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Recipes: Black pepper beef and Bahama Mamas

By: Brian Kennett

Mmm. Beefy


Black pepper beef

This little food journey started with a recommendation from a Cambodian friend, client and fellow foodie called Po.

Together, we headed off to Changi Road to the Siamese Cat restaurant as Po was desperate for me to try the assam fish head curry. The dish was lovely, but I couldn’t resist also indulging in their black pepper beef.

It was amazing. Hot, hot, hot – a very spicy little number loaded with black pepper, and, if I’m not mistaken, a sneaky smattering of chilli padi too. The beef just melted in the mouth and the sauce literally stuck to the meat and glistened in the light. It was a thing of culinary beauty.

So, rising to the challenge, I took it upon myself to have a go at recreating it. I had never tried to cook a black pepper beef dish so it was a real test, but it turned out to be pretty damn good; the extended Kennett family all gave it rave reviews. Enjoy.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 400g sirloin steak, sliced and tenderized
  • 1 green capsicum, deseeded and cut in to chunks
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut evenly
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 1 inch of young ginger, chopped roughly
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper corns
  • 2 Jalapeno peppers, deseeded and sliced lengthways

Beef marinade

  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in a little cold water

Here’s what to do:

  1. Marinate the beef for one hour.
  2. Heat a good glug or two of oil in a wok and get it hot. Add the beef including the marinade and let it sizzle away for a minute or two. Take off the heat and put meat on a plate.
  3. Clean your wok. Heat another good glug of oil until it’s really hot. Stir fry the garlic and ginger until sweated down. Throw in capsicum, onion and pepper and sweat.
  4. Return the beef to the wok and stir-fry everything together for another two minutes until the sauce is thick and sticky.

A nice manly drink

Bahama Mamas
We love a rum cocktail, so one that combines two types of dark rum sounds heavenly to us. Our editor was raving about this particular cocktail that he drank far too many of in Malacca. Enjoy.


  • 7ml coffee liqueur
  • 14ml dark rum
  • 14ml coconut liqueur
  • 7ml 151 proof (high proof) rum
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 114ml pineapple juice
  • Strawberry or cherry for garnish

Here’s what to do:

  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice
  2. Shake well and serve
  3. Repeat!

Read more of Brian’s food adventures here.