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Szechuan Hot-Fried Crispy Shredded Beef with Carrots

Source: Beef for All Seasons
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  35 Minutes
  Serves 4
Szechuan is the largest province of China, and its cuisine has a reputation for spiciness and bold, pungent flavors. The food in this landlocked, western region through which the headwaters of the Yangtze River flow is not for wimps! Beef is more common here than in other parts of the country, and it is typically "dry-fried," as in this recipe with little liquid added.
For the Rice:
1 cup rice
2 1/2 cups water
For the Stir-Fry:
2 eggs, beaten
1 pound tip sirloin, cut into thin strips 1 inch long and 1/8 inch thick
4 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon black bean paste
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
3 carrots, julienned
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 rib celery, julienned
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Szechuan pepper (optional)
Place the rice, water, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, and turn down the heat to a simmer. Stir once and cook, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Place the eggs in a shallow bowl, add the beef, and coat thoroughly. Add 1 tablespoon of the sherry, the cornstarch, and the salt, and mix the ingredients so the beef is well coated. Heat the sesame oil and peanut oil in a wok over high heat. When just smoking, add the beef and 1 tablespoon more of the sherry and stir-fry over high heat for about 3 minutes, until the beef is browned and no longer sticks together. Turn down the heat tot medium and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes longer.

Add the garlic, ginger, bean paste, soy sauce, hot chile sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sherry, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high again and add the carrots, bell pepper, and celery. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the scallions and pepper, stir together well, and serve over the rice.

A very full-bodied, rich wine is needed here, such as Hungarian Egri Bikaver (Bull's Blood), Chilean Cabernet, or Italian Barbera. A hearty California Zinfandel will also match successfully.

Ideally, the beef, carrots, and celery should be julienned into strips about the size of matchsticks. For best results, freeze the beef for 30 minutes before cutting it. The beef and egg mixture may seem a little "clumpy", when you begin cooking it, but it will soon separate and "dry-fry."

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 556
Fat. Total: 21g
Fiber: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 55g
Sodium: 551mg
% Cal. from Fat: 34%
Cholesterol: 174mg
Protein: 32g
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