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Sichuan Beef

Sichuan, also known as Szechuan, is a province in China. It's the origin of Panda bears and Sichuan pepper. This spice is very common in Asian cuisine. It is not related to pepper and has a very special taste with a citrus note. Notably, Sichuan pepper creates a numbing sensation in your mouth. Try it sprinkled over your dish or use the remainder in a dish with beans or mushrooms.
 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb sirloin beef cut into thin strips
  • 12 oz vegetables see below, cut into thin slices
  • 6-8 oz noodles see below, cooked
  • 2 tbsp cooking sherry or wine
  • soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp corn starch or arrowroot
  • vegetable oil or sesame oil
  • salt

Sichuan Culinary Spice Kit

  • [1] Ginger, star anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves
  • [2] Sichuan pepper

Suggested Vegetables

  • Broccoli, carrots, mushrooms

Suggested Noodles

  • Lo mein or any long thick noodles

Instructions
 

Marinade

  • In a BOWL, mix beef with 1/4 cup soy sauce, Sichuan [1] spices, and up to half of the Sichuan [2] spices.
  • Let marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Cook

  • In a large PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat.
  • Stir-fry beef (keep the marinade for later) for about 1 minute until it changes color.
  • Take the beef out and set aside.
  • In the same PAN, add 2 tbsp oil. Stir-fry vegetables over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and sherry halfway.
  • Add 1 cup of water, the marinade, and salt to taste.
  • Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are just cooked.
  • Dissolve starch in 1 tbsp water. Add the slurry to the PAN. Mix well. 
  • Stir in the noodles. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
  • Return the beef and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until it's just cooked.
  • Sprinkle some Sichuan [2] spices on the plated meal (optional).
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Substitute beef with chicken breast.
  • Substitute beef with tofu (see below).
Sichuan Tofu
  • Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Mix the marinade without the tofu.
  • Drain the tofu for 30 minutes in a large strainer.
  • In cooking step 1), bake the tofu in the OVEN at 350°F until it turns brown. Set aside.
  • Continue with steps 2) to 4) without changes.
  • In step 5) substitute beef for tofu.
Keyword cinnamon, ginger, Sichuan pepper, star anise