Saturday, September 16, 2006
I've been dying to make dry-fried beef for a long time. It's one of my favorite Szechuan dishes. While I knew it wouldn't be as good as Ba Ren's I thought I'd give it a chance. I think I over-fried the beef by 30 seconds and I didn't have the hot bean sauce on hand but otherwise I thought this was pretty good for my first try and I think this recipe seems pretty accurate. The Szechuan peppercorns really do make a difference. My version wasn't very hot but I'm assuming that the hot bean sauce is what gives it the extra kick.
From Chinese Cooking by JG Press
¾ lb. boneless lean beef
1 T. hot bean sauce (I used roasted red chili paste)
1 T. dry sherry (I used Shoa Xing Rice Wine)
½ t. sugar
1 or 2 small, dry, hot chile peppers, crumbled and seeded (if desired)
½ c. canola oil
1 large stalk celery, cut into matchstick size pieces
1 medium-size carrot, cut into matchstick size pieces
2 t. minced garlic
1 t. minced fresh ginger
2 whole green onions, cut into 1 ½-inch lengths
1 t. sesame oil
½ t. Szechuan peppercorns, roasted and crushed
Cut meat into 1/8-inch thick slices, then cut into shreds 1/8-inch wide and 2 inches long. In a bowl, combine the hot bean sauce, sherry, sugar, and chile peppers. Set aside.
Pour oil in a wok and heat over medium-high heat to 360 degrees. Add ½ of the meat and stir to separate shreds. Cook until meat is dark brown, slightly shriveled, and chewy (about 2 ½ to 3 minutes). Remove with slotted spoon and drain on a paper bag or towels. Reheat oil to 360 and repeat with remainder of meat.
Pour off all buy 3 T. oil. Increase heat to high. When oil is hot, add celery and carrot and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Return meat to pan, add hot bean sauce mixture, and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the sesame oil and crushed peppercorns before serving.