If you love your beefsteak and like some chilies in your food, this beef chili dry recipe will charm you with its deliciousness in every bite. This is a hot and spicy Chinese beef recipe with very few ingredients.
Beef Chilli Dry, Pakistani Chinese
This recipe will remind you of hot and spicy Chinese stir-fried beef. The recipe is not traditionally Chinese, in fact, originated in South Asia by some ethnic Hakka Chinese chef. As the Indo-Chinese cuisine flourished in Kolkata in un-divided India many new recipes originated to please the local taste buds. While chicken and vegetarian Indo-Chinese dishes are more famous in India, this beef and chili dry is more of Pakistani-Chinese and shows the love Pakistani for beef. You can read more about Indo-Chinese cuisine here.
What meat cut is best for stir-fry beef?
The cut of beef you use is most crucial in this recipe. Look for quick-cooking frying beef cuts like tenderloin (under-cut), sirloin, or flank steak. A good soft and juicy bite is the charm of this recipe. You can learn more here.
Avoid stewing beef (like Nihari cuts) for this recipe which has a long cooking time. Now, let’s be frank! Few of you would still want to use boneless stewing meat to make beef and chili dry, regardless of how much I dissuade you. So here’s the right way to do it. You need to slice and tenderize meat with meat tenderizer powder (see instructions on the packet for measures) or shredded papaya (natural tenderizer) for 2 hours. Then you can proceed with the recipe. Since the tenderizer dissolves muscle strands, your beef will not have that bite of expensive cuts but you can still make it with a little compromise on texture.
How to cut beef ?
As a rule of thumb, you always slice meat against the grains. Grains are lines on the meat and you need to slice the meat against those lines. This makes the meat less chewy to bite.
Why this beef and chili dry recipe works?
You these techniques and this recipe will work for you just like it does for me.
We coat the meat slices with cornflour not for crusting but for velveting; it is a Chinese technique to tenderize the meat and retain its juices. Read more here.
Shallow frying technique:
Most recipes call for deep or shallow frying when velveting. I’ve been experiment a lot with it and found frying it meat in 2-3 tablespoon in batches provides similar results with less oil. We’ll discuss it in detail below.
Frying in batches
Frying in 2-3 batches in a wok or large frying pan works best. Fry on high heat so you have the golden and crispy edges.
The usual veggies in beef and chilli are onions and capsicum. You can skip veggies all together or reduce it too. If you love veggies then you can select and add these too.
- Match stick Carrots
- cellary stalk, julienned
- Colored bell peppers for more color
- Baby corns
What can be eaten with hot and spicy beef?
Chinese style hot and spicy beef pairs best with rice. You can choose from the list below.
- Brown rice
- Fried rice
- Garlic rice
- Herb rice
- Plain rice
- Cauliflower rice
Beef Chilli dry, a Chinese style hot spicy beef
- Whatever beef cut you choose, flank steak, sirloin, or tenderloin (also called under-cut) cut it across the grains. Wipe off any water with a kitchen towel. Add cornflour salt and pepper to the beef strip.
- Mix well. ( We are coating it with flour for velveting not crusting.)
- Fry meat in 3 batches in a nonstick pan with just one tablespoon oil until golden. Add more oil as needed to fry. Most recipes call for shallow or deep frying but, this is a healthier way to do it and gives the same result. If there are some burnt bits in the pan, wipe off the pan with a tissue before adding another batch of beef.
- Then gather all fried beef strips on a plate and set aside. WOOH, we are done half-way.
- Fry ginger, garlic in little oil for 1 minute until you see it is about to turn golden then add all the remaining ingredients of seasoning and give it a stir.
- When you see few bubbles on the side of the sauce add the veggies and stir-fry on high heat for 1-2 minutes until onion slices soften a bit.
- Add the fried beef and mix well.
- Make cornflour slurry by mixing cornflour and water. Add to the sauce. Cook until the sauce turns translucent and shines.
- Give the beef a few stirs on high heat to develop that exotic aroma then garnish it with green onions (green parts only) just before serving and serve immediately.
Hungry for Beef? Check these!
Beef Chilli dry, a Chinese style hot spicy beef
- 500 gram beef, use tenderloin, sirlion, undercut, flank steak or frying beef, see notes.
- 3 tablespoon flour
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Few tablespoons of oil, to fry
For stir fry
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil, or any neutral oil
- 1½ tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 tablespoon chilli garlic sauce, or 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
- ½ chicken cube or bullion, see notes.
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar, or 1 tablespoon regular sugar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- ½ tablespoon red chilli flakes, use less or skip as per heat preference
- 1¼ cup thickly sliced onion, about 1 large onion
- 1 cup thickly sliced capsicum
- 4-6 green chillies, deseeded, julienned (skip to reduce spice)
- 1 tablespoon cornflour , mixed in ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup green onions, sliced to garnish
- Cut beef steak into thin strips by cutting across the grain on meat. Transfer to a mixing bowl and pat dry with a kitchen towel, if moist.
- Add cornflour, salt and pepper, mix well.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan or wok. Add ⅓ of beef strips and fry for 1-2 minutes on medium heat until golden.
- Add another 1-2 tablespoon of oil and fry another batch of the beef strip. (If the pan has any burnt bits, wipe it with a paper towel before introducing the second batch and add 1 tablespoon oil or as needed to fry.)
- Similarly, fry all the strip in 3-4 batches without crowding the pan, set aside.
- For stir-fry
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan. Fry ginger, garlic for 1 minute until sizzling hot.
- Add chicken cube, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and red chili flakes, mix well.
- Stir in sliced onion, capsicum and green chilies, fry for 2 minutes until slightly soft.
- Add the fried beef and mix well. (If your beef is under-cooked, you can cook for 2-3 minutes by covering the pot on medium heat.)
- Make cornflour slurry by mixing cornflour and water. Add to the wok. Cook for 1 minute until sauce thickens and shines.
- Just before serving toss garnish with sliced green onions (green parts only) and serve.
- Beef: Choose any frying beef that has low cooking time and will be cooked easily in 2 minutes. Do not overcook beef just a light golden juicy look is best. If you use stewing beef it will be hard then you must tenderize it before frying. But I recommend to avoid it.
- Veggie options: Mushroom, matchstick carrots, broccoli, baby corn, and colored bell are the best options.
- Chicken bullion: In Chinese stir-fries, Ajinomoto is added which is unhealthy. I recommend using MSG-free chicken or beef broth cube or paste or powder. If you wish to use fresh liquid beef broth instead, use low-sodium and dry out the excess fluid on high heat before adding veggies.