Friday, November 9, 2012

Shuizhu Niurou (水煮牛肉), Sichuan Boiled Beef in Fiery Sauce

Everytime I eat at my favorite local Chinese restaurant, Mr. Chen's, I order the E13, "Boiled Beef in Hot Oil". From the description, this sounds like a totally unappetizing dish, but it's absolutely incredible. Spicy, full of flavor and completely addicting, 


A classic Sichuan dish known as shuizhu niurou (水煮牛肉), tender beef is thinly sliced and cooked in a broth, then combined with vegetables stir-fried in a wok with oil and hot dried chilies. The sauce is thickened, MORE spicy, tongue-numbing chili oil is added, and everything is served, typically in a traditional claypot.


Fuchsia's recipe calls for making your own hot chili oil with Szechuan peppercorns and dried chili peppers; I royally messed this up the first time I made this dish. Hot oil spattered EVERYWHERE, and I burnt the peppers and peppercorns to a crisp. So, I decided to use jarred/bottled hot chili oil instead, which turned out GREAT! Even better, this meal can be thrown together in just a few minutes! 

Sichuan Boiled Beef in Fiery Sauce (Shuizhu Niurou)

Ingredients:
1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
3 Tbsp Chinese hot chili oil
1 stalk celery, bias-cut into 2" lengths
4 scallions, white part only, bias-cut into 2" lengths
4 Tbsp chili bean sauce (toban djan)
3 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 3 Tbsp water

Marinate the sliced beef in the Shaoxing wine for about 10-15 minutes. 




Pour about 3 Tbsp of the chili oil into a wok and heat over high heat. Once hot, add the celery and scallions. Cook for about 2 minutes or until JUST cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside. 








Add the chili bean sauce to the wok. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock and dark soy sauce. Bring to a boil. 






Toss the marinated beef slices in the cornstarch slurry. Reduce the boiling stock to a simmer, add the beef, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the beef is just cooked. 





Turn off the heat, and place the celery and scallions into a serving bowl or claypot. Ladle the beef and stock into the bowl, top with the chili oil/broth and serve immediately. 




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