Sha Cha Beef Recipe: A Delectable Chinese Delight

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Sha Cha Beef is a delicious Chinese dish that combines spicy shacha sauce with juicy beef strips in a way that makes your taste buds dance. From China’s rich cooking history comes this recipe, which promises to make your meal more enjoyable with its umami flavor and fragrant spices.

History of Sha Cha Beef

Sha Cha Beef, also known as “沙茶牛肉” (shā chá niú ròu) in Mandarin, traces its roots to the Teochew cuisine of the Chaoshan region in Guangdong Province, China. The dish gained popularity in the late 20th century and has since become a beloved staple in Chinese restaurants worldwide.


Prepare to embark on a culinary journey with these carefully selected ingredients:

  • 500g thinly sliced beef (preferably flank steak or sirloin)
  • 3 tablespoons sha cha sauce (readily available in Asian grocery stores)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked rice for serving
  • Sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Marinate the Beef

  • In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar.
  • Add the thinly sliced beef to the marinade, ensuring each piece is coated evenly.
  • Allow the beef to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator to enhance its flavor.

2. Prepare the Sha Cha Sauce

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add minced garlic and grated ginger, sautéing until fragrant.
  • Stir in 3 tablespoons of sha cha sauce and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, allowing the flavors to meld together.

3. Sear the Beef

  • Heat a separate skillet over high heat and add a drizzle of vegetable oil.
  • Working in batches, sear the marinated beef slices for 1-2 minutes on each side until they develop a golden crust.
  • Remove the beef from the skillet and set aside.

4. Stir-Fry Vegetables

  • Using the same skillet, add thinly sliced onions and bell peppers.
  • Sauté the vegetables until they are tender yet still crisp.

5. Combine Ingredients

  • Return the seared beef to the skillet with the vegetables.
  • Pour the prepared sha cha sauce over the beef and vegetables, ensuring everything is well coated.

6. Thicken the Sauce

  • In a small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water to create a slurry.
  • Pour the slurry into the skillet and stir gently until the sauce thickens.

7. Garnish and Serve

  • Transfer the Sha Cha Beef to a serving platter, garnishing with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
  • Serve hot alongside steamed rice for a complete and satisfying meal.


With its bold flavors and tender texture, Sha Cha Beef is sure to impress even the most discerning palates. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply craving a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine, this recipe offers a delightful culinary experience that will leave you craving for more.


What is Sha Cha sauce made of?

Sha Cha sauce is typically made from a blend of ingredients such as soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chili peppers, dried shrimp, and various spices. It’s known for its savory and slightly spicy flavor profile.

Can I substitute beef with other proteins in this recipe?

While beef is traditionally used in Sha Cha Beef, you can certainly experiment with other proteins such as chicken, pork, or tofu to suit your dietary preferences or restrictions.

Is Sha Cha Beef gluten-free?

The traditional Sha Cha sauce contains soy sauce, which often contains gluten. However, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free soy sauce alternative.

How spicy is Sha Cha Beef?

The traditional Sha Cha sauce contains soy sauce, which often contains gluten. However, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free soy sauce alternative.

Can I make Sha Cha Beef ahead of time?

While Sha Cha Beef is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and store them separately. Simply reheat and assemble the dish when ready to serve for optimal flavor and texture.

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