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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.


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Reviews (34 reviews)

  • user-6519558 | 10/01/2021

    We've made this dish dozens of times since this recipe came out (including tonight). I just want to thank the author - we love it and always look forward to it.

  • Krispie | 02/04/2019

    This was tasty and easy but not amazing. I will definately make this again sometime for a weeknight meal but I would not serve it to company as it just didn’t have that pizzaz I have come to expect from FineCooking recipes.

  • caffiend | 01/29/2019

    Just made a double batch of this for the office. It was a HUGE hit. Delicious.

    I held back a little on the serranos, so we had siracha on the side. I put a good bit more basil and cilantro in, and basically doubled everything (except the peppers).

    Served with plain white rice. I'll get more fancy next time!

  • pastatx | 01/28/2019

    Yum. Will make again.

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