Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Dry-Fried Sichuan Beef

Our adventures with Sichuan pepper continue...

I nearly set fire to the kitchen making this dish. I was heating the oil and left it alone a little too long and the oil had a little explosion. DD and I immediately decided to forgo the cooking in oil bit and we made do with cooking spray.

It was a little dry to be served just with rice, but a drizzle of soy sauce helped that. I made a new batch of Sichuan pepper and salt and this batch was much better. The dish was really nice and flavourful.

I used stir-fry strips for this, but I'm starting to realise that I'm paying for the time I save not having to cut up a beef fillet with not the best quality of meat. I never thought about it before, but you don't get to choose your cut of meat when you buy the prepared stuff and who knows where it comes from? This batch in particular was really chewy. I didn't overcook it, if anything I undercooked it because I was still scared of the stove from the little explosion.

I think I would like to try this dish again. Even though I did enjoy the flavour, I didn't enjoy the cooking or the eating. I'll give it another go with a proper cut of meat and no oil!

Dry-Fried Sichuan Beef
Adapted from "Simple Chinese Cooking" by Kylie Kwong.

500g beef stir-fry strips
cooking spray
2 large red chillies, finely sliced
1 tbs finely diced ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tsp Sichuan pepper and salt
1 cup finely sliced spring onions
1/2 cup finely shredded iceberg lettuce leaves

Heat a non-stick frying pan coated in cooking spray over a high heat. Stir fry the beef in batches for one minute. Remove the beef from the pan.

Wipe out any extra oil or juices from the pan and reapply cooking spray. Stir the chilli, ginger and garlic over a medium heat for 30 seconds. Be very careful the garlic does not burn. You may wish to add a little bit of vegetable oil to the pan for this stage. Add the beef and the hoisin sauce and stirfry for until beef is cooked. Add Sichuan pepper and salt and stir through. Add spring onions.

Serve with a sprinkle of Sichuan pepper and salt and top with lettuce.

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