24.2.11

Chongqing beef

Until I started to cook authentic Chinese food, I never realised that chilies are not supposed to make food unbearably hot. Indeed, I love chilli so very much but previously my taste was limited by the amount of stomach pain the day after. However, if you use chillies in a right way they will, even in enormous amounts, just flavour the dish beautifully, may numb your tongue a bit but will not make your food unbearably hot at all. For a chilli lover like myself this dish was a no brainer, I had to try it as soon as I saw it on "Chinese Food in Minutes" and we really loved it!

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I modified the recipe a bit, mainly to crush the peppercorns (and put less of them because they were crushed) and because of the type of dried chillies I had, I put a little less (mine are a lot smaller than the ones she used, so there is a lot more in a handfull), also I coated the beef with a bit of corn flour, just to make it soft and creamy, otherwise the sauces and everything else was the same.

Ingredients:

250 - 300g beef fillet steak
1 tsp corn flour
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
1 tbsp chilli bean paste
1-2 tsp crushed Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 small handful dried chilies
1 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
a dash of toasted sesame oil
a dash of chilli oil
1 handful roasted peanuts
1 handful fresh coriander

Preparation:
Cut fillet steak into thin strips for stir fry. Sprinkle with corn flour and mix to coat the meat.
Heat the wok until the oil starts to smoke, add the beef and stir fry for 30 seconds. As the meat starts to brown, add the rice wine.
Season the beef with chilli bean paste and stir well, then add Sichuan pepercorns and dried chillies and stir fry on medium for 1 minute.
Season with vinegar and soy sauce and take off the heat. Drizzle some sesame oil and chilli oil.
Sprinkle with peanuts and coriander.
Serve straight form the wok, with egg fried rice and vegetables.

Bon appétit!

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