How to Recreate the Pepper Lunch Experience At Home

IMAGE Bea Faicol
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Meals served on sizzling plates were all the rage back in the early 90s. From simple pork chops to the mushroom gravy-smothered Salisbury burgers and porterhouse steaks to cater to those with big appetites, it combined the allure of freshly cooked meat complete with rice and a side of buttered mixed vegetables. The sizzling plate was the plate that everyone desired to eat off of but couldn't because it was specialized equipment.  

Pepper Lunch capitalized on that nostalgia when it opened its first branch in Powerplant Mall in 2008. With the resurgence of dine-in options, many of us (you included) may have dined-in at your nearest Pepper Lunch.

If you were dissatisfied with your dine-in experience at Pepper Lunch or if you want to load up your sizzling plate to your desired jumbo size, we have tips on how you can recreate it at home! 

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What Is Pepper Lunch 

pepper lunch pepper rice meal
Photo by Pepper Lunch website
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Pepper Lunch is a restaurant that specializes in sizzling plate meals, specifically steak. It's served on a special cast iron plate that is heated so when served, your steak is literally searing on the plate. The appeal of this kind of meal is that you are served food freshly cooked. The basic version is the Pepper Steak and the Pepper Rice. 

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The Pepper Steak is a beef steak with a side of veggies but the more popular meal is really the Pepper Rice. Pepper Rice is a complete meal with thinly sliced beef, rice, and corn kernels. 

Pepper Rice Ingredients You'll Need 

sukiyaki cut beef aka thinly sliced beef
Sukiyaki-cut beef is also known as thinly sliced beef. You can request even thinner slices if desired for your Pepper Rice meal.
Photo by Shutterstock
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Depending on what meat you're planning on cooking with your Pepper Lunch meal, the most basic and iconic version is the beef meal. You'll see slivers of thinly sliced beef laid out in a ripple around a big mound of rice. It's dusted with ground pepper and cradles a generous spoonful of corn kernels with green onions. 

Here are the ingredients you'll need to make your Pepper Lunch meal hack at home: 

  • sukiyaki-cut beef or thinly sliced beef 

  • • freshly cooked rice 

  • • sweet kernel corn 

  • • chopped green onions 

  • • margarine 

  • • ground black pepper

  • • Honey brown sauce 

  • • Garlic soy sauce 

The ingredients are all cooked with the exception of the thinly sliced beef (sometimes known as sukiyaki-cut beef or breakfast beef) which will be cooked on the cast iron plate. The last two requirements are the condiments that make mixing the rice, corn, and beef together so appetizing! 

You can make your own version but we think a simple recipe for each of the two kinds of sauces is necessary. Here's how we think you should make these two sauces: 

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How To Make An Easy Honey Brown Sauce: 

Combine 2 tablespoons each honey and water plus 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce and a pinch of ground black pepper. 

How To Make An Easy Garlic Soy Sauce: 

Combine 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 2 smashed small garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, a pinch of ground black pepper, and 3 tablespoons water. 

Pepper Rice Equipment You'll Need 

The most basic thing you need to make your version of Pepper Rice at home is a cast iron sizzling plate. This is what you'll need since the food needs to be seared on the plate and none can do this better than a cast iron plate. 

Here are two versions that you can use for your Pepper Rice lunch meal: 

Chef's Classic Round Sizzling Plate: P496 

chef's classic cast iron round sizzling plate with wooden server and detachable handle
This round sizzling plate made of cast iron is perfect for making your Pepper Rice lunch come true at home!
Photo by Shopee
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The round sizzling plate or cast iron plate is the version that Pepper Lunch uses in its store. This round sizzling plate fits the bill perfectly! It comes with a lovely dark walnut-stained and varnished wooden base and a detachable lifting handle for easy handling on and off the stove.

For those who use induction stoves, you don't have to worry about this buy because it has an induction-ready bottom as well! Plus, it comes pre-seasoned and is basically ready to use as soon as you get it! Best of all, this round sizzling plate from Chef's Classic has 95 5-star ratings so you can rest easy that it has been reviewed by others just like you.  

BUY HERE: Chef's Classics Cast Iron Round Steak Plate, 22 cm, P496, Chef's Classic Shopee Mall, Shopee

BUY HERE: Chef's Classics Cast Iron Round Steak Plate, 22 cm, P619.75, Chef's Classic Lazmall Flagship Store, Lazada

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Home Along Oval Sizzling Plate (Plain): P565/set of 3

cast iron oval sizzling plate with wooden server and detachable handle
Another sizzling plate option you can buy for plating your Pepper Rice meal.
Photo by Lazada

The classic shape that many of us are familiar with regard to the cast iron plate is the oval cast iron plate. This cast iron plate is 27 cm long and 16.5 cm wide with a 2 cm lip curving up from the sides so your food doesn't easily slide off the plate as you're transferring it from the stove to the wooden base. 

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This oval cast iron plate also comes with a detachable handle that makes it easy to lift to and from the stove as well as holding it in place as needed so you can pile on the food without it slipping. The oval cast iron plate actually comes in a set of 3 so whether you're the only one craving a Pepper Rice lunch or treating two others with your cooking skills, you have enough so you don't need to eat your meal solo. 

BUY HERE: Home Along Oval Cast Iron Plate (set of 3), P565, Home Along Lazmall Flagship Store, Lazada

How To Make Pepper Rice 

Once you have all your ingredients and the cast iron plate of your choice, you're ready to put it together! Here's how to do it: 

  • 1 Cook steamed rice according to your desired doneness.  
  • 2 Meanwhile, stir fry corn in margarine until heated through. 
  • 3 When ready to serve, heat your cast iron plate over high heat. Lightly brush with oil or more generously with margarine. 
  • 4 Mold steamed rice into a small bowl and place immediately in the center of the cast iron plate
  • 5 Immediately sprinkle the rice with ground pepper, top with corn and then chopped green onions. 
  • 6 Surround the rice with raw thinly sliced beef and serve immediately. 
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Are you ready to make your own version of Pepper Lunch's Pepper Rice at home? You can try this version or try out other sizzling meat recipes below that might be more to your taste! 

  • Links are updated regularly and as much as possible, but note that products can run out of stock, discounts can expire, and listed prices can change without prior notice. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.

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