As you know, Thai dishes traditionally carry a lot of exotic flavors since they use a lot of their authentic flavors. So, here we come up with such a flavorful dish and its whereabouts- Thai pepper steak and its ingredients!

Generally known as Thai pepper steak, this dish comes in two main versions in Thailand: Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) and Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper beef stir-fry). Both dishes call for a common ingredient which is beef steak. Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) is flavored with fresh Thai chiles, while Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper beef stir-fry) is glazed with a black pepper sauce.

Interested in learning more? Keep reading as we wish to share everything we know about this delicious Thai dish!

What Is Thai Pepper Steak?

Thai pepper steak is a popular Thai meat stir-fry dish that can be made without too much work. As the name suggests, its primary ingredient is beef steak. There is no standard recipe to prepare this dish, but there are two main types common to Thai cuisine.

Neua Pad Prik, which translates to “Chile Beef Stir-fry” is steak mixed with vegetables, spices, and mainly a combination of mild to hot fresh Thai chile peppers. In the meantime, there’s another popular type, Neua Pad Prik Dum. which translates to “Black pepper Beef Stir-fry”. This dish is made with steak, mixed with vegetables and spices but with black pepper as the main flavor component.

Thai Pepper Steak - SpiceRally

Thai pepper steak, in general, is considered a nutritious dish that can be served as a side dish with rice and food items. Each chef and home cook has their own way of making this dish. However, the main flavor components remain unchanged to bring out the base taste and texture of the recipe.

Thai pepper steak is popular for many reasons. The main thing is it is very easy to make within a matter of a few minutes. Second, it calls for a few basic ingredients, nothing fancy. And the other thing is it is very versatile and you can adjust the ingredients and flavors according to your taste preference.

What Ingredients Are Used To Make Thai Pepper Steak?

As mentioned earlier, Thai pepper steak is one of the most uncomplicated dishes in authentic Thai cuisine. The classic recipe requires only a few basic ingredients, while spices create the base flavor of any recipe. The ingredients in both main varieties slightly vary and let’s first address the common ingredients used in both types.


Common to any recipe for Thai pepper steak, beef steak is the main ingredient in this dish. Typically raw, a piece of tenderloin or filet is cut into very thin slices and mixed with the spices and vegetables of this dish.

If not, some also use pre-cooked steak, dry/wet rubbed or marinated and cooked to a preferred doneness. Pre-cooked steak can be refrigerated, kept outside for a while before making this dish, and cut into thin strips as required.

If beef is taken raw, the pieces are usually marinated with a splash of soy sauce and a dash of sugar before incorporating them with the vegetables in the recipe. However, even though cutting the steak requires a specific standard, preparing it calls for no standard method and it depends on your preference.


Garlic- Pungent, aromatic, and intense fresh garlic is the base of any Thai pepper steak recipe. Usually, fresh garlic cloves are slightly pounded or crushed and added to heated oil to infuse their flavor and aroma into the entire dish. When making Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry), garlic is crushed together with hot Thai pepper. At the same time, a few cloves are [pounded alone and sauteed in oil when making Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry).

Thai chile peppers- This ingredient is a staple when making Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry). However, sometimes, Thai chile peppers are also used in Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) to get an extra punch of flavor, heat, and color.

Thai chile peppers usually score about 50,000-100,000 SHU on the Scoville heat scale. Therefore, most of them are quite hot when compared to regular chile peppers. While the Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) dish typically contains a combination of mild to hot chile peppers, Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) includes mild chiles.

Bell peppers- Apart from Thai chile peppers, vibrant bell peppers are a common addition to any Thai pepper steak dish. This acts more as a vegetable in the dish, blending in with the onions. Red, green, and yellow bell peppers are diced and added to this dish to make it more visually appealing and wholesome. Bell peppers are usually milder in taste, sweet, and impart a lovely balance to the dish.

Trinity of Sauces

Whatever the type of Thai pepper steak and regardless of the recipe, there are three types of sauces used to make the foundation flavor of the dish. They are light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce. 

These three types of sauces are very common cooking ingredients in Thai culinary applications. Oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce are typically used in a ratio of 3:1:1. But these amounts can be adjusted according to one’s personal preference.

Typically light soy sauce is used in this recipe along with the other two sauces. The umami and salty flavors of these sauces are typically balanced out with brown sugar. Meanwhile, the thickness is thinned out with the help of water or stock. Thus, the flavor trio of these ingredients is critically important to the overall taste of the dish.

Black Pepper in Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry)

A decent amount of powdered or freshly crushed black pepper makes the most delicious base for this dish. Black pepper is usually allowed to be sauteed for a while with garlic and oil before adding the sauces and the rest of the ingredients.

This spice gives a strong, pungent, earthy, peppery, and piney kick to Thai pepper steak to make it more appetizing when accompanied with other main dishes like rice. Sometimes, young green peppercorns are also added to this to make it more flavorful and colorful. Young green peppercorns can be found as a very common spice in Thai cuisine.

If you’re interested in learning more exciting facts about the spices used in authentic Thai cuisine and how they help to make their dishes stand out from the rest, click and refer to our detailed post!

Other Ingredients Used in Thai Pepper Steak

In addition to the ingredients we have listed and explained on top, there are a few other things added to this dish to make it more scrumptious. These ingredients include the following:

  • Oil
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms (occasionally added)
  • Different types of seasoning powders (depending on the recipe)
  • Tapioca starch or cornstarch (as a thickener)

How To Make Thai Pepper Steak At Home?

Are you ready to make a restaurant-quality Thai pepper steak right in your kitchen? If so, we are ready to guide you with a simple yet delicious recipe to add to your dinner or lunch table the weeknight or weekend!

All you have to do is to pay a short visit to the nearest Asian or Thai store and collect some pretty, juicy, hot Thai chiles for this dish. We wish to share a classic Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) and you will find instructions to transform your dish simply into a Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) as well. So, let’s get started!

Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) Recipe

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Recipe by SpiceRally


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  • Spices
  • 7-8 cloves 7-8 Garlic

  • 3 3 Fresh Thai Red spur chiles

  • 2 2 Fresh Thai birds’ eye chiles

  • 2 2 Fresh Thai Green banana peppers

  • 1 1 Green Bell pepper (diced)

  • 1 1 Red bell pepper (diced)

  • 1 1 Yellow Bell pepper (diced)

  • Other Ingredients
  • 1 lb 1 Steak (beef filet or tenderloin)

  • 2 tbsp 2 Vegetable oil

  • 1 1 Large Onion (cut into strips)

  • 3 tbsp 3 Oyster sauce.

  • 8 tsp 8 Light soy sauce. Buy This

  • 2 tbsp 2 Fish sauce. Buy This

  • 2 tsp 2 Light Brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp 3 Water



  • Preparation
  • Start by cutting your steak into thin strips. Cut them as thin as possible, transfer them to a bowl, and marinade with 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce and set it aside. Let this sit for at least 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, put your garlic cloves into the mortar along with the fresh Thai bird’s eye chiles. Pound them using the pestle until you get a coarse paste. You don’t need to make a smooth paste.
  • Then, cut the rest of the Thai chiles into pieces and set them all aside.

  • Making Neua Pad Prik Recipe (Chile Beef Stir-fry)
  • Keep your pan or skillet on medium-high flame and add the two tablespoons of oil to it.
  • Once the oil is heated, slowly add the chile-garlic mixture and saute them for about 1 minute.
  • Now, add the steak and cook them until nice and tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Mix in the onions, along with the cut chile peppers and bell peppers.
  • Give everything a good mix and stir in the sauces: oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce along with water.
  • Combine everything until well incorporated. Add the sugar and mix well again.
  • Let all the ingredients cook for another 3-4 minutes. Do your taste check and adjust the seasonings if required. At this point, you can add more sauces and sugar to balance out the flavor accordingly.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy it warm!

  • To make Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry)
  • The recipe does not differ very much and you only have to do a few simple alterations. First, you don’t need all the hot Thai chile peppers when making the black pepper stir-fry. You can just keep the spur chiles and leave out the rest. But you will need all three bell peppers.
  • Crush the garlic using a mortar and pestle or chop it depending on your preference. Then, once the oil is heated, add the garlic and saute it on low flame for about 1-2 minutes.
  • To the sauteed garlic, stir in one tablespoon+one teaspoon of freshly ground/ powdered black pepper. Let garlic and black pepper saute for about another 30 seconds.
  • From this point onwards, you can follow the instructions we have given in the previous recipe.

Tasty tips and suggestions by SpiceRally

  • You can choose Thai chiles according to your preference. But make sure to choose a combination of mild to hot chile peppers.
  • Cut the bird’s eye chiles and chop the garlic if you don’t have a mortar and pestle.
  • Add an Asian mushroom type of your choice if preferred. You can go with varieties like oyster mushrooms or straw mushrooms. If adding mushrooms, you will have to do it right after you add steak to the pan.
  • Use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock water instead of regular water to thin out the sauces in the dish. You can use more water or stock if you need more gravy.
  • If making Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry), you can also use young green peppercorn for more flavor and color.

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Is Thai Pepper Steak Gluten-free?

Traditionally, Thai pepper steak is made by using soy sauce and oyster sauce which are not gluten-free. This could make the entire dish not favorable enough to include in a diet of those who follow a gluten-free diet.

Is Thai Pepper Steak Keto-friendly?

The Thai pepper steak dish usually contains very few amounts of carbs. Therefore, any of these recipes could be an excellent, tasty addition if you’re following a ketogenic diet plan. However, make sure not to include any type of flour or starch as additional thickeners.

Enjoy Your Thai Pepper Steak As The Perfect Weeknight Meal Alongside Rice!

Thai pepper steak, made as  Neua Pad Prik Recipe (Chile Beef Stir-fry) or Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) is an excellent Asian twist to satisfy the spicy food craving of your family. We would suggest that Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) is the best pick if you have kids to enjoy your meal. Bursting with warm, spicy, and hot flavors, this beef stir-fry dish will leave a lingering taste in your senses to cherish throughout lunch or dinner!

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