Sha Cha Beef

This recipe is impressive - Sha Cha Beef, a staple in Chinese cuisine, beautifully blends the robust flavors of Sha Cha sauce with tender beef. It’s perfect for those evenings when you crave something hearty yet different.

A beautiful bowl of Sha Cha beef served on a bed of white fluffy steamed rice with herbs garnishing the dish.

Sha Cha sauce

Sha Cha sauce is a mix of soybean oil, green onions, garlic, dried shrimp, brill fish, and chili. It is often used as a base for soups, a sauce for hotpots and stir-fry dishes, and a rub for BBQ meats. Sha Cha Sauce, often referred to as “Chinese BBQ Sauce” in English, brings out so much flavor in the dish and compliments the beef (or chicken) exceptionally well. You can purchase Sha Cha Sauce from Chinese supermarkets or online (we recommend the Bull Head brand).


We add a bit of **green **and white onion to the stir fry - both offer a little sweetness to the dish, while the white onion gives a little bit of crunch to the meal. We also like to steam some vegetables to serve with the sha cha beef and rice.

To complement the meat, feel free to incorporate a colorful array of vegetables - crisp bell peppers and broccoli are great additions to this stir-fry. These add a splash of color and enhance the overall flavor, creating a contrast with the savory beef.


We always opt for a lean cut like flank steak for the beef. It’s thinly sliced to absorb the sauce better and stir-fried to perfection – just enough to retain its tenderness and juiciness. The meat, absorbing the flavors of the Sha Cha sauce, becomes the dish’s star.

If you do not have flank steak, you can substitute it for skirt steak, top-round steak, or hanger steak.

An overhead view of a bowl of Sha Cha beef served on a bed of white fluffy steamed rice garnished with green onions.

Mix it up

Here are some ways you can add a little bit of a twist to your dish and make it your own;

  • Spicy heat: Enhance the heat by adding a teaspoon of chili oil or flakes. This gives the dish a spicy kick, perfect for those who love a bit of fire in their meals.
  • Sweet soy: Balance the flavors with a touch of sweet soy sauce. This adds a mild, sugary contrast to the savory beef, creating a more nuanced taste profile.
  • Crunchy nuts: Incorporate roasted peanuts for extra texture. Their crunchiness complements the tenderness of the beef, adding an enjoyable contrast to each bite.
  • Sesame zest: For a nutty, aromatic twist, sprinkle some sesame seeds over the dish. This small addition can significantly enhance the dish’s overall flavor.
  • Mushroom variety: Mix in different types of mushrooms to infuse an earthy depth into the meal. Their unique flavors and textures blend beautifully with the Sha Cha sauce.
  • Vegetarian alternative: For a meat-free version, tofu can be an excellent substitute for beef. It’s a versatile ingredient that absorbs the rich flavors of the sauce, appealing to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Serving options

Here are some suggestions on what to serve with your sha cha beef, starting from the classic to more unconventional serving styles;

  • Rice bowls: Serve your Sha Cha Beef over steamed jasmine rice - this traditional pairing allows the rice to soak up the rich flavors of the sauce, creating a fulfilling and classic combination that is both comforting and satisfying.
  • Lettuce wraps: For those seeking a lighter, healthier option, using lettuce as wraps is a fantastic choice. The crisp, fresh lettuce complements the savory beef, offering a refreshing and guilt-free way to enjoy the meal.
  • Stir-fried noodles: Combine the Sha Cha Beef with stir-fried noodles for a more substantial dish. This hearty meal option adds a delightful texture contrast and ensures a satisfying dish.
  • Bao buns: Create a fun, handheld option by stuffing the Sha Cha Beef mixture into soft, fluffy bao buns. This adds a playful twist to the meal and makes for an excellent party food or snack.
  • With soup: Pair the Sha Cha Beef with a light broth for a more balanced and lighter meal. This combination provides a soothing contrast to the robust flavors of the beef, making for a delicious and comforting meal.
  • As a salad: Toss the Sha Cha Beef with various greens for a refreshing salad. This option is perfect for those looking for a lighter, more health-conscious way to enjoy the dish, with the greens adding a fresh and crisp dimension.

Other recipes like this

If you like this recipe, here are some others you might enjoy:

An overhead view of a bowl of Sha Cha beef served with rice and garnished with a green herb, there is additional rice in the background.

Can I store sha cha beef in the fridge?

Yes, store sha cha beef in the fridge for roughly three days in an airtight container.

What can I serve with sha cha beef?

Broccoli and cauliflower make excellent choices, adding a crunchy texture and a healthy balance to the dish. Spinach, with its tender leaves, complements the beef beautifully. For a more filling option, rice is a classic serving, soaking up the rich flavors of the sauce. Alternatively, medium egg noodles can be a great pairing, offering a satisfying blend of texture and taste with the savory beef. These sides not only add variety but also complete the meal, making it both filling and delicious.

Sha Cha Beef

This sha cha beef recipe is impressive - the dish is flavorful, the beef is tender and it takes roughly 15 - 25 min to make from start to finish.



10 mins

15 mins

25 mins

238 kcal

A beautiful bowl of Sha Cha beef served on a bed of white fluffy steamed rice with herbs garnishing the dish.


  • 1 pound beef (thinly sliced)

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1.5 teaspoons minced ginger or 1.5 teaspoons ginger paste

  • 1.5 teaspoons minced garlic or 1.5 teaspoons garlic paste

  • 2 tablespoons sha cha sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 medium white onion

  • 3 green onions (chopped in 1-inch pieces)

  • Vegetable oil (as needed)


  1. Mix the sliced beef, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a bowl.

  2. Heat a pan over high heat with a little bit of vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot, add the beef slices to the pan until the beef is cooked on the outside - roughly 30 seconds on each side. It’s fine if the slices are still slightly pink in the center since we will put the slices back into the pan to cook completely. Remove the beef from the pan and set it aside.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium heat. Add 1.5 teaspoons of ginger, 1.5 teaspoons of garlic, 2 tablespoons of sha cha sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and half the chopped white onion to the pan and cook for 1 minute.

  4. After 1 minute, add the beef and the green onions into the pan with the sha cha sauce mixture. Cook everything on high heat until the white onions are opaque and the green onions have wilted.


  • To save time when making recipes that require ginger and garlic, we recommend using ginger and garlic paste.

  • While cooking the beef initially, you may have to cook the beef in batches so that you can evenly cook each beef slice.

  • If you like this sha cha beef recipe, try out our Sha Cha Chicken recipe too!


  1. Calories 238 kcal | 
  2. Carbohydrate Content 10.3 g | 
  3. Cholesterol Content 68 mg | 
  4. Fat Content 10.3 g | 
  5. Fiber Content 0.6 g | 
  6. Protein Content 24.8 g | 
  7. Serving Size 1 portion | 
  8. Sodium Content 166.9 mg | 
  9. Sugar Content 6.7 g | 

About the author

Emma Donin is the culinary maestro behind this blog that serves as a melting pot of global cuisines and gastronomic adventures. Her culinary journey began in her grandmother's kitchen, where she learned the fundamentals of cooking and the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients.

Headshot of the author, Emma Donin