Sichuan Beef in Fiery Sauce

sichuan beef - dang that's delicious

Sichuan beef in fiery sauce says it all. It is hot, spicy, flavorful, and numbing all at the same time. In Chinese, it’s called shuizhu nuirou which translates to water-boiled beef in English. The Chinese celery and the green onion complement this dish giving it a crunchy texture. Chinese celery have thinner stalks, are more leafy, and the flavor is more intense than regular celery.

Did you know Sichuan pepper isn’t really a pepper? Me either. It is actually the dried outer husks of the ash shrub and has a slight floral aroma scent. Eating Sichuan pepper causes a slight numbing sensation around the mouth, and when combined with chili peppers, the numbing effect helps reduce the chili pepper’s heat and is essential to this dish. Do not substitute it for regular black peppercorns. It is not the same.

sichuan beef - dang that's delicious

If you live near an Asian market, you will find all the ingredients you need to make this dish. If you can’t find a certain ingredient, there are many online specialty stores like Amazon.com International Market. Once you have all the ingredients measured, meat cut, and vegetables cleaned, you are ready to start cooking! I highly recommend reading the recipe directions a few times until you are familiar with the steps involved. It definitely helped me plan ahead the next steps while I was cooking because everything is cooked quickly on high heat except for the beef, which is boiled.

I was wowed by the sizzle of the oil when poured over the crushed peppers and beef. It’s like a waterfall of sizzling firecrackers meant to ward off evil spirits. ;)

sichuan beef - dang that's delicious

While the dish is still sizzling, bring it to the table and wow your family or guests of the spectacular mini “firecracker” show. Serve immediately with jasmine rice. Make sure you spoon a little bit of sauce over the rice to get all the juicy flavor. Control the heat with something sweet, like homemade jasmine ice tea with mango syrup. It will help cut the heat and spice. Trust me!

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Sichuan Beef in Fiery Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Sichuan beef in fiery sauce says it all. It is hot, spicy, flavorful, and numbing all at the same time. In Chinese, it's called shuizhu nuirou which translates to water-boiled beef in English. The Chinese celery and the green onion complement this dish giving it a crunchy texture.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of Chinese celery
4 scallions, white and green parts plus more for garnish
7-10 dried chiles, use less if you want less spicy
1 pound flank steak
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons Sichuan pepper
3 tablespoons chili bean paste
3 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
6 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

1. Wash the celery stalk well and cut the bottom stems off. Chop the stalks 2 inches long and set aside. Do the same steps for the scallions. Set the vegetable aside. Cut the dried chiles in half and remove as many seeds as possible. Set it aside in a small bowl. Trim any fat from the flank steak and cut it against the grain into thin slices (1/4 to 1/2 inch by 2 inches). Put the cut steak in a bowl, add sea salt and the Shaoxing rice wine. Mix well and let it marinate in the refridgerator while you prepare the next steps.
2. In mediumn-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Wait until it gets hot, but not smoking. Add the dried chiles and Sichuan pepper. Stir fry until fragrant and the chiles are lightly brow (do not burn them). Immediately remove the dried chiles and Sichuan pepper into a small bowl, but leave the oil in the wok. Once they are cooled, pour them onto a cutting board and chop them finely. Set them aside in a small bowl.
3. Return the wok back to the stove and heat over high flame until the oil is hot and near smoking. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for a minute or two. Once the vegetables are cooked, but still crunchy, pour them into the serving bowl or platter.
4. Over high flame, add another 3 tablespoons of oil in the wok until hot and just about to smoke. Lower the heat to medium and add the chili bean paste. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds or until the oil is fragrant. Add the chicken stock, dark soy sauce, and return back to high flame until the sauce is boiling.
5. Add the cornstarch mixture to the steak and stir well until all pieces are coated. When the sauce is boiling, drop in the beef slices. Wait for the sauce to return to a boil and then gently separate the steak slices. Let it simmer for a minute or two until the steak is just cooked. Spoon the cooked steak on top of the vegetables. Pour over the sauce. Sprinkle the chopped chiles and Sichuan pepper over the beef.
6. Rinse out the wok and dry it. In high heat, add another 3-4 tablespoons of oil in the wok. Once it is hot and just about to smoke, pour the smoking oil over the beef dish, which will sizzle. Garnish with chopped green onions. Immediately bring the dish to the table while it's still fizzing.

Notes:
* You can substitute other vegetables like Chinese leeks or bean sprouts. You need to have a crunchy vegetable to contrast with the soft, rich meat.
* The recipes calls for some Asian ingredients which can be found at your local Asian markets or online specialty site like Amazon.

Recipe Source:
dang that's delicious
http://www.dangthatsdelicious.com/2014/09/09/sichuan-beef-fiery-sauce/
Recipe adapted by Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop

sichuan beef - dang that's delicious

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8 Responses to “Sichuan Beef in Fiery Sauce”

  1. It was very tasty, but the 6 Tablespoons of Cornflour made the sauce way too gooey. Next time I will be using just one. Thanks for sharing this recipe. And the mouth-watering pictures!

    Reply

  2. Oooh, this looks mighty go-ood. Or shall I say…Dang Delicious!

    Reply

  3. Ooh I love this, looks so delicious and will make a nice change from my usual crispy chilli beef. Great photos too! I’ll pin for the weekend :-)

    Reply

    • Donna — September 14th, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

      Thank you Nicky! I’ll have to check out your crispy chili beef recipe. :)

      Reply

  4. I love fiery dishes and your recipe looks fantastic! Beautiful photographs as well!

    Reply

    • Donna — September 14th, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

      Thank you Kathleen for your kind words! Been practicing on my food photo skills and I definitely see improvement. It was shot in natural lighting. Hope you give the recipe a try someday!

      Reply

  5. I love eating sichuan beef but have never made it before! This recipe looks and sounds delicious and definitely is packed full of yummy flavours. I must try the recipe!

    Reply

    • Donna — September 14th, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

      Thank you Thalia! The flavors are out of this world and I know you will enjoy it. :)

      Reply

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