


  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 684 kcal
  • Sugar: 29 g
  • Sodium: 873 mg
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Carbohydrates: 67 g
  • Protein: 38 g

Keywords: crispy beef

Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, however I provide these links to make items easier to find if you cannot purchase this locally and I would never recommend anything I don’t own myself or highly recommend. I would prefer you buy your items locally if possible to support your local shops (and chances are they are cheaper locally as well!) πŸ™‚

41 thoughts on “Sweet and Sticky Crispy Beef”

  1. You make it look so easy. I am always weary of making crispy sticky beef but your recipe looks easy to follow. I will have to get cooking and try this. My family would love to come home to this on the table. What’s not to love. Looks delicious!

    1. I wish I had someone to make yummies for me to come home to! Lucky family! πŸ™‚

      1. This sounds just like the beef meal I get at my favorite Chinese restaurant. I am going to try and make it, my lady friends birthday is coming up and I’m thinking that this will be the meal for her, although I will definitely have to try it before hand.
        My only question is what kind of oil are you using for the deep frying?

        1. Hi John!

          Lucky lady friend! πŸ™‚ When I deep fry, I usually use canola oil, corn oil or peanut oil (peanut oil is a bit on the pricier side and you need to watch out for anyone who has allergies.) Olive oil should never be used to deep fry anything because it has a low smoking point so you won’t be able to get the oil hot enough before it smokes you out of the kitchen – if the oil can’t get a high enough temperature, your food ends up being soggy as well.

          I definitely recommend making rice with this for the sauce. I personally find the sauce slightly on the saltier side so I like to mix rice to balance it out. (that and rice is delicious with this sauce) When you make the sauce, start off by putting a little less soy sauce than I recommend and do a taste test. If it’s not salty enough then add the rest of the soy sauce πŸ™‚

          Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions!
          ..and Happy Birthday to your lady friend! Hope you guys have a awesome day! πŸ™‚

  2. This looks fantastic! I can see this being a hit as dinner or maybe appetizer

  3. Ironically, I had something almost exactly like this at a restaurant yesterday! But this looks WAY better and now I can make at home, thanks!

    1. I find that’s always the best part, you get a bit more control at home to make it the way you like it and in the comfort of your PJs! πŸ™‚

  4. Omg. Yes. I keep ordering takeout hoping it’ll be delightfully crispy, but nooooooo. I need to make this recipe instead – I bet it would be delicious with a few candied walnuts thrown in too… mmm.

    1. omg Yes! I LOVE candied walnuts and that sugary crunch would definitely make this super delish and crunchy! Such a awesome idea!!

  5. ok this looks so good!! I’m drooling. Thanks for sharing (and for the tip about getting crispier beef — the last time I tried making a similar dish, my beef was disappointingly droopy — but still tasty!)

    1. Haha I’m so happy to hear! I totally get it, I love the beef crispy as well but whenever I buy it outside its – soggy! >_< Hope you enjoy this! πŸ™‚

  6. OMG! This is absolutely an unique dish, I followed your recipe to do, the outcome was SO delicious, mild sweetness, and gentle crispy when put in to my mouth,. Every kid fought to take this. Amazing!

    1. Aw thanks! πŸ™‚ You can definitely use red onion for this. Hope you enjoy this! πŸ™‚

    1. You know me and my deep fried crispy everything! I can’t stop snacking haha πŸ™‚

  7. This looks amazingly good – your photos are so captivating! Love all of your little tips for getting it nice and crispy. I too love when I can make a meal and it lasts (and ideally tastes just as good!) the next day, so this sounds like a dish that’s right up my alley!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Shannon! πŸ™‚ I’m definitely obsessed with crispy haha so if I can share this to help others have their crispies too, it makes me super happy girl because everyone can have good eats! πŸ™‚ I know what you mean – make once, eat twice! or sometimes in my came 3 times haha πŸ˜€

  8. I have everything but the wine. Will it make a big difference if I leave it out? Is there anything I can sub for it?

    1. Hi Kristy,

      If you have dry sherry, a dry white wine or sake they would make good substitutes for the shaoxing cooking wine. If you don’t have any of those you can omit it and replace the missing liquid with water so the consistency of the sauce stays the same πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy this! πŸ™‚

  9. “1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons honey”

    Hey, sorry, European here and just want to double check I understand this one. Google tells me there are 6.6 tablespoons in 1/2 cup. So is this in effect saying 10.6 tablespoons (aka 188mm).

    I think I rushed through and just used 4 tablespoons of honey and missed the cup bit last time I did this. Still worked out very well though! I’d never fried beef before… I found that no matter how many times I coated the beef with cornflour it still soaked it through. I think next time I’ll coat it the second time and immediately put it into the hot oil. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi James!

      I am so glad you tried this out! Yup, it’s approximately 10 tablespoons of honey if you convert it all to tablespoons!

      As for the beef coating, once you do the second coating, you should deep it right away. The waiting only happens on the first coating, I did this so the corn starch can soak some of the juices to glue onto the meat better since that is the coating that would be directly having contact with the beef. Hope that makes sense? πŸ™‚ I’ll try to fix the recipe so this is easier to understand πŸ™‚ Thanks for clarifying your confusion! πŸ™‚ and hope you had some good eats!

  10. Eh…not bad. Wasn’t crispy nearly enough for me. I like it when its got a crunch and almost sticks to your teeth. But it didn’t. Not sure if I used the wrong cut of beef, but it was a bit rubbery instead of crispy. Probably because I over cooked it so it would BECOME crispy. The flavor was okay, nice and gingery and sweet, but it had a slight after taste, but nothing horrific. It needed some hot peppers in my opinion. Needed some spice. It’s A LOT more work to make this dish, easier to just buy it at the Chinese place down the street, but if they don’t make it, it’s nice to know you can do it right at home.

    1. Sorry to hear that this didn’t turn out for you. πŸ™ I like to cut the beef on the thinner side so there’s more crispy batter surface area for the crisp and it cooks a bit quicker since it is thinner. I couldn’t agree with you more, hot peppers would definitely be an awesome addition to this and it would taste fantastic with it! I left this as an optional ingredient for the future for anyone who wants to add a bit of heat to this (I definitely do!)

  11. Made this tonight! Kids loved it so did my parents. Mum said it was better then any Chinese from restaurants she’s had in years. Only thing is bit messy in kitchen after.

    1. Woohoo! πŸ˜€ The sauce is quite addictive, I find I like to double up the sauce sometimes just to put on rice heehee! I am so happy to hear this turned out for you and they loved it! I definitely agree with you – the mess in the kitchen is quite a pain haha πŸ™‚ I have a bit of an addiction to deep frying and I feel like I spend half my life just cleaning up mess haha πŸ™‚

  12. Hi just tried making this last night.It was really good even though i had not achieved the crispiness your talking about…could it be that my oil was not hot enough?Also,have you experience wherein after putting the beef in the heated oil,bubbles would start to rise from the pan?

    1. Hi Sandy!

      You might be right. If the oil is not hot enough, you usually will get a soggier result. I usually like using a wooden chopstick (or the end of a wooden spoon) and stick it in the oil to test if the oil is hot enough. If it starts to bubble vigorously, then you’re good to go.

      Usually, double frying it also will fix up anything that is not fully crispy.

      I have experienced bubbles from deep frying! This is completely normal. This usually happens when there is moisture in the food you are trying to deep fry.
      In the past, I also noticed whenever I deep fry something that has a loose layer of flour on it, the flour ends up falling off the meat and causes the oil to bubble. (It’s actually the oil deep frying the flour that got away) and to prevent that, I sometimes let my meat sit longer (maybe an addtional 10-15 minutes) with the flour/batter so that it has a chance to glue onto the meat better and then deep fry it. I also try to lightly shake out the meat and dust off any excess flour as well so that it doesn’t go into the oil and gunk it up too much.

      Hope this helps? πŸ™‚ If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask Sandy! πŸ™‚

  13. Thank you so much for the advice..Will try again next time and hopefully i will get the same result as yours πŸ˜€

    1. I’m happy to help and very glad you got in touch! πŸ™‚ Oh I forgot to mention! While you are deep frying, try not to overcrowd the pan as well. It will drop the temperature of the oil and make the meat less crispy as well. It’s a bit more time consuming to do it in smaller batches but it’ll be crispier in the end! πŸ™‚

  14. I made this last night. It was delicious. I added a tbs of crushed red pepper to the sauce for some spice and used thin sliced rib eye. I served it with garlic bok choy and steamed brown rice. Everyone loved it! Thank you for the recipe!!

    1. The crushed red peppers is such a fantastic idea for a bit of spice! Wow your meal sounds delicious, I’m craving garlic bok choy now! heehee. I’m super happy you enjoyed this πŸ™‚ Yay!

  15. You made my day!!!

    I am a huge fan of western Chinese food and in Calgary Alberta Canada we have a dish that originated in a north east restaurant. It is very much your sweet and sticky beef. We call it “crispy ginger beef” sold as a main dish at most Chinese restaurants here.

    I took your recipe and followed it exactly but made a couple additions to make it look closer to our favorite dish. I added 1tsp crushed chilies, 1/2tsp ground ginger, and a clove of garlic to the sauce.

    I also added some shredded carrot and julienned red pepper after the sauce thickened to soften the veggies a bit before tossing the crispy beef in.

    It came out better than the restaurant version except without the MSG and all the sugar they use. Thank you I would never have thought of honey instead of white or golden sugar

    Allergy Side note thought…. hoisin sauce contains a small amount of peanuts.

    1. Yay you made my day as well! I am so happy that I can share something you can enjoy at home (and make even tastier!) I am so happy you tweaked this to your liking as well! I think your additions are fantastic additions that I myself will be using as well! πŸ™‚ I definitely agree that having control of the sugar is such a wonderful thing especially since you can tweak it to the way you like πŸ™‚ I had no idea about the peanut allergy in hoisin sauce! :O Hope this didn’t affect you?

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