This cleaned up pepper steak has all the flavor the classic Chinese-American dish is known for. Make this in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Updated 2019 with Instant Pot instructions
I love Chinese food but I rarely eat it because it’s too unhealthy and full of MSG. I’ve found that even though restaurants claim to be MSG free, sometimes they are not. Rather than chance it, I like to recreate my own version. Which is what I did here.
Instant Pot Pepper Steak Video:
What Is Pepper Steak?
Pepper steak is a Chinese-American dish consisting of sliced beef steak cooked with sliced bell peppers, onions, and seasonings like soy sauce and ginger. The sauce is usually thickened with cornstarch. Pepper steak is usually stir-fried in a wok but of course I’m making a slow cooker/pressure cooker (Instant Pot) version.
A Healthy Version Of Pepper Steak
Most pepper steak recipes include sugar and high amounts of sodium. This one does not. My version is low-carb, paleo, and whole30 complaint. In the place of soy sauce I used coconut aminos, no sugar was added, and instead of cornstarch this uses arrowroot starch. Coconut aminos can sometimes be hard to find; if you’re not worried about being compliant, go ahead and use low-sodium soy sauce.
What Type Of Beef To Use
Pepper steak is usually made with round, sirloin, or flank steak. I used round steak that I sliced into strips. As with most of my recipes, I encourage you to use ingredients that you can find easily and that fit your budget. The key is to slice the beef into even strips.
Thickening The Sauce
After this is done cooking, there is an optional but recommended step of thickening the sauce with a slurry. My go-to slurry (sauce thickener) is always arrowroot starch mixed with water. This is the ratio that works for me: 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. If you want your sauce to be thicker, use more slurry. If you want your sauce to be not so thick, use less slurry.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
- 2 lbs beef, sliced into strips
- 3 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp oil (for pressure cooker)
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour + 2 tablespoons water (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos for slow cooker and 1/2 cup coconut aminos for pressure cooker
- 1/4 cup beef broth for slow cooker and 1/2 cup beef broth for pressure cooker
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper and steak to the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, mix together sauce ingredients. Pour sauce into the slow cooker & stir to mix well.
- Cook HIGH 2-3 or LOW 4-6.
- Turn on the IP and select Sauté. Once hot add oil and beef to the pot. Cook 3-5 minutes or until beef is browned. Remove beef from the pressure cooker.
- Add the onions bell peppers and cook 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Add beef broth and coconut aminos and deglaze the bottom by of the pressure cooker by scraping all the bits off off with a wooden spoon.
- Add beef back into the pressure cooker along with the remaining sauce ingredients. Stir to mix well.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set manual, high pressure to 10 minutes. Natural release pressure.
Optional step: After the pepper steak has finished cooking in the slow cooker or pressure cooker, mix together arrowroot powder & water. Pour into slow cooker or pressure cooker and stir. Turn off appliance. Allow 5-10 for the sauce to thickened to your liking.
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