Gluten Free Kung Pao Beef and Noodle Bowl

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Learn how to make the most tender beef, just like Chinese restaurants, in this easy recipe for gluten free Kung Pao Beef. The beef is cooked on the stove, stir fry style, then tossed with rice noodles for a delicious meal!

Kung pao beef, rice noodles and red bell peppers in white bowl topped with peanuts and green onions

Have you ever wondered how your favorite Chinese restaurant gets an inexpensive cut of meat to taste so dang tender? The technique is called velveting and it’s actually SO EASY!

Simply marinate strips of meat in a combination of cornstarch, baking soda, soy sauce and mirin for 30 minutes. I used a flank steak to make this Kung Pao Beef, but this technique can also be used on other proteins.

It’s seriously a GAME CHANGER! Kurt immediately said this was the best Asian dish I’ve ever made! And with over 100 Asian recipes on the blog, that’s saying a lot!

Instead of serving the beef over rice, I tossed it with rice noodles. There’s just something about sitting on the couch with a pair of chopsticks and a big bowl of noodles. It’s Chinese comfort food and I can’t get enough of it!

I have a whole menu of go-to noodle dishes that I rotate through each week. Spicy Vegetable Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles and this Kung Pao Beef Noodle Bowl are regular players on the weekly menu!

After making these recipes, you’ll quickly realize how easy it is to make delicious Chinese food at home! Then you’ll be ditching the take out menus for good!

Making your own Chinese recipes is also the best way to eat gluten free Chinese food. My gluten free Chinese recipes are some of the most popular on the blog! Gluten Free Chinese Honey Chicken and Gluten Free General Tso’s Chicken are definitely on the MUST-TRY list!

I made this Kung Pao Beef Noodle Bowl gluten free by using gluten free soy sauce. The remainder of the ingredients in this dish should be naturally gluten free. But always be sure to check the labels on ingredients like mirin and sweet chili sauce just to be sure! If you’re not on a gluten free diet, traditional soy sauce can be used in this recipe.

Once the beef has tenderized for 30 minutes, it only takes 15 minutes to toss this entire recipe together! Faster, easier and BETTER than take out, yes please!

Overhead shot of Kung Pao Beef, noodles, green onions and bell peppers in bowl with chopsticks

How to make Kung Pao Beef

  • Tenderize the beef. The best Kung Pao Beef starts with tenderizing, or velveting, the meat. Add baking soda, cornstarch, soy sauce and mirin to a large ziplock bag. Add strips of flank steak, cut against the grain, to the bag. Toss well to coat the beef, then place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
    • What is mirin? Mirin is a rice wine, easily found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. Cooking sake can also be used in place of the mirin.
  • Make the Kung Pao sauce. In a small bowl, combine sriracha, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, mirin, sweet chili sauce and fresh grated ginger. Set the sauce aside.
  • Cook the rice noodles. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Either add the rice noodles immediately, then drain and set aside. Or wait until the beef is added to the stir fry, then add the rice noodles to the boiling water. Drain and immediately add to the skillet with the kung pao beef.
  • Stir fry the Kung Pao Beef. Add sesame oil to a large skillet or wok on the stove over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped Thai chilies and garlic. Saute for 1 minute, then add chopped scallions and red bell peppers. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove the beef from the marinade and add to the skillet. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Toss it all together. Add the cooked rice noodles, roasted peanuts and Kung Pao sauce to the stir fry and toss everything together.

What is a good substitute for Thai chili?

If Thai chilies can’t be found at your grocery store, serrano peppers can be used instead. Serranos do not have the same spice level as a Thai chili. More serranos will have to be used to reach the same spice level as Thai chilies.

Please note that serranos are 3-4 times the size of a Thai chili. If you’re substituting serrano peppers for Thai chilies, you would only need one serrano for every 4 Thai chilies. If you want to up the spice level, you can add two chopped serranos.

Is Kung Pao Beef spicy?

This dish is REALLY SPICY, on a restaurant scale of 1-10, I’d say that this dish is at an 8. If you want to calm down the spice, use less Thai chilis. Or substitute in a more mild chili, like a serrano or jalapeno. The amount of sriracha in the sauce can also be reduced to bring down the spice level of this dish.

What is the difference between Kung Pao Beef and Mongolian Beef?

Kung pao beef is a Szechuan dish made with spicy chilies and a spicy hot sauce. Kung Pao Beef is very spicy, whereas Mongolian beef is not spicy at all.

Is Kung Pao Beef low carb?

Without the rice noodles, this kung pao beef recipe contains 20 carbs per serving. This dish can be served with extra veggies or zucchini noodles, instead of rice noodles, for a complete low carb meal.

Noodles wrapped around chopsticks in bowl with beef, bell peppers and peanuts

To complete your homemade Chinese takeout menu, check out these delicious, easy Chinese recipes!

Kung pao beef, rice noodles, green onions and sliced red bell peppers in large white bowl
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Gluten Free Kung Pao Beef and Noodle Bowl

Learn how to make the most tender beef, just like Chinese restaurants, in this easy recipe for gluten free Kung Pao Beef. The beef is cooked on the stove, stir fry style, then tossed with rice noodles for a delicious meal!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Marinade Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 564 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

Beef Tenderizer Marinade

Kung Pao Sauce

Stir Fry Beef & Noodle Bowl

  • 8 oz rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 Thai red chiles chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 scallions cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper cut in 1 inch strips
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts

Instructions

Beef Tenderizer Marinade

  1. Add the mirin, soy sauce, cornstarch and baking soda to a large ziplock bag.

  2. Add the sliced flank steak and toss to make sure it’s well coated.

  3. Place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

Kung Pao Sauce

  1. Prepare the sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Stir Fry Beef & Noodle Bowl

  1. Once the steak has tenderized for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator, remove it from the fridge.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.
  3. Add the sesame oil to a large skillet or wok on the stove over medium high heat.
  4. Add the thai chilies and garlic, saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add the scallions and red bell pepper, saute for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove the steak from the marinade and add to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. While the steak is cooking, place the rice noodles in the boiling water and boil for 3 minutes.
  8. Drain the noodles after 3 minutes and add to the skillet with the kung pao sauce and roasted peanuts.
  9. Toss everything together for 1-2 minutes on the stove, then serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • This dish is VERY SPICY! To reduce the spice level, reduce the amount of Thai chilies used and/or reduce the amount of sriracha in the sauce.
  • If Thai chilies cannot be found, serrano peppers can be used in their place. Depending on the level of spice desired, you'll want to use 1-2 chopped serranos to replace the 4 Thai chilies in this recipe.