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Spicy Beef with Peanuts & Chiles

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

As seductive as picking up the telephone and ordering in on a busy weeknight may be, you can throw together a stir-fry quicker than it takes a delivery person to get to your door. Even better, this dish is just as good as—or even better than—anything you’ll find in a to-go carton. If you don’t have a stir-fry pan, use a heavy skillet with a large surface area for the ingredients sear properly.  


  • 1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced on the diagonal against the grain
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts
  • 2 large shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped (don’t seed)
  • 3 Tbs. canola or peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 350
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 45
  • Sodium (mg): 1040
  • Carbohydrates (g): 8
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 27


  • Toss the steak with 1 Tbs. of the soy sauce, 1 tsp. of the fish sauce, and the salt. Combine the remaining 1 Tbs. soy sauce and 1 tsp. fish sauce with 1 Tbs. of the lime juice and the brown sugar and set aside.
  • Pulse the peanuts, shallots, and chiles in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl.
  • Set a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil and once it’s shimmering, add the beef. Cook, stirring, until the beef just loses its raw appearance, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil and the shallot mixture, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Return the beef to the pan. Stir the soy mixture and add it, along with half of the cilantro and basil, and cook, stirring to let the flavors meld, 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve sprinkled with the remaining lime juice, cilantro, and basil.

Serve with Rice Noodle Salad on the side.


Rate or Review


  • pcouper | 02/03/2016

    Wow. I made almost as written and got such big, bright flavor from the dish. My only alterations: 1) my market did not have any flank steak so I used a flat iron steak, 2) they didn't have any peppers labelled seranno or thai, I got one jalapeo, one possibly banana (light yellow) and one that looked somewhat like a poblano and used half of each unseeded, and 3) added sesame oil to my saut oil because it makes any Asian dish better! My dinner guest was in awe and the meat was so tender.

  • User avater
    khavasutra | 09/12/2015

    This. Was. Delicious. I had to use skirt steak as Whole Foods didnt have flank. I also seeded one of the peppers becuase I wanted to see how it tasted. It wasnt too hot so Ill do both of them whole next time. YOU GUYS HAVE THE BEST RECIPES!!I used it to make steak banh-mis and they were amazing. Yum. Good job.

  • YKDonna | 07/03/2013

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. I removed the stems and seeded the peppers because I didn't want it too spicy. I substituted red onion for scallion because that's all I had. I'll be making this again. Thank you Fine Cooking for another great recipe.

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