Quick Beef Stir-Fry with Sha Cha Sauce: A Tasty Discovery! Unveiling Sha Cha Sauce (沙茶酱) from Chaozhou, Guangdong, China.

Step-by-Step: Making Flavorful Sha Cha Beef Stir-Fry

Recipe by Annie Tibber


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In this Sha Cha Beef Stir-fry, we highlight sha cha sauce (沙茶酱), also known as “Chinese BBQ Sauce” in English. It’s a savory condiment made with shallots, garlic, seafood, and chilies, adding flavor to…


  • 1 pound of beef
    (450g, thinly sliced against the grain; flank steak or sirloin works well)

  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce (plus 1 tablespoon)

  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch

  • Vegetable oil

  • 1-2 tablespoons of minced ginger

  • 3 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)

  • 2 tablespoons of Sha cha sauce

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

  • 5 scallions (cut into 2-inch lengths at an angle)


  • For the beef, combine 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Mix thoroughly. Heat a wok on high heat until it starts smoking. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and quickly sear the beef until it just turns opaque (it can still have a slight pinkish hue). Take the beef out of the wok and place it to the side.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add a couple more tablespoons of oil to the wok. Add the minced ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then, introduce the sliced garlic, Sha cha sauce, and sugar, and stir-fry this mixture for 2 minutes.
  • Reincorporate the scallions and beef into the wok, along with the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Increase the heat to high and stir-fry for 1 minute until the scallions wilt.

This Sha Cha Stir-Fried Beef recipe highlights the key ingredient, sha cha sauce (沙茶酱). Often referred to as “Chinese BBQ Sauce” in English packaging, sha cha sauce is a flavorful blend of shallots, garlic, seafood, and chili peppers, delivering a delightful umami and sweet-savory essence, perfect for stir-fry dishes.

Sha Cha sauce is commonly used as a dipping sauce for hot pot. If you’ve ever visited a hot pot restaurant and faced a plethora of options at the dipping sauce station, you’ll recognize that Sha Cha is just one of the many spices that can elevate your hot pot dipping experience.

Since everyone has their unique sauce preferences, sha cha is seldom the primary component. However, despite my love for this sauce, I had never considered using it in a stir-fry. That’s why, when brainstorming new recipes for my blog, the idea of “Sha Cha Beef Stir-Fry” popped into my mind.

As it turns out, I’m not the first to have this idea. Surprise, surprise.

Sha Cha stir-fried beef is an authentic dish with a long history, dating back thousands of years. Yet, I had never tasted it!

My version is straightforward, featuring beef, green onions, ginger, and two generous tablespoons of sha cha sauce. This Beef Sha Cha Stir-Fry pairs wonderfully with steamed white rice and a side of vegetables, and it comes together in just a few minutes.

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