I LOVE Szechuan anything. Beef, chicken, fish… It is one of my “go to” items to order at the storefront Chinese takeout restaurants that seem to be on every other street corner. My wife… Not so much.
By definition, Szechuan is …
a style of Chinese cuisine originating in Sichuan Province of southwestern China is famed for bold flavors, particularly the spiciness resulting from liberal use of chilies and “numb” or “tingling” flavor (Chinese: 麻) of the Sichuanhe peppercorn (花椒)
WOW… just reading this definition is numbing my mouth! And striking fear into my wife. Once again, the ugly divide between our taste buds rears its ugly head. While in Kansas, ordering Chinese take-out is easy and inexpensive, and every one can order what they wish… Here in the paradise that is St Thomas (US Virgin Islands), there are no Chinese take-out joints (that I have found). So, my dreams of numb tongue were to be put on hold… Until I saw this recipe
from one of my favorite bloggers… ANGEL IN THE KITCHEN
Szechwan dishes are typically on the spicier side, and although I’ve had my share that have made my eyes water and my nose run, this dish (which is from Better Homes and Gardens), is actually on the milder side. You can certainly increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes, or even add some sriracha or other hot sauce, to amp up the heat.
OK… I can work with this. First, DO NOT TELL JACKIE SHE IS EATING Szechwan Beef
! Just the words will scare her and prejudice her about liking the dish. Next… I can pull her bit out, keep it warm, while I add and finagle it into something mouth numbing (yeah).
Here’s what Angel says to do..
3 Tbsp. dry sherry
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced.
1 lb. steak, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, cut in cubes
1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
Cooked rice, for serving
1. Combine the sherry, soy sauce, water, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, ginger, sugar, red pepper flakes, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Put oil in wok and heat over medium-high heat until hot.
3. Add carrots and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add peppers and stir-fry another 1-2 minutes. 4. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
5. Add beef and stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until cooked.
6. Push beef away from center of wok, and add sauce. Reduce heat to medium, and cook and stir sauce until thick and bubbly.
7. Add veggies back to wok, and combine with beef and sauce.
8. Serve over rice.
Pretty much, just what I did…
Slice and dice… I did add Onions… Caused I like onions!
I used skirt steak… be sure to slice against the grain of the meat so that the bits are more tender.
I do not have a wok here, but my sauté pan worked fine.
As the Kitchen Angel advertised, it was WONDERFUL. The little kick from the red pepper flakes was there. but not overpowering. I did happen to have a pepper grinder full of actual Sichuanhe peppercorns (god bless my “spice guy back in Kansas). So, once I plated Jackie’s dish, I doctored mine up a bit.
We were both thrilled!
And next day for my lunch…
I doubled the red pepper flakes, and added some Sichuanhe peppercorns. I served over some leftover garlic noodles!
NOW THIS WAS THE Szechuan that I know and love! so, thanks Angel. Great recipe and a great menu item for me to add to my repertoire!