Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (2024)

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Hunan beef is made by tossing thinly sliced beef and an assortment of colorful veggies in a hot and spicy Hunan sauce. It’s addictive and made in one pan!

Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (1)

Love chicken? Do you love the taste of Hunan beef but prefer chicken instead? Try this version of this recipe!

What Is Hunan Beef?

Hunan beef is a Chinese dish made from thinly sliced beef flank steak and a variety of veggies tossed in a spicy Hunan sauce. The sauce has a sweet, savory, and fiery taste with umami flavor. The origin of this dish comes from the Hunan province of China, which is known for its richly spicy food.

Now — as delicious as authentic Hunan beef is, it is traditionally made with dry smoked beef which is hard to find in America. So, we’ve made an “Americanized” version with easy-to-find ingredients that still have that delicious Hunan-like flavor.

Hunan vs Szechuan Flavors

Hunan beef and Szechuan beef are two Asian dishes made with many of the same ingredients. The main difference lies in the spice. Hunan cuisine tends to utilize chili paste, whereas Szechuan cooking uses dried chili peppers, which are spicier and have a more intense “numbing heat.” The chili paste in Hunan cooking also gives spice, but it is more evenly distributed throughout the dish and gives a “dry” heat.

Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (2)

How To Make Hunan Beef

Hunan beef might already be one of your go-to dishes when ordering takeout — now it’ll be one of your go-to dishes to make at home, too. All you need is 20 minutes of prep, 20 minutes to cook, and an appetite!

  • Make the Hunan sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, chili paste (we love sambal oelek), and cornstarch. Set aside.
  • Cut the veggies and meat: Cut all the veggies into bite-sized pieces, mince the garlic, and slice the beef into thin strips.
  • Cook the beef: Preheat a large oiled pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until it is golden-brown (about seven minutes). Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Sauté the veggies: Add the bell peppers, onions, green onions, broccoli, and garlic into the pan. Cook until the veggies are soft (about seven minutes).
  • Add in the beef: Return the beef to the veggie skillet.
  • Pour in the sauce: Pour the Hunan sauce into the skillet and toss with the veggie and beef mixture. Cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve: Serve with a grain side dish or on its own.

Hot tip: Freeze the beef for 30 minutes beforehand to make it crazy easy to slice thinly!

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Tips for The Best Hunan Beef

Sure, takeout is an easy way to satisfy your Chinese food cravings, but follow these tips for a delicious and quick homemade Hunan beef, and you’ll be even more satisfied!

  • Slice the beef thinly against the grain. This makes for the most tender strips of beef.
  • Opt for flank steak. The flash cooking over high heat makes it come out delectably tender.
  • Prep the ingredients before you start cooking. Pre-sliced meat and veggies make the cooking process so much easier! Stir fry cooks extra fast, so having all your ingredients prepped and ready helps prevent burning and overcooking.
  • Get creative with your veggies. Switch out the ones you don’t like, and add more of the ones you prefer! Baby corn, bok choy, carrots, celery, and mushrooms are all great options.
  • Cut evenly. Cut all the vegetables and beef into similar sizes to ensure even cooking.
  • Use a large 10-inch pan or a wok. Avoid overcrowding the pan when cooking beef, as this may inhibit proper searing. Each slice should develop a nice, golden brown color and outer crust.
  • Adjust the spice as needed. Add more or less chili paste according to how much heat you want in your dish.
  • Lower the sodium as needed. Make the beef a lower sodium dish by using low-sodium beef broth and soy sauce.
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How To Serve Hunan Beef

Imagine what else you get on your typical Asian takeout order — whip it up at home to serve with your Hunan beef! Make young chow fried rice with white rice, veggie lo mein, or if you prefer a less carb-dense side, opt for cauliflower rice. Add a lighter side such as spring rolls with salmon, shrimp spring rolls, or gyoza, and you’ve got a feast!

Storing & Reheating Tips

There’s only one way to describe Hunan beef leftovers — amazing. As always, we love making larger batches of meals so there are tasty leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day.

  • Refrigerator: To store for up to five days, place the cooled leftovers into an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftovers on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Or, reheat in the microwave for an uber quick reheat.

Hot tip: We don’t recommend freezing to store the dish long-term, as the vegetables tend to change texture and become mushy.

More Asian Recipes

  • Mongolian Beef — A quick and saucy, pan-fried beef entreé
  • Korean Beef Bulgogi — Sweet, salty, and spicy ribeye steak
  • Chicken Stir Fry — Classic stir fry made with chicken thighs
  • The Best Beef Stir Fry — An easy beef stir-fry made in less than 30 minutes
  • One-Pan Broccoli and Beef — A steaming plate of broccoli and beef tossed in a sweet and savory sauce


Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (8)

Hunan Beef

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4 servings

Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 40 minutes mins

Recipe contributed by: Natalya Drozhzhin

Hunan beef is made by tossing thinly sliced beef and an assortment of colorful veggies in a hot and spicy Hunan sauce. It's addictive and made in one pan



  • 1 lb beef flank steak thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 medium red bell pepper bite sized pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper bite sized pieces
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 medium onion bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic minced

Hunan Sauce

US UnitsMetric


  • In a small bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

  • Cut all the veggies into bite-sized pieces, mince the garlic, and slice the beef very thinly.

  • Preheat a large, oiled skillet over medium-high heat and cook the beef until it gets golden brown, for about 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  • In the same pan, combine the bell peppers, onion, green onion, broccoli, and minced garlic. Cook until the veggies soften, for about 7 minutes.

  • Return the beef back to the skillet with veggies.

  • Pour the prepared sauce over the beef and veggies. Toss everything together and allow it to cook for 5 more minutes. Stir the ingredients occasionally.

  • Serve the dish on its own or with your favorite grain.

Nutrition Facts

Hunan Beef

Amount Per Serving

Calories 218 Calories from Fat 54

% Daily Value*

Fat 6g9%

Saturated Fat 2g10%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g

Monounsaturated Fat 2g

Cholesterol 68mg23%

Sodium 863mg36%

Potassium 732mg21%

Carbohydrates 13g4%

Fiber 3g12%

Sugar 5g6%

Protein 28g56%

Vitamin A 1338IU27%

Vitamin C 88mg107%

Calcium 68mg7%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Posted March 14, 2024

About Author

Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (16)

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.

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  1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (23)

    carla l lewisJan 6, 2023

    how much is considered a serving

  2. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (25)

    Bob SmithOct 28, 2022

    Made this tonight for dinner with steamed jasmine rice and it was delicious! Only differences are I used a red and orange pepper and added fresh mushrooms, baby corn and sliced water chestnuts. I had a 3/4 pound ribeye and 1 pound of chicken tenderloins and I doubled the sauce. I will definitely be making it again!

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (26)

      Natalya DrozhzhinOct 28, 2022

      Hi Bob, You made my mouth water! That sounds amazing! Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience. Enjoy!

  3. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (27)

    LaurieApr 10, 2022

    Hi Natalya, Just made this tonight and it was really good. I did not have chili sause, so I added chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika, in little doses. Ialso didn't have oyster sause, do used Worcestersyre sause instead. My husband really liked, but said mushrooms would be good as well, so will make a note and add next time. Your recipe is a keeper!!!

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (28)

      Natalya DrozhzhinApr 11, 2022

      Hi Laurie- so glad your family enjoyed it, thank you for sharing!

  4. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (29)

    MaggieApr 8, 2022

    I wondering if In instead use the chili pasta sauce could be something else, my family do not like hot sauce or spicy 🌶

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (30)

      Natalya DrozhzhinApr 8, 2022

      Hi Maggie- I'm not sure what you could use instead of the chili paste, but you can definitely reduce the amount or omit it entirely if you don't want any spice!

  5. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (31)

    Sapna PimentaFeb 13, 2022

    Hi I was wondering instead of beef can I make this with chicken ? My husband is allergic to beef thanks sapna

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (32)

      Natalya DrozhzhinFeb 14, 2022

      Hello, Sapna. Yes, I think you could use chicken instead. Enjoy!

  6. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (33)

    DoreenFeb 1, 2022

    Hi how can I cut the sodium?

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (34)

      Natalya DrozhzhinFeb 1, 2022

      Hi Doreen, This is a bit of a tricky one, sodium comes from the sauce. I would use low sodium beef broth and soy sauce. Enjoy

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (36)

      Natalya DrozhzhinFeb 1, 2022

      Hi Mj, it is not spicy but you can add some red pepper flakes to add some spice to it. Enjoy

  7. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (37)

    Timothy L CluteJan 5, 2022

    This is not low carb with sugar and cornstarch!

  8. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (39)

    KristinaNov 6, 2021

    This recipe turned out so good. My 3 year old asked me to make it again. That’s how I judge if it’s a keeper. It for sure is! Thank you

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (40)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 6, 2021

      Hello Kristina, I am so glad to hear you guys loved the recipe, it is true our kids are the biggest critics, I am so glad your kid enjoyed it too!

  9. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (41)

    PauletteOct 31, 2021

    This is amazing. The flavour is delicious. Very easy to make and the outcome will be a hit.

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (42)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 1, 2021

      Hi Paulette, I am so glad you were happy with the results of this recipe! It really makes for the best meal, full of flavor and texture!

  10. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (43)

    LizJun 18, 2021

    Absolutely delicious! We will be hosting Fathers Day dinner (Asian theme). This will be one of our entrees. Expecting about 20 guests. Wish me luck!

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (44)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJun 18, 2021

      Good luck, Liz! You will do great! Enjoy your celebration 🙂

  11. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (45)

    EliApr 3, 2021

    Great Article. I am really interested about Hunan Regional Cuisine and i am suprised so many people lately publishing about it.
    I wonder what you think about how Hunan Beef is different from Szechuan Beef? Love your Blog, keep the good job going!

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (46)

      Natalya DrozhzhinApr 3, 2021

      Hey Eli, I don't know enough about Szechuan Beef. Thank you for all the sweet words!

  12. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (47)

    Esther L BrunoNov 14, 2020

    how many serving is this recipe?

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (48)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 15, 2020

      This recipe makes 4 servings. Enjoy

  13. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (49)

    Rocio CostelloNov 13, 2020

    Can I substitute the Oyster sauce for something else?

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (50)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 15, 2020

      Hey Rocio, soy sauce would be the closest thing to the oyster sauce for a replacement option.

  14. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (51)

    MariahAug 2, 2020

    Can I omit the sugar?

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (52)

      Natalya DrozhzhinAug 3, 2020

      Yes, it does add sweetness to the sauce but you can skip out on it.

      1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (53)

        Gary ClarkJan 25, 2021

        Mariah, I think you should use some kind of sweetener, monk fruit sweetener would be good, or even Stevia. I don't think it would have the balance of flavor without it.

        1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (54)

          Natalya DrozhzhinJan 26, 2021

          Thank you for the tip, Gary!

  15. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (55)

    Kudzaishe ManenjiJul 31, 2020

    With love from Zimbabwe l loved and tried this receipe it came out nice

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (56)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJul 31, 2020

      Hey, I am so happy you loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (57)

    FaoudJul 27, 2020

    Awesome loved the recipe!!!

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (58)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJul 27, 2020

      This is so good to hear. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (59)

    Laura ReeseJul 21, 2020

    This recipe was delicious. The flavor was amazing.

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (60)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJul 21, 2020

      So good to hear. Thank you!

  18. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (61)

    Allyson ZeaJul 21, 2020

    My whole family LOVED this one - THANK YOU!

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (62)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJul 21, 2020

      Wow, this makes me so happy. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (63)

    Sara WelchJul 20, 2020

    This is my kind of recipe! Adding this to my dinner line up for the week; looks too good to pass up!

    1. Authentic Hunan Beef Recipe (One-Pan) (64)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJul 20, 2020

      Thank you Sara, so good to hear that you love Hunan Beef 🙂

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