Never miss a recipe again

Sign up to our Newsletter to receive FREE Healthy World Cuisine Recipes and Fun and Easy Tips for Healthy Living.

  • We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle

July 25, 2015

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle is an amazing dish with sizzling tender sukiyaki beef, pepper, rice and a delicious Amakuchi and Karakuchi sauces that can be on your table in less than 30 minutes. Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

Have you ever eaten at a Pepper Lunch restaurant?

Pepper Lunch is not a high-end luxury dining experience by any means. As a matter of fact, you have to first place your order into a vending machine and pick out your items to get your food ticket and to retrieve your food.  However please don't misconstrue.  Of course, there are not waitresses fluttering about you waiting on you hand in foot. However, their signature dish is simple, quick, inexpensive, filling, hot, delicious and served to you in a matter of moments. In addition, their special sauces are to die for. There is the Amakuchi sauce which is sometimes called Special Honey Brown Sauce , Pepper Steak Honey Brown Sauce, Japanese honey brown sauce. There is the Karakuchi sauce sometimes called the Garlic-Soy Sauce or Pepper Lunch Steak sauce. My family loves them both.

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

I first posted this recipe on November 17, 2011 and I have made this Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzledish about a million times since then for my family. I have added some helpful hints and I have sorted out the recipe for both the Amakuchi and Karakuchi sauce to the best of my tasting abilities.

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

You are never going to believe this but they just put in a Pepper Lunch restaurant walking distance from  my home, here in Hong Kong. Life is good!  However, when I don't feel like fighting the crowds or walking 20 minutes, making this dish at home is a great alternative.

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

Pepper Lunch in Taikoo Place in Hong Kong

According to Wikipedia, Pepper Lunch restaurant originated in Japan in 1994 by chef and inventor Kunio Ichinose, who wanted to serve quality fast food without hiring a chef. He devised a method using hot metal plates that are heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 Celsius) by an electromagnetic cooker. The raw meat with vegetables and/or rice are then placed on the plates, where they cook in front of the customer.  The meal is then mixed with a choice of either the special honey brown sauce (Amakuchi) or garlic soy sauce (Karakuchi). Now there are over 200 restaurants in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Macau, Philippines and USA.

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

The signature dish of "Pepper Lunch Restaurant" is their sizzling beef and rice platter. Hands down this type of food that teenagers will come flocking to as it consists of everything they deem edible in Asia in one easy dish; rice, beef, corn and the special yummy sauces.

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

You know the everyday struggle I have with raising and feeding teenagers in Asia... "Eww! Are we are on the show fear factor?  My goodness, what is that?  I am soooooo not eating that. (Grilled squid on a stick, Fried blood, chicken feet, 1000 year old eggs, congee, snake,eel, mystery like meat substances with lots of bones, the list goes on and on). Need I say more???? So our famous family motto is, "There is always rice!" Plain white rice is pure and filling. In addition, rice can be used as way to hide the other weird mysterious foods that end up on your plate during those executive meetings and or other such functions. My teenagers all know the drill, move your food around on your plate, pretend to enjoy and smile while eating the items placed on your plate or hide the weird stuff on the bottom of your rice pile.

However, men cannot live on rice alone, so that is why this signature Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle dish is a perfect family retreat in Asia. Of course it is fun to eat this dish out at the Pepper Lunch restaurant, but it is just as fun, easy and simple to make this dish at home. After several visits to this establishment, here is what I think they put into their signature dishes. (give or take a few ingredients)

I use sukiyaki beef that is very thin and delicious and here is a photo of it, if you are wondering what it is. Now don't worry if you cannot find sukiyaki beef you can just use a sirloin or other tasty tender cut of meat you like and slice it ultra thin.

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

This is my re-engineering of the recipe just by taste and watching them make it in the restaurant. Feel free to adjust ingredients/amounts and let me know how it goes.

Helpful Cooking Hints:

1) Using an iron skillet is best as it really holds the heat and can cook the beef even after it is off the burner. However, I do not have 4 iron skillets and I need to use regular skillets for the rest of our family. No worries you will just have to keep the regular pan on the burner for an additional 3-5 minutes to cook the beef and to get the rice crunchy.

2) The crunchy rice on the bottom is the best part. I like to keep my pan on the burner for the additional couple of minutes just to get that delicious rice crunchy.

3) You do not have to use beef, if you are vegan substitute vegetables such as colorful peppers and zuchinni, eggplant or even fried tofu.

4) Many people use super thin slices of fatty salmon or tuna belly instead of beef or even super thin slices of pork.

5) If you cannot find super thin and beautiful sukiyaki beef at the store , then try purchasing a sirloin steak, put it in the freezer so it gets firm and then cut into super thin slices. Make sure it is unthawed and dried all the way before cooking.

6) If you need to follow a gluten free diet then please substitute soy sauce with tamari and you can have the garlic- soy (Karakuchi sauce). However you cannot have the honey -soy sauce mixture as the oyster sauce is not gluten free. If you really want to try an alteration to the  honey -soy sauce, remove the oyster sauce and replace with 1/4 cup water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and mix until it is a slurry and add to the honey soy mixture and cook until bubbly and thick.

7) If you are diabetic, you can still enjoy the beef but instead of the rice sizzle add some vegetables. Instead of the honey in the honey soy mixture add a sugar alternative to taste.

8) Kids and adults both love this dish!

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

Flash Back photo with a point and shoot camera from 2011...

Pepper Lunch Beef Rice Sizzle /



  • We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.


Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...
Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle /

Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle

By HWC Magazine  , , , , ,   

July 25, 2015

Japanese Pepper Lunch Steak is an amazing dish with sizzling tender sukiyaki beef, pepper, rice and a delicious Amukuchi and Karakuchi sauces that can be on your table in less than 30 minutes.  (Serves 4)

  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yields: 4 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


Amakuchi (Honey - Soy Sauce)

honey - 1/4 cup

tamari (soy) sauce - 1/4 cup

oyster sauce - 1/4 cup

Karakuchi (Garlic-Soy Sauce)

canola oil - 1 teaspoon

garlic - 3 -4 cloves minced

tamari (soy) sauce - 1/2 cup

black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon

water - 1/4 cup

cornstarch - 1 teaspoon

Pepper Lunch Beef (serves 4)

canola oil - 4 tablespoons (1 tablespoon per person)

onion - 1 large onion chopped finely (1/4 onion per person)

garlic - 2 cloves minced (1/2 garlic clove per person)

rice - 4 cups precooked white rice (1 cup per person)

sukiyaki beef - 800 grams or about 1.75 pounds (Feeds 4 hungry teenagers) if you cannot find sukiyaki beef, you can use sirloin and freeze and then cut ultra thin

pepper - 1 teaspoon (1/4 teaspoon per person)

corn - 1 cup (can use fresh, frozen or even canned)- 1/4 cup per person

margarine/butter - 4 teaspoons (1 teaspoon per person)

green onions - 2 tablespoons thinly sliced for garnish


1Make the special honey brown sauce (Amakuchi). In a small pan add honey, soy sauce and oyster sauce mix and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes and set aside.

2Make the garlic soy sauce (Karakuchi). In a small pan add your oil and then add your garlic and just sauté until slightly aromatic then add the tamari (soy sauce) and pepper. Mic the cornstarch and water together to make a slurry and then slowly add to karakuchi sauce and cook until boils and slightly thickens. Set aside.

3Make your Pepper Lunch Steak. In an iron skillet or a heavy duty pan, heat up your pan to a high heat, add your oil, onions and garlic and cook just until aromatic, add 1 cup of rice (per person) in the middle of the pan, then add the beef around the rice. sprinkle pepper on your beef, add the corn on top of rice and then place a dab of butter on top of your corn/rice mixture.

4It is at this point that in the restaurant pepper lunch they would remove from the heat and serve to you. It is up to you but if you have 4 iron skillets and can get the pans super hot to cook the meat then by all means remove from the heat and serve. However, I only have one iron skillet, and only 3 burners and 3 regular pans and 4 mouths so feed.

5For those of you that do not have an iron skillet or really like their beef more well done or even crispy then keep on cooking for a little bit (3-5 minutes) and turn over the beef and let the rice get a little crunchy on the bottom as that is my absolute favorite part.

6Garnish your pepper lunch steak and rice sizzle with a little green onion and serve with both the delicious special honey brown sauce (Amakuchi) and garlic soy sauce (Karakuchi). Enjoy!

7Bring the Japanese Pepper Lunch Beef Sizzle piping hot to the table in the iron skillet pan and set on an oven safe mitten. (Be Careful, it is VERY hot) Yummy served with edamame and Japanese pickles on the side. ITADAKIMASU! - Lets Eat!

  • Looks delicious! Pepper lunch is pretty popular in Singapore too! Gonna try the recipe some day! (:

    • Thanks Jasline. If you ever get on a first name basis with the cook at the pepper lunch at the Singapore Pepper Lunch ask him for information on what items are in their special sauces. As you can see, I still have not been watermarking my pictures, so little time and so much to get done. Maybe next month. Take Care

  • PAM

    Looks like a great dish to make. I love the corn topping–very Hong Kong. I checked the web–for Pepper Lunch in NYC (seems to be only California in the USA) so I’ll have to make my own. Thanks for sharing!

    • California would be quite a hall for you in the kids just to enjoy a little pepper lunch but this little number is so easy to make at home, about 20-30minutes tops. This is a very kid friendly dish and hubby liked it quite a bit as well. Happy Holidays Pam!

  • Ty Fang


    For the honey and oyster sauce, just like to check the quantity is it in cup or tablespoon ?

    • Hello Ty, thanks for stopping by. There are 4 tablespoons in each 1/4 cup. It is equal amounts of honey, oyster sauce and Soy sauce. I used 1/4 cup (.25 cup) which is also the same as 4 tablespoons of each. So you can make as much dipping sauce as you like just keep the proportions equal. I hope this helps. Take care, BAM

  • Anonymous

    I made the honey brown sauce using brown sugar, kikkoman, oyster sauce, freshly cracked black pepper, pureed roasted onion.

  • Wow, this is right up my alley – can’t wait to try it!!

    • Thanks! Your kids will love it. Mom’s love it because it takes less than 30 minute to make. My favorite part if the crunchy rice bits.

  • I think i am going to print this one…. even i won’t make it this good, at least i can look at it……..!

    • We just ate this again tonight. A great meal and in no time flat so it is part of usual meal plans during the month at least once.

  • This looks wonderful and something that would go over well at our house too!

    • Thank you. Kids love it and it is really easy to make. Take Care, BAM

  • Marlin

    Well,i’ve tried it’s really a hot favourite delicious meal! Thanks for the recipe my kids & hubby loves it tastes better than pepper lunch so happy I can do it at my very own kitchen gee thanks Bam!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you very much for leaving a message and I am so happy to hear this. Pepper Lunch really is an easy weeknight meal. To make it even faster than 15 minutes from skillet to table, I have started making my sauce in larger batches in keeping in a sealed container the refrigerator as we have this meal almost once a week. Take care, BAM

  • jordan cheung

    beef pepper rice is my favourite because of the margarine

  • jasmine

    what kind of butter pepper lunch put on top of the beef or rice? The color is brown… please let me know. thanx.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Jasmine, thanks for stopping by Bam’s Kitchen and leaving a message. I used unsalted butter on top of my rice just to give it that special added flavor at the end of the dish. (You can also use salted butter or even margarine)

      The brown sauce I use on top of the rice and beef is called (Amakuchi) which is special honey brown sauce made with equal amount of honey, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

      If you are concerned that your butter will brown too much before your beef has a chance to cook, then you can use a little canola oil and butter together at the start of the dish and this will allow you to cook your beef and rice at a higher temperature without too much browning, however the browning of the rice and beef is my favorite part. Please let me know if you still have questions. Have a super weekend. Take Care, BAM

  • MS

    We live in Japan, and my whole family loves going to Pepper Lunch. Any ideas on making the curry version? The sauce that is tucked under the rice in the curry version is much darker than the sauce in the regular pepper lunch.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks for stopping by Bam’s Kitchen. I have never tried the curry version, but I know what you are talking about. I will have to order the curry version on my next visit to pepper lunch and see if we can replicate that for you. Have a super day. Take Care, BAM

  • archi

    wow!!! this is so nice been wanting to have it again eversince i tried it in the philippines…will cook this later….tnx

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks so much for stopping by Archi! This meal is super easy to prepare in your home. I hope you give it a try soon. Have a super day.

  • I love the saying that there is always rice. It’s something my mom would have said. I bet your kids love this dish 🙂

  • kitchenriffs

    I love recipes that are oldies and goodies! Really like the highlights on the meat in the top photo. And the dish itself? Really good stuff — loads of flavor. Thanks.

  • Eha

    Bobbi – this post has just taught me a valuable lesson: nearly said ‘oh, we do not have that chain in Australia’!: glad I did talk to Mr Google ’cause there is one in Sydney’s Chinatown, one just open in Perth on the other side of the Continent and one being opened soon in Canberra it seems! What a huge range of dishes: pages and pages here at a very reasonable price . . . . easy to make food I can see your boys loving . . . Well, I make sauces like these almost on a daily basis: won’t it be ‘fancy’ to be able to give them names now 😀 !!

  • We don’t have Pepper Lunch here in Australia, well not in Canberra anyways. But that doesn’t matter now I know how to make it myself. 🙂
    Reckon this would go down a treat in my household, although we dont seem to eat red meat much these days, guess we could swap for chicken, or even a fish huh? That sauce would work nicely with anything I reckon. Lovely recipe sweets, looking forward to trying.

    Have a rippa weekend. Cheers from a freezing cold Aussie. xo

    • Eha

      Anna dearHeart: see above – Canberra outlet opening any day . . . you can see the menu and prices on line! Have a nice weekend and hope that next strong cold front on Monday won’t freeze you over too much!

  • The thin cut beef looks so tender and delicious. Amazing photo of the dish.

  • Wonderful recipe and post. The photos are beautiful and I love the corn with the rice. What struck me most were the Amakuchi and Karakuchi sauces. Looking forward to trying them! Thanks for sharing this and your family’s experiences. I felt the same way when we went to China for the first time. To many squiggly foods and what’s up with all the bones in everything? Ha, it got better.

  • I agree with your kids – eww! LOL. But this steak and rice looks more than acceptable, in fact it looks amazing! My mouth is watering…

  • Such a great post with helpful hints, some giggles and stunning photos, Bobbi. Fried blood? OMG! I had not heard of that one and yikes! lol. I am eating meat again and particularly steak so I will make this for us because I know we’re going to love all the amazing flavours. You need to do an Ebook, Girl – with your unique dishes and gorgeous photos it would be a huge hit!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Robyn and I am so delighted to hear that I made you smile and giggle. We need that everyone in awhile… Yeah fried blood and the thing of it it is not just specific to Chinese cuisine. My mom tells me that my little Italian grandma used to make blood sausages… yikes! They did not waste a thing…the beauty of this dish is you can use the same concept and use thin slices of fish, tofu, etc. You are so ebook is on my honey do list, what about you? Have a super holiday!

      • Eha

        Actually crispy pig’s blood pancakes are probably my very favourite food in all the world cuisines: an everyday dish in my birth country of Estonia in NE Europe and methinks in the rest of the Baltics and Scandinavia. . . so this is not just an Asian ‘thing’ 🙂 !

  • Wow, this looks so amazing, and it is not just because I haven’t had Asian food in over a month!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hi there Dawn! How was France? Yeah.. I bet there are not too many Chinese restaurants there in the beautiful French countryside. LOL I am totally jealous and can’t wait to hear about your adventure.

  • That place sounds awesome! I LOVE the fact that your food is cooked on your plate – so cool! And I had to laugh at your Fear Factor comment – I always like to say I’ll try anything once, but sometimes I just have to draw the line 😉

    Your sauce recipes are fantastic and go so well with grilled meats! Speaking of which, that steak looks phenomenal – totally tender and so much flavor!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Kathleen and thanks so much for your kind comment. I am glad my fear factor paragraph made you chuckle…raising picky eating teenagers in Asia is a tough feat. I used to try anything new food once, but now I have been here long enough that I don’t have to conform to peer pressure. Sea cucumber and whole steamed frog is not something I like to have staring at me on my plate and it is way to big to hide under the rice.. LOL

  • you ain’t go that kind of generous portion on pepper lunch for sure!!!

    • Bams Kitchen

      For sure Dedy… you will not get that much protein on your plate in a Pepper Lunch restaurant. I think that is why my boys like me to make it for them at home…that is one hungry teenager boy serving…LOL I hope you are doing well.

  • I can’t hide my weakness for Asian dishes. Looks delicious and easy to make…

  • OMG, this dish looks incredible! You’re popping out super delicious recipes so fast! How can you keep up? Love the amakuchi type of sauce. This is so simple to make too. Definitely will be on my lunch menu, every week! Sharing everywhere of course 🙂

  • hotlyspiced

    I will just have to remember to not touch the plate! That is seriously hot! What a clever idea; I haven’t heard of these restaurants but the guy who created them is very clever – fancy having a restaurant that doesn’t need a chef! We don’t have them hear in Oz but I do like the sound of the two sauces and how the meal comes with rice and vegetables. And great that you have been able to adapt this for home as well xx

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hi there Charlie! I can’t remember what part of Australia you are from but Eha did a little research and found out..there is one in Sydney’s Chinatown, one just open in Perth on the other side of the Continent and one being opened soon in Canberra it seems! Or you can just try my recipe… I know your kiddos will love it. Have a super weekend

  • I lived in Tokyo for 4 years and never went into a Pepper Lunch – what was I missing out on? I know my resident carnivore would love this served to him for dinner and I reckon we would be fighting over the crispy rice on the bottom. Lovely recipe!

  • This looks like a restaurant dish! Perfect and very delicious. The word “sizzle” in the title makes me immediately want to eat it!


  • This sounds like a great dish–the garlic soy sauce sounds really good!

  • Haha – Bobbie – I think every teen parent has heard those phrases! But, I bet those phrases will vanish from kid’s vocabularies if they were presented with this dish! Both soy sauces sound wonderful and I wish we had Pepper Lunch restaurants here in Georgia!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Charlie! I bet if your daughter came to HK and she experimented with some of the local delicacies, I might here from her some of the same phrases and chants… LOL I would never do that to her. I know what teenagers like and they do really like pepper lunch and thank goodness, it is so easy to make. (You could even have it with fish, tofu or just veggies too) Take Care

  • This is a fantastic dish that my entire family would love. The sauces sound delicious and versatile: I would want to use it on everything.

  • Under 30 minutes and it looks this delicious! I’m all over this! And that sauce looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. Pinning this beauty!

  • What a beautiful dish. It looks so perfect!

  • The men in the family would just love this to appear on our menu frequently. And so would I! Easy and delicious—can’t ask for more than that!!

  • I love pepper lunch, but right now don’t have the right pan to make this at home… perhaps will tweak it a little before making this! Though this dish looks perfect, I think I’m leaning more to those fear factor foods! Don’t worry if your boys don’t appreciate them, I’ll finish them for you! 😉

  • My dad use to make something like this when I was a kid. He learned how to make it in Korea. It was so very tasty and easy to make if my dad was making it. 🙂 So thank you for sharing this recipe! Making this then taking a bite would definitely take me back. Beautiful and tasty!

  • I LOVE those places with vending machines!!! Some of the best places to eat in Japan are hole-in-the-wall places with vending machines (this place looks posher!) This looks incredible, I totally have to try it. It’s quite similar to some stir fries I make, but I love the use of Tamari in this. Pinning!

  • Tang

    My family and I love your recipe for the Beef pepper rice. For the Honey brown sauce, I also added a dash of salt and sesame oil and 1/4 cup of water 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      I am delighted that you and your family enjoy our Pepper Lunch Steak and rice sizzle recipe. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your kind comment. Next time I make this dish, I will have to try your adjustments to the honey brown sauce, sounds good.

  • I love the story (and can so relate) about your boys and food! I was pretty proud of my 2 younger sons when my brother (1st married to a Malaysian woman) offered them fish eyeball and they accepted! This Pepper Lunch Steak and Rice Sizzle looks fantastic, and would definitely appeal to most teenagers!

  • Megan

    Have you ever tried the curry version? It is my favorite, but I don’t know how to make the dark brown sauce that is always tucked under the rice – it looks like molasses when you pull apart the rice, but it definitely doesn’t taste that way! 😉 If you have any suggestions, I’d love to replicate the curry pepper lunch.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Megan, Thanks for stopping by Bam’s Kitchen. Are you referring to the Cheesy Omelet with curry sauce off of the Pepper Lunch Menu? I have not tried this item off their menu but will certainly order it next time we are there… Have you ever made Japanese curry with the House mild brand Japanese curry packets? I bet they use one of these pre-made curry sauces too. If I try to recreate this recipe inBam’s Kitchen, I will be sure to let you know. Take care, BAM

      • Megan

        It definitely isn’t the cheesy omelet. In Japan it is called Curry Beef Pepper Rice – it actually looks almost exactly like your picture except it has some curry powder sprinkled across the top. There is a paste that is tucked underneath the rice pile, which you can’t see until you start mixing the rice, that is a very dark brown. I tasted the paste separately once – no curry flavor in it at all (and it did NOT taste good on its own – it seemed very bitter to me, which surprised me). However, I suspect this paste is actually the key to the sauce that it created since the curry is just dashed over the top at the end and ultimately gets mixed in when you stir the rice up. When you mix it all together, the rice looks dark brown overall compared to the regular Beef Pepper Rice meal where the rice stays pretty light – other than the color, they look the same when mixed. On Japanese menus it was always pictured right next to or underneath the regular Beef Pepper picture. I hope this helps you find it on your menu so you can give it a try. I never poured any of the extra sauces on it – it was great just the way they prepared it. I have a picture of it if you are curious. I’ll definitely have to look for the House brand curry packets. My husband liked the regular version you’ve prepared here the best. I’m excited to make it for him. Thanks!

        • Bams Kitchen

          Thank you Megan for your response. I will have to order the curry Beef Pepper Rice and try to figure out what is in the secret sauce and report back to you. Thanks for the added detail of the dish. Now we need to investigate what they actually put in this “Secret Sauce” Are you living in Japan now? We used to live in Yokohama before moving to Hong Kong and miss it dearly. Take care and wishing you a super day!

          • Megan

            We lived in Japan for two years and loved it, but we are back stateside now. Everyone in my family still talks about eating at Pepper Lunch! Thanks again for sharing your recipe.

Simple Share Buttons