How to Make Easy Pepper Steak Recipe With Tomatoes

Pepper Steak
Simmered pepper steak with Asian flavors. Diana Rattray

This easy pepper steak recipe is quick to fix, tasty, and doesn't put a strain on the budget. Ingredients include round steak or lean chuck steak, garlic, green onion, peppers, celery, tomatoes, and seasonings. The sauce is thickened with a cornstarch and water slurry.

Pepper steak is an American dish with some Asian flavors, and it's a comfort food for many. This classic version is made with some soy sauce and ginger.

The dish dates from the mid 1900s. 


  • 1 pound beef round or lean chuck, excess fat trimmed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup water or unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • fresh chopped parsley or green onion tops for garnish, optional
  • 2 to 3 cups of hot cooked rice


Cut beef across the grain into thin strips, about 1/8-inch thick. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger. Add beef. Toss and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add beef and cook, stirring constantly, over high heat until browned. Check meat for tenderness.

If meat is still tough, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes longer over low heat.

Turn heat up and add vegetables. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes.

Whisk the cornstarch into the water until smooth; add to skillet.

Cook and stir until the mixture is thickened.

Add the tomatoes and heat through.

Spoon the beef and pepper mixture over hot cooked rice and garnish with parsley or sliced green onion tops, if desired.

Serves 4.

Tips and Variations

Add about 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms along with the bell pepper and onion. Or add drained canned mushrooms along with the tomatoes.

Replace the green onions with sliced sweet or yellow onion.

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of brown sugar or granulated sugar along with the water and cornstarch mixture.

Replace the fresh minced garlic with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

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