Ethiopian-Style Sautéed Beef, Onion and Chilies

4 Servings

30 minutes

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This quick sauté is based on an Ethiopian dish called zilzil tibs, in which strips of meat (zilzil) are fried (tibs) with onion and peppers. Before cooking, we season the slices of beef generously with berbere, the best-known Ethiopian spice blend, along with garlic, rosemary and a couple additional spices. Look for berbere, a rust-red mix because of its dried-chili base, in well-stocked supermarkets and spice shops. At the end of cooking, we add a splash of white wine—a nod to tej, or honey wine, that’s sometimes used in Ethiopian cooking—to blend with the meat’s juices and make a light, simple sauce. If you can find it, injera, a moist, spongy, slightly sour Ethiopian flatbread, is the ideal accompaniment, but rice, naan or lavash would be good, too.




Don’t slice the flank steak with the grain or the meat will be tough and chewy. The muscle fibers of flank steak are long and unidirectional. Be sure to slice each 3-inch section on the diagonal and across the fibers for the tenderest texture.

30 minutes


  • pounds flank steak, cut with the grain into 3-inch sections, then thinly sliced against the grain on the diagonal

  • 2

    tablespoons berbere


Jeff E.
August 7, 2022
I've cooked this twice now and this will be one of my family's staple meals. So good!