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Aug 20, 2014

Spicy Dry-Fried Beef | Wok Wednesdays

Spicy Dry-Fried Beef

I had every intention of making this Spicy Dry-Fried Beef over the weekend. I also wanted to make four loaves of bread, some rugelach, some biscuits, and Maggi steak and daikon and carrot pickle for a banh mi sandwich. I was ambitious.

Spicy Dry-Fried Beef

Fortunately, this dish was incredibly easy to make when I got home from work on Monday.

Dry-frying is a technique that involves cooking ingredients in oil but without sauce or stock. In this case, the beef is cooked for several minutes in oil. The beef is stir-fried until the juices evaporate or are absorbed. Then the beef is stir-fried for a couple of minutes more in the remaining oil, which intensifies and caramelizes the flavor. Eventually, your wok should be nearly dry.

The ingredients include flank steak, carrots, celery, small chiles de arbol, soy sauce, ginger, garlic (which I almost forgot, thank goodness for the long dry-frying time while I frantically minced garlic cloves), sesame oil, scallions, and salt and pepper.

My only substitution was to use fresh small red peppers. While we have easy access to dried chiles here in southern California, we have been growing our own red chiles, so I wanted to use them.

In the original recipe, you cut the stems off of three dried red chiles and cook them with the vegetables. Instead, I cut three small red chile peppers from our garden into thirds and added them into the vegetables. I removed the chiles prior to serving the beef. The result? A fabulous spicy dish.

Spicy Dry-Fried Beef

This stir-fry was a big hit in our house.

The recipe for this stir-fry can be found > here. It's also on page 70 of Grace Young's amazing James Beard award winning book, Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge. I highly recommend this collection of amazing stir-fries along with lessons on Asian ingredients and the care and feeding of your wok.

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Your Wok Wednesday posts have inspired me yet again! I finally got a wok, bought Grace's book and her Craftsy class, seasoned said wok…and now I have to cook something. This looks awesome, pretty much like my favorite recipe for Szechuan shredded beef that I lost somewhere many moons ago. Definitely gotta try this soon and I hope it looks half as good as yours.

    1. I'm sure it will Robin! You are so talented. This has been such a fun learning experience for me. Can't wait to see what you make!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous, Karen! This was a hit with us as well. I should have used fresh chiles! I too have a plant, that is full of them. Trying to think of what to do with them all, other than making chile jam... any ideas?


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