Delicious mouth-numbing beef
Recently on my travels I ate at a very authentic Szechuan restaurant. Typically, the Szechuan peppers brought their “ma lah” (numbing spiciness), to the forefront. This type of spiciness is rather different from the burning spice of hot chillis. I think the Szechuan peppers leave a nutmeg-like aftertaste. It is not everybody’s idea of tasty but I like it. You need to try it and decide if you like it. It is an acquired taste as I was not too sure about the feeling after my first try.
Inspired from this meal I had, I have decided to add some of this “ma lah” to my stir fried beef. By using sweet onion, and Worcestershire sauce, the dish has a lovely dance of naturally sweet, sour and tanginess. Every mouthful is bursting with delicious flavours.
To make: for 2
250g skirt steak* 1 sweet onion
1 stalk spring onion
Marinade ingredients: 1/2 in ginger
1/2 Tbs soya sauce 2 tsp Szechuan pepper
1 Tbs Shaoxing wine 2 bird’s eye chillis
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce 1 1/2 Tbs oil
1 tsp cornstarch 1 tsp sesame oil
pinch of sugar salt
Slice the beef into 1/4 in strips.
Marinate the beef with the 5 marinade ingredients. Set aside for at least 10mins but not more than 30mins.
Peel and cut the onion into 1/2, then crosswise into thin strips.
Cut the white part of the spring onion into rings.
Sliver the green part of the spring onion for garnish. Place in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
Peel and mince the ginger.
Slit the bird’s eye chillis.
Heat the oil in a wok and fry the Szechan peppers till fragrant.(2 mins). Be careful not to let it burn.
Add the onion and stir fry over medium high heat till just turning translucent.(5 mins).
Add the ginger, spring onion and chillis. Fry till fragrant and the chillis get soft. (3 mins)
Crank heat up again. Add the beef. Mix in well and fry for just 2 minutes till the beef is just done.
Add a splash of water if the dish is too dry. Adjust seasoning with salt and soya sauce to taste.
Garnish with the green part of the spring onion slivers.
Note: Times are just approximate. It all depends on the size, texture of your produce.
Tip: marinade works as a tenderiser but you don’t want to leave it too long as it breaks up the fibres of the meat and changes the texture. But you DO want to marinade to inculcate flavour.
* or any steak of your choice.
the ingredients all prepped the marinade Szechuan peppercorns in oil add onions just turning translucent add the other aromatics fry until fragrant add the beef stir-fry briefly until just tender