Mike Tomkins’ Beef in Black Bean Sauce

Mike Tomkins’ Beef in Black Bean Sauce

Big Flavours, Small Budgets – A series of tips and recipes from leading chefs, brands and foodies that show how to create delicious food on a budget.

Create your own Chinese fakeaway with this quick, easy and delicious beef in black bean sauce takeaway recipe by Mike Tomkins. 

Tri-tip is a cut of beef made famous by the American BBQ scene. This cheaper cut of beef is treasured because of its amazing depth of flavour. Also known as the tail-end rump, tri-tip is an inexpensive cut compared to others such as bavette and makes this a firm favourite in my house.

This is my version of the beef in black bean sauce that you might get from your favourite Chinese takeaway, and honestly, this couldn't be easier to make. By following this recipe, you'll be able to make one of your favourites at home whenever you want.

Beef in black bean sauce recipe tips

The secret to making this Chinese takeaway recipe even better than the real thing is by cooking it to temperature, not time. Cook the beef whole, rest, and then slice after. This way, you can get the finish just how you like it: 52 °C for rare, 60 °C for medium or 71 °C for well done. The temperature will rise slightly as it rests, so remove the beef from the heat a little under these temperatures for the perfect finish. 


Beef can become overdone really quickly, so using a fast instant-read thermometer like the Thermapen ONE, which reads the temperature in one second, will make all the difference.

Serves 2
  • 300g Tri-tip (rump tail)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 spring onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp Chinese black beans
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch five spice
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Begin by crushing your garlic, ginger and black beans into a paste using a pestle and mortar.
  • Create a marinade for your beef by combining your sesame oil, sugar, five spice, soy, Shaoxing wine and cornflour. Rub the marinade well into the beef.
  • Prep your stir fry by roughly chopping your veg and set to the side.
  • Heat a wok to smoking before adding 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and then your steak. Sear well on each side, but be careful not to leave one side down for too long to avoid burning your marinade. Reduce the heat of your wok and cook until the internal temperature reads 52 °C on your Thermapen; this will give us a lovely medium finish. Set the beef to one side and allow it to rest.
  • Bring the heat back up in the wok and add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Once fiercely hot, add your stir fry veg and cook for a minute or so before adding your black bean paste. Cook for another minute or so before adding 150ml of chicken stock.
  • Cook for a few minutes at a high temperature until the stock reduces and is sticky.
  • Serve by slicing the steak thinly and placing it on top of your veg. Finish with thinly sliced spring onion.
Products to help you achieve perfection
"Thermapen is one of those kitchen tools I can't live without – it's something I use every single day from making sauces, to bbq cooking, to private dining and events, it comes with me everywhere! A Thermapen will improve you as a chef and a cook by taking the guesswork out of complex cooking."
Mike Tomkins
Masterchef 2021 Runner Up
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