Sichuan Flavor Explosion: Dry Fried Beef
Dry Fried Sichuan Beef (干煸牛肉, gan bian niu rou) is a fiery dish featuring crispy beef, vegetables, ginger, and spicy bean sauce. If you prefer milder flavors, you can replace the spicy bean sauce/paste with regular sweet bean sauce/paste and skip the chili flakes.
3 tablespoons of oil
12 ounces of flank steak (340g, cut into ⅓-inch thick strips)
5 slices of ginger (julienned)
1 tablespoon of spicy bean sauce
2 stalks of celery (julienned)
1 small carrot (julienned)
1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
¾ teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of ground Sichuan peppercorn
1/8 teaspoon of chili flakes (optional)
2 scallions (julienned)
- Preheat your wok over high heat until it becomes smoking hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl it to coat the wok evenly before adding the beef. Quickly spread the beef in a single layer to prevent sticking. Brown the beef until any liquid evaporates, and the meat achieves a well-seared texture, which should take around 2-3 minutes. Take the beef out of the wok and place it aside.
- Reduce the heat to low and add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok. Crisp the julienned ginger, then introduce the spicy bean sauce. Cook for approximately one minute, or until the oil turns red, adjusting the heat to avoid burning.
- Add the julienned celery, carrot, and the previously cooked beef to the wok. Increase the heat to high and stir vigorously to combine. Without delay, add the Shaoxing wine, sugar, light soy sauce, sesame oil, ground Sichuan peppercorn, chili flakes (if desired), and the julienned scallions.
- Stir rapidly for about a minute, ensuring thorough mixing of all ingredients. Transfer the stir-fry to a serving dish and enjoy with a generous serving of rice!
Dry fried Sichuan beef (干煸牛肉, gan bian niu rou) is a spicy dish featuring crispy beef, vegetables, ginger, and spicy bean sauce. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can substitute the hot sauce/bean paste with regular sweet bean paste/sauce and skip the chili powder.
Often, this dish is prepared with excessive soy sauce, making it overly sweet, or with the same pre-made sauce, resulting in a far cry from the authentic version. This is why I usually avoid ordering it, as it’s rarely executed correctly.
It’s not surprising that others have faced similar disappointments, leading one of our readers to request our take on Dry Fried Szechuan Beef. We eagerly accepted the challenge and made some adjustments to the traditional recipe. Here’s what sets this recipe apart:
- While this Sichuan beef dish typically calls for filet mignon, it can lack flavor despite its tenderness. Instead, we use flank steak, our preferred choice for stir-fries, as it offers both tenderness and flavor.
- The usual method involves thinly slicing and marinating the beef with spices before a quick stir-fry to maintain tenderness. However, the original intention of this dish is to grill the beef at high temperatures to retain its juiciness and flavor, hence the term “dry fried.” To prevent the beef from drying out during cooking, we cut it slightly thicker. The unseasoned beef imparts a rich beef flavor reminiscent of a high-quality steak.
- Most restaurants overlook the addition of Sichuan pepper, a signature flavor of the dish. You can adjust the amount of pepper according to your personal preference.