Philly Style Pepper Steak is a quick and easy meal packed with veggies and delicious meat. It’s quick and delicious meal for a busy weeknight.
Philly Pepper Steak is an adaptation of the American version of Chinese qīngjiāo ròusī. The original Chinese dish is made with pork instead of beef and was not as kicked up as our version is. It, like all other stir-fry recipes, is a quick and delicious dish. With simple ingredients but packed with flavor, either version is a great weeknight meal.
What is pepper steak?
Pepper steak as we know it today contains thing strips of beef, typically covered in black pepper, that is cooked with bell peppers and onions. It has seasonings like soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in there. Sometimes bean sprouts or water chestnuts are part of the recipe. The sauce has cornstarch in it to thicken the sauce. That’s the more American version of the recipe.
The original Chinese recipe called for pork, like I said. It was a lightly seasoned recipe that didn’t pack all those flavors we have in there. Pork was inexpensive in the Fujian province at that time. Beef was not something the typical man could have or afford back then. Beef was, and may still be, considered a luxury item. I think in some parts of Asia it still is. Don’t quote me on that though.
Pepper steak’s popularity grew when soldiers returned from war in the mid to late 40’s. The rationing of meat at the time was not satisfying. Americans felt that red meat was far superior to all other types of proteins. Hence the change from pork of the original recipe to now beef that is popular today.
Betty Ford made Gerald Ford pepper steak for Valentine’s Day. I don’t know that it’s a V-Day worthy recipe. At least not by today’s standards. Maybe it was something deemed as special back in the day. And back in the day being the 70’s. But today it’s a go to standard for many busy homes across the country.
What is Philly Style Pepper Steak?
I have made many stir-fry meals with peppers, onions, and various types of meat. Actually, I think I’ve made a pepper stir-fry with every meat easily found in any grocery store. That means steak, pork, chicken, and shrimp. I love stir fry recipes and make them all the time. Granted not all of them are Asian in flavors. Like this Philly Style Pepper Steak.
I was trying to think of recipes to make for Farmer’s Market Week. I thought of all the different colors of peppers they have there. Red, green, orange, and yellow are pretty standard. But there’s also brown and white and purple bell peppers. Yes. Brown, white and purple are colors of bell peppers I’ve seen at the market. I don’t think they taste that much different than regular bell peppers from the grocery. But they all vary in flavor slightly.
As I was thinking about the bell peppers, and I thought of pepper steak. Then I thought about the peppers and onions and steak. And, well, that always leads me to Philly cheese steaks for obvious reasons. Wait. You mean it’s not obvious for you? Come on! Steak, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese? Goodness gracious.
Now, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I am not one to be shy about mixing up cooking methods and cuisines. Especially for stir-fry recipes. I have a chicken Kiev stir-fry, pork piccata stir-fry, and even a Tex-Mex stir-fry recipe. They’re all delicious in their own rights.
Stir-fry is a method and not only for Asian recipes.
I am a firm believe that stir-fry is more of a method than a style of cuisine. It’s the perfect formula for a quick and easy meal for any night of the week. You take some veggies and chop them into bite sized pieces. Then you pick whatever protein you want. Beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, tofu. Cut that up into bite sized pieces.
Then you heat up a pan on high heat and cook the veggies. Then the meat. And then you combine then with some kind of sauce. Serve over rice and viola! You have a delicious dinner to serve your family. Or yourself if you’re like me.
So, it was only natural for me to change up the flavors in traditional pepper steak. I included some delicious garlic in the mix. And some Worcestershire sauce. For some reason it just has to go into some recipes. Like cheese steak. I’m sure some shun me for saying that, but it adds that umami flavor I love with these types of recipes.
Of course, with all things Philly you have to add cheese. I opted for some Provolone. It’s the cheese I love to have on my cheese steaks. No cheez whiz here. Can you even get that stuff? I haven’t tried to find it. No need. Some might insist on Mozzarella or other cheese. But I think Provolone is the traditional cheese for cheese steaks. I could be wrong.
Just look at that plate of steak, veg, and cheese goodness! The slightly caramelized onions, sweet bell peppers, cheese, and tender beef all come together in a quick and delicious weeknight meal. Add in the spices and Worcestershire and you’ve got a meal everyone will love. I served mine with garlic butter rice. I will have to share that recipe later. It is so good!
- 1 pound steak, sliced
- 2 cups bell peppers, sliced
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 slices Provolone cheese
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat.
- Add the peppers and onions and sauté until they begin to soften.
- Stir in the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown.
- Turn the heat to high. Add the thinly sliced steak and cook until browned.
- Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- Top with the cheese and allow to melt before serving.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 487Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 129mgSodium 393mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 40g
Here’s more Farmer’s Market Week Recipes
Starters and Sauce Recipes
- Air Fried Zucchini Fries by West Via Midwest
- Bacon Wrapped Pickles by Take Two Tapas
- Chilled Cucumber Melon Soup by Cookaholic Wife
- Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Raspberry Lemonade Limoncello Cocktail by Books n’ Cooks
- Strawberry Pesto Brie Bites by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Watermelon Rind Pickles by Palatable Pastime
- Zucchini Nachos by Magical Ingredients
Side Dishes Recipes
- Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts by Devour Dinner
- Diner-Style Breakfast Potatoes and Onions by Family Around the Table
- Honeyed Carrots with Citrus Basil Gremolata by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Southwestern Potato Salad by The Freshman Cook
- Twice Baked Potatoes by Hostess At Heart
- Zucchini Corn Fritter by The Fresh Cooky
Main Dish Recipes
- Eggplant and Chickpea Fritters w/ Herb Yogurt Sauce by Savory Moments
- Philly Style Pepper Steak by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Asparagus by Blogghetti
- Steak and Bell Pepper Salad by The Redhead Baker