Cantonese Style Sweet and Sour Fillet Steak

Cantonese Style Sweet and Sour Steak Recipe

Cantonese Style Beef Steak is a fusion dish that Hong Kong chefs created to emulate a Western dish. The addition of the HP sauce and Worcestershire sauce, it gave their version of a European flavour. The resulting sweet and sour flavour make this dish really appetising and appeal to even Chinese Food sceptics. (And it is not like the garish red sweet and sour sauce that you get with your takeaway.)

This tender and delicious Chinese Stir-Fried Beef dish is not your usual Chinese dish. It is not one of the dishes that you will regularly order from the takeaway. You can find it on most menus in Cantonese restaurants in Chinatown.

Which cut of beef to use in this stir fry?

This dish can be made with any cut of steak although the beef fillet is the most tender. If you use another cut, you can tenderise the meat before cooking. If you buy good quality grass fed beef, this has usually been aged for a while to tenderise the meat and to create the optimum flavour. With grass-fed beef, you can use another cut like rump, sirloin or even rib eye. Skirt steak might be a bit too tough.

As with most Chinese dishes, the most time is spent prepping the ingredients and getting all the elements ready. The beef needs marinating for a short while before cooking. The cooking time itself is less than 10 minutes. I’d recommend cooking your rice and other side dishes in advance. Then cook this dish and serve it up together when it is done.

This is usually served as part of a Chinese meal which will feature a few other dishes like a stir-fried green vegetable and steamed rice.

Note: The recipe make just enough sauce to coat the beef, but if you like more sauce, just increase the stock and flavourings to make more.

If you don’t want to have this with rice, you can make it low card and have it with a big plate of steamed or stir-fried vegetables.

I made this recipe as part of a campaign for Irish Beef.

If you do make this, do let me know how it goes.

Cantonese Style Beef Fillet

A delicious way to cook steak, Chinese Style. Made with a tangy sweet and sour sauce. Serve this dish as part of a Chinese meal with some other dishes on the side, it makes a very elegant dinner party
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: easy recipe
Servings: 4 people as part of a Chinese meal


  • 600 g of Irish Beef Steak
  • 2 tbs Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tbs of light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • 1 tbs of corn flour
  • 2 tbs of cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 white onion sliced into thick wedges, about 1cm
  • 1 tsp corn mixed in 2 tbs cold water
  • Sea salt for seasoning
  • 1 handful of Bok Choy or Asian greens of your choice halved lengthwise and blanched just before serving
  • 1 spring onion julienned for garnish
  • * If using a fillet of beef it will make it easier to slice is you put the beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Don't let it freeze.

For the sauce;

  • 6 tbs of tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbs HP Sauce
  • 1 tbs of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbs of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of stock or about 100ml (we don't want it too runny, unless you like lots of sauce.) You can use any stock cube, stock pot or bouillon. I prefer chicken stock to beef stock as it adds a savoury note and not overwhelm with beef flavours.
  • some white pepper


  • Slice the fillet of beef or your choice of steak into palm sized pieces. Tenderise each piece with a meat tenderiser or use the back of a kitchen knife or cleaver. This will make your steak very tender.
  • Marinate beef with the soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, white pepper and corn flour. Cling film your bowl and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Pan fry beef in a hot well-seasoned wok (or large non stick pan) in a little oil for 20 seconds on each side and set aside.
  • In a hot wok, add a tablespoon of oil and saute garlic and onion for a minute.
  • Add the sauce mixture to the pan and cook for a minute.
  • Add in the corn flour solution to thicken the sauce. You want a sauce that coats the back of a spoon.
  • Return beef to the wok and lower the heat. Stir in the beef to ensure that each piece is evenly coated.
  • Serve hot with some steamed rice and some green vegetables on the side.

Here are some other beef recipes you can try:

Weeping Tiger Thai Beef Salad

Korean BBQ Bulgogi Beef 

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Cantonese Style Fillet Steak

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  1. Looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. This looks delicious and super easy to make. Love recipes like this!

  3. Can you tell me what half a cup of stock is please in the Cantonese recipe.

    1. Hi LYnn,

      I have updated the recipe. I’d use about 100ml of stock. When you add the corn flour, it will thicken up. You can use any stock cubes or stock pots. I tend to use chicken stock as it gives that savoury note without adding any other over whelming flavorus.

  4. Made this yesterday. It was delicious ?. Will definitely be making again. Would be impressive for a dinner party and you can marinate the steak and make the sauce in advance so it would be ideal. Any ideas how many calories are in it??? I am half heartedly watching my calories! but am still up for making it as a treat! ??

  5. What a Lovely Food. I’ll Definitely Try. Thank You.

  6. Stephen Mcilmoyle says:

    I’ve tried a few cantonese steak recipes, but this is easily the best. I made it tonight and will be using this recipe from now on. Thanks.