Szechuan beef is a favorite Chinese takeout. The dish is known for its bold flavors including the use of garlic and chili peppers. The mysteriously savory, spicy sauce is what make this dish so dangerously addictive.
Put that takeout menu away because you’re going to love this homemade version. It’s faster than the delivery guy can take to deliver.
Ingredients for Szechuan beef:
Beef: Good choice of beef would be top sirloin or flank steak, or flap meat. They’re lean, they have tons of flavors. The trick is to place the beef in the freezer for about 10 minutes for easier handling and slice the beef against the grain for tenderness. This recipe is so versatile and can be customized to your liking with chicken, shrimps, or even tofu.
Sauce: a combination of Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar, less sodium soy sauce, bean paste, cornstarch, etc. I tried to keep this ingredient list as simple as possible. You can find bean paste at any international markets.
For heat, feel free to add red pepper flakes or Chinese dried peppers.
Veggies: Any veggies you have on hand would work. This recipe calls for red peppers and onion. But I think steam broccoli, asparagus would make this dish even better.
The coating of the beef with egg and cornstarch is important. The combination of these two mixture will create a crispy layer without deep frying the beef with too much oil.
The resulting is magically tender, crispy beef in a spicy, sweet sauce. This dish pairs well with steam rice or steam vegetables.
Quick and easy beef stir-fried with onions, red peppers and toss in a savory, sweet sauce. So delicious and addicting. Skip the take out and try this homemade version.
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 lb beef (cut into thin strips) flank steak or top sirloin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon bean paste
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the skillet:
- 1 jalapenos diced (seeds, membrane removed)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 thumbsize ginger (freshly grated)
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 2 red peppers (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 small onion (sliced)
- sesame seeds for toppings.
- 1 small stalk green onion (chopped)
Beef: Beat the egg in a bowl. Place beef and marinade ingredients. Let sit for at least 15 minutes while preparing for other ingredients.
Sauce: Combine all sauces ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Place cornstarch in a bowl. Transfer beef to the cornstarch mixture, shaking off excess water. Stir well so beef is evenly coated with cornstarch.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, until beef is no longer pink and golden. Flip over and cook for another minute. Transfer to a plate.
You should have a few tablespoons of oil left in the skillet. Turn heat down to medium. Toss in jalapenos, green onion, red peppers, onion and stir-fry for a minute. Add in garlic, ginger and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Pour in the sauce, stir well to combine with vegetables and cook until it thickens, about 2 minutes.
Add the beef back to the skillet, stir well to coat with sauce.
Top off with sesame seeds. Serve over rice or with steam vegetables.
- You can use apple vinegar in substitution of rice vinegar, although the taste will change a bit.
- Chili oil is optional, you can substitute with sriracha or any spicy sauce would work.
- If you can't locate Chinese black bean paste, skip it and use more salt.
Adapted from Omnivores Cookbook