04 Sep2014


When I lived in New York for several years during graduate school and my first job after that, I ate a version of this dish at LEAST twice a week. I used to order it from a small Chinese restaurant around the corner from my apartment with an extra order of rice for about $4.95. I used to call the restaurant and as soon as they recognized my voice, they put in the order without my even asking and some 8-10 minutes later, the delivery guy was at the door of my apartment. So needless to say, I have a soft spot for the dish, and have it EVERY time I return to New York. Turns out, it isn’t quite authentic szechuan cooking at all, and is a stylized version for American palates. I don’t care, it tastes great.

Every once in a while, I get a hankering for this dish and make my own version at home. Here’s how I do it. I have tried several cuts of meat, but have had the BEST results with some sirloin steak tips from S&R. I think Bacchus is the supplier and it’s made up of odds and ends from sirloin steaks. I cut them into thinner julienne type pieces, roughly 1/4 of an inch or less thick. Use any good beef instead if you can find the sirloin tips. I then marinate this in a touch of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, a bit of cornstarch and pepper flakes for about 30 minutes. Next I prepare julienned celery and carrots (lots of them)and soak them in ice water to crisp them up (then drain and dry before using) and get the other ingredients ready. Slice one small white onion into thin strips. Have garlic chili sauce, chili flakes, poison hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and a bit of sugar at the ready. I put some red bell pepper in the batch above, but it’s better without. Fire up a large wok over high heat, add some canola oil and when it is smoking hot add the beef in batches and flash fry them for about a minute or two. Work in batches so they don’t steam. Then set aside. Basically, you will double cook the beef. When all the beef is done, heat up a bit more oil in the same wok and when smoking, add the onions, carrots and celery and toss vigorously until softened a bit, say 1-2 minutes. Add back the beef, hoisin, soy, chili garlic and other ingredients to taste and stir to combine well. Serve hot with lots of steamed rice. Brings back lots of good memories. :)



  1. Ging says:

    *Poison* Sauce MM? :-)

    Sep 4, 2014 | 11:03 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    Ging, hahaha, auto spell check to blame? I have edited. Thanks.

    Sep 4, 2014 | 11:27 am

  4. passive.observer says:

    MM, where do you get your chili garlic? i want to try and do one myself, but life always get in the way.

    Sep 4, 2014 | 11:59 am

  5. ami says:

    MM, it’s still poison sauce *snicker*. I get visions of the wicked stepmother in Snow White.

    Sep 4, 2014 | 12:42 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    passive, chili garlic sauce from good groceries with international selection… SM at Aura has it, Metro at Market!Market! has it, groceries in Binondo, Cash&Carry, etc. If you can’t find it, substitute modest amounts of sriracha and some chopped garlic.

    Sep 4, 2014 | 12:42 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    ami, AAAACCKKK, the site is haunted. I am SURE I changed that earlier!!!

    Sep 4, 2014 | 12:44 pm

  8. Betchay says:

    This is also a favorite of mine but I put julienned crisp green bell pepper not red. :)

    Sep 4, 2014 | 5:19 pm

  9. Anonymous Paul says:

    love these stuffed in sesame pocket bread. Used to like ordering these in Peking garden but I find they have made the dish too sweet for my taste as of late.

    Sep 4, 2014 | 9:12 pm

  10. Anna Banana says:

    I love this dish too! In Korea, this is one of the chinese inspired dishes that are always available at the deli section of the big supermarkets. I like these sandwiched in mantou!

    Sep 5, 2014 | 2:39 am

  11. bakerwannabe says:

    MM, try to add preserved Szechuan vegetable cut same size as your bell peppers. Yum.

    Sep 5, 2014 | 5:57 am

  12. millet says:

    love this! why didn’t you like the version with peppers in it, MM? this would be great with some sliced mushrooms too, or if you want to turn this into a full meal, add some fried noodles. and the list could go on and on…

    Sep 5, 2014 | 8:42 am

  13. pixienixie says:

    I cook a dish very similar to this at home, and the family loves it! Pass on the carrots, though, as we don’t really fancy them. We add mushrooms instead, and green beans. :)

    Sep 5, 2014 | 8:57 am

  14. Susan says:

    Looks so yummy! think Chinese restaurants put way too much onions as a filler over everything else.

    Sep 6, 2014 | 4:24 am

  15. Connie C says:

    Thanks for this post, MM, likewise a favorite during hubby’s pregouty days and the kid’s comfort food. I had forgotten about it till now.

    A variation is thrice fried beef, deep fried in batches ( turning the meat crispy) with julienned celery and carrots, flavored with lemon peel, spiced up with dried hot chili peppers, and laced with a fragrant sweetish brown sauce. Makanin as bettyQ puts it!

    Sep 6, 2014 | 5:49 am

  16. Albert says:

    By any chance would you know where I can buy Sichuan peppercorns?

    Sep 21, 2014 | 10:47 am


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