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4.85 from 65 votes

Sweet and Sticky Crispy Beef

Super crispy beef tossed with a sweet and sticky sauce - better than take out!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Asian, Main, Takeout
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Servings: 5 Servings
Calories: 684kcal
Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks


  • 1.5 lbs top sirloin steak (any type of beef works - flank steak, skirt steak)
  • 1 cup potato starch (divided in half, can be substituted with corn starch, but it won't be as crispy) *see notes
  • oil (for deep frying) (see notes, for type of oil)

Beef Marinade

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

Sweet and Sticky Sauce

Corn Starch Slurry (To thicken sauce)

Garnish & Toppings (Optional)


Marinate the Beef

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Add the marinade and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to the beef and mix well and marinate it in the fridge for 1 hour (or 20-30 minutes at room temperature)

Deep Frying the Beef

  • After the beef has marinated, dust ½ cup of potato starch (or corn starch) on the beef and use your fingers to loosely coat the beef with it. Let it sit for 10 minutes
  • While you are waiting for the meat to marinate, heat up a heavy bottom pot (or wok) and set the stove to medium heat. Add at least 1 inch of oil to the pot and wait for it to get hot. (It should reach a temperature of 375F). I like to poke a wooden chopstick, or the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil and wait for it to bubble. Once it bubbles, the oil is hot enough.
  • Once the beef has marinated for 10 minutes, dust the other ½ cup of potato starch (or corn starch) on the beef again to lightly re-coat the beef and lightly dust off any excess starch. Deep fry it immediately.
  • 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)
  • Deep fry the beef for 1-2 minutes, and remove it from the pot onto a plate with parchment paper or newspaper.
  • 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!

  • Remove all the oil from the pot and set it back on the stove on medium low heat
  • Add in all the sauce ingredients, except the corn starch slurry ingredients.
  • Stir until everything is combined well and wait until it comes to a low rolling boil
  • 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.
  • Add in the crispy beef and coat it with the sauce
  • Serve immediately! Goes amazing with plain rice. :)


  • For deep frying, I like to use oils that have a mild flavor and a high smoking temperature like peanut, canola, vegetable, sunflower or corn oil. 
  • If you are using potato starch to deep fry the meat, make sure to not overcrowd the pan if you are using a shallow pan. Put the meat in one at a time fry them without touching each other. I find that potato starch likes to stick when you are initially frying it and if the pan is crowded (meat is all touching) you will end up with a giant ball of crispy meat instead of small crispy bite-sized meat.
  • You can double up the sauce ingredients to make more sauce if you love things super saucy. This stuff is amazing drizzled on plain white rice! :)
  • If you're pressed for time, shorten the marinating time to 30-40 minutes by leaving the beef at room temperature for 20-30 minutes - instead of in the fridge for an hour.
  • The key to a crispier beef is to make sure the oil is hot oil before you start to deep fry and double frying it! :)
  • 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: 1Serving | Calories: 684kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 873mg | Sugar: 29g