Serving
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Quick Fried Beef
China

Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
4 side
****
hours
Prep

This is not a recipe you want to do. It is geared to street restaurants in China, with huge iron woks over blazing hot fires, and no air polution regulations. The only thing "quick" about it is the frying time for individual strands of beef. It looks very simple but it's more than a little tedious, both for cutting the beef into threads and frying it a few threads at a time. It uses an incredible amount of corn starch, and lots of oil which is not useful for any purpose once this recipe is done. Your wok is exposed to hot sizzling oil so long it turns to varnish around the edges and you'll have to use oven cleaner to get it clean again.

Of course in a Beijing restaurant they'd just put it on the hot fire and burn it off with spectacular leaping flames and lots of smoke, but that's not a good idea in your kitchen. This recipe also uses half a roll of paper towels to drain the beef (they burn real nice in the fireplace), and clean-up effort is significant. The results are filling (and fattening), but the beef is still tough, chewy and flavorless. You'd need dips and sauces to make it worth eating. Could I come up with a method that works better? I probably could, but the results aren't worth the bother. If you want something a bit like this that works see Dry Fried Beef Slivers, Beef & Scallions or Beef with Celery and Bamboo.







12
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1/4
1/2
1
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2
1
1
1
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2
1
ar
ar
2
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1
1
oz
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c
c
T
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T
T
T
t
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cl
c


T
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T
t
Beef, lean (1)
-- Marinade
Cornstarch
Water
Soy Sauce
-- Seasoning
Vinegar, rice
Soy Sauce
Rice Wine (2)
Water
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Garlic
Scallions
Cornstarch
Oil, deep fry
Oil
-- Garnish
Cilantro
Sichuan Pepper (3)  
Prep
  1. Remove excess fat from BEEF and put it in the freezer compartment for about 1/2 hour to get stiff. Slice very thin with the grain and then into long thin matchsticks, again with the grain.
  2. Mix together Marinade Items and mix with the beef.
  3. Mix together Seasoning Items.
  4. Crush GARLIC and chop fine.
  5. Cut SCALLIONS in half lengthwise, then cut diagonally into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Measure is lightly packed.
  6. Chop CILANTRO leaves medium for garnish.
  7. Crush Sichuan Peppercorns for garnish.
Run (20 min)
  1. Pour about 1/4 cup cornstarch onto a plate for dredging the beef strips. You'll be adding more as you go along.
  2. In a wok heat Oil for deep fry (see Note-4) to 375°F/190°C. You'll need the oil about 3 inches deep in the center so you can keep the beef threads separated.
  3. A small batch at a time, dredge the Beef Strips in the cornstarch, shake off the excess and fry the strips, keeping them separated, until they are crisp and curly. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all are done.
  4. Pour out the deep fry oil.
  5. Clean the wok, heat 2 T oil over moderate heat. Fry the Garlic for a few seconds, then stir in the Beef. Fry stirring for about 1/2 minute. Turn the heat to high and pour the Seasoning Mix over. Toss just a few times, then turn off the heat, sprinkle in the Scallions and toss a few more times.
  6. Serve hot garnished with the Sichuan Pepper and Cilantro.
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   Flank steak is recommended because its grain is easy to follow and it's fairly thin.
  2. Rice Wine:   Use a good, drinkable Chinese rice wine, not that horrid salted "cooking" version. If you don't have this, use a Dry Sherry. Sake is made from rice but is not considered a good substitute. For details see our Chinese Rice Wine page.
  3. Sichuan Peppercorns   This is nothing like black pepper. For details see our Sichuan Pepper page.
  4. Oil:   Use a durable oil, (Pure Olive, Olive Pomace, Tallow) - it's going to be at high temperature for quite a while. For details see our Cooking Oils page.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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