It is no secret that I am very fond of Asian food. A spice that is seldom used but that I absolutely adore is sichuan pepper. You can find this at most Asian stores and I have started to see them in the bigger supermarkets in Norway.
This dish is particularly spicy but that is my personal preference. You can adjust the amount of chili you use, but I recommend leaving the sichuan pepper quantity as is. Sichuan pepper is neither a chilli or a pepper but adds a citrus aromatic to the dish. It also numbs the mouth slightly, not because it is spicy, but because of the molecule hydroxy-alpha-sanshool. Like capsaicin in chili peppers, it interacts with nerve cell receptors in your lips and mouth. Anyhoo, you can read more about sichuan pepper in the link here.
As you can see from the recipe, this is a 20 minute dish. In the time that the meat has been placed in the marinade, I would have prepped my veggies and spices, cooked the rice or noodles and then it is just a quick fry and you are done! The celery batons brings a freshness to this dish that is necessary to balance the flavours and it also brings texture with its crunch. The keyword is “crunch” so careful not to overcook the celery!
- 150g x beef
- 2 x cloves garlic, julienned
- 5cm piece x fresh ginger, julienned
- 1 x large red chilli, seeds removed and julienned
- 4 x celery stalks, cut into smaller sections (batons)
- ¼ cup vegetable cooking oil
- 1 tsp x sesame oil
- 1 tsp x Chinese black vinegar (or rice wine vinegar as substitute)
- ½ Tbsp x red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp x freshly grounded Sichuan peppercorns
- • For the marinade
- ½ tsp x salt
- ¼ tsp x sugar
- ¼ tsp x white pepper
- ½ Tbsp x Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine (substitute is dry sherry, mirin or rice wine vinegar)
- Rice or noodles to serve with
- Cut beef into thin strips and marinate with salt, sugar, white pepper and cooking wine. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Heat vegetable cooking oil in wok until hot, ±160°C and place the beef strips in.
- Quickly move the beef around and then pour the extra oil out when the strips are separated and browned.
- Add the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and dried chili peppers and continue to stir and cook on high heat.
- Add the celery batons and mix well.
- Drizzle with black vinegar and then add the sesame oil.
- Mix well and serve hot over rice or noodles.