The Secret to Pepper Lunch’s Beef Pepper Rice Is Good-Quality Meat

September 12, 2019

This food hack was originally posted on August 30, 2014, but was re-published with a video.

They say that the secret to Pepper Lunch is that half-melted, mustard-colored butter they casually dump right on top of your rice.

But guess what? It isn’t.

Well, we took a crack at hacking Pepper Lunch’s famous Beef Pepper Rice while using regular grocery butter. And ta-da, it doesn’t make a difference (at least in taste). We’re proud to say that our version is even better than the real thing.

Beef me up, Scotty!

So if it’s not the butter, what made it special then? For this recipe, we got the taste almost exactly the same. What really made this go boom was that we we used good quality, well-prepared beef. In fact, the recipe is ridiculously simple; and precisely because of the simplicity, the quality of the beef gets a bigger role. Think of what happens to Ironman if you suddenly replace Robert Downey Jr. with Robert Pattinson. That’s how screwed up this dish is gonna be without the rightful hero—good beef.

One does not simply stake their reputation on a sizzling plate of beef. But for this one, we will. Besides having it better and bigger, you won’t have to smell like a lunchtime promo after you’ve had your mid-day fix.

Lastly, the reason why we [were] really excited to announce this post [the first time it was posted, was that we finally had] something to reply to those confuddled tweeps who keep on tagging us mistakenly as Pepper Lunch. Every few days or so, [we’d get (and still do, occasionally to this day] something to the effect of, “Sarap ng beef pepper rice. Busog na busog ako! @pepperph.” Instead of slapping them for their ignorance, we point them to this recipe instead.

  • Serves: 2 people
  • Active time: 1 hr
  • Total time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: Easy



  • 400g short plate cut beef (thinly sliced)
  • 3 cups cooked japanese rice
  • 1/4 cup canned corn
  • 1/2 tsp freshly crushed pepper
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp spring onions, chopped

Honey Sauce

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp kikkoman
  • 1/8 tsp iodized salt
  • 1/4 cup slurry (1 tsp cornstarch +1/4 cup water)

Garlic Soy Sauce

  • 1/4 cup kikkoman
  • 1/4 cup regular soy sauce
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup slurry (1 tsp cornstarch +1/2 cup water)


  1. For the honey sauce, mix together all ingredients in a sauce pan and boil for 3-5 minutes or until garlic and onions are soft.
  2. Puree in blender and transfer to sauce bottles.
  3. For the garlic soy sauce, mix the two soy sauces together in a sauce pan.
  4. Marinate raw garlic in the soy sauce for 30 minutes.
  5. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil for one minute.
  6. Turn off fire immediately.
  7. Puree in blender and transfer to sauce bottles.
  8. Before making the beef, make sure it’s completely thawed.
  9. Heat cast iron skillet on high flame until it smokes.
  10. Put half of the steamed rice (while still hot) in the middle.
  11. Turn off fire.
  12. While skillet is still on the stove, turn off fire and scatter beef around the rice.
  13. Top with 1 tbsp of salted butter (this will instantly melt into the rice).
  14. Top with half the corn, half the pepper and half the spring onions. Serve immediately with the two sauces on the side.
  15. Repeat the same procedure for the second serving.
Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

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