My wife is from Shaan Xi Provence and now lives in the UK. I am English and often cook for her. In this dish, I have tried to capture what I have learned from her taste by cooking for her over the last 15 years.
It is not authentic or traditional. It is my creation based on influences and styles.
I hope you enjoy.
For the marinade
450 g sirloin steak, sliced very thinly against the grain – Update, I’ve tried a few cuts. The best I found for flavour and texture was cross grain and picture, short skinny French Fries.
2 tbsp. Chinese black vinegar
60 ml soy sauce – For those who do not know, all Soy Sauce is made Dark. The light is dark watered-down i.e. source Interview with oldest traditional Soy Sauce farmer/maker in Japan.
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 inch. freshly grated ginger or 2 – 3 tsp powder
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Ground Szechuan peppercorn Use the multi-colour mix, green, red and dark peppercorns.
For the stir fry
3 tbsp. cornflour
3 tbsp. peanut oil
1 tbsp.fermented chilli bean paste (doubanjiang)
Add Black bean sauce as required.
dried red chillies to taste
1 tbsp. whole Szechuan peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 spring onions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
red chilli oil to taste
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 small carrots, thinly sliced
120 ml stock or water. I often make my own stock based on veg peelings and or leftover bones ( which since the do-gooders got involved who have never cooked in their lives and live on restaurant or ready meals ), are difficult to obtain in England, I do not know about Wales, Scotland and NI ). Stock cubes are fine, try to use a good brand for this stock i.e. OXO at a push Knor.
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
Optional : 1 tbsp. sambal oelek. If you cannot find this, a tabasco like sauce can work, its not the same or as good. I guess you do not want to make your own Chinese Chilli Sauce. We buy ours from a family-run Chinese shop.
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. Chinese black vinegar. If this is not available White Rice wine vinegar can be used. Change the quantity to balance the flavour. We use Shaohsing.
Sesame seeds, for garnish
- In a medium bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients except for steak until fully combined.
- Reserve half the marinade and set it aside.
- Add steak to a medium bowl and toss in the remaining marinade until evenly coated.
- Let marinate for 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
- In a large bowl, toss together the cornflour and marinated beef, shaking off any excess cornflour before frying
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil.
- Add steak in a single layer, working in 3 separate batches if needed, and cook until seared, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Remove steak and set aside.
- Return pan to medium heat.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then add bean paste, dried chillies, peppercorns, garlic, spring onion, and a pinch salt.
- Stir and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add in chilli oil and vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add in stock and let cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Add hoisin, sambal oelek, and reserved marinade.
- Stir to distribute evenly, and bring to a simmer. Add back cooked steak and toss until evenly coated. Let cook, stirring, until sauce thickens and clings to the steak. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil and vinegar.