Takeout menus may differ from Chinese restaurant to Chinese restaurant, but one dish remains constant: Szechuan Beef. But you don't need to call up delivery to enjoy the spicy and savory slices of steak paired with stir-fry classics. All you need is a frying pan or wok and a little patience: it's actually fairly simple to get some beautiful char and a sweet tangy sauce on some bright, sweet bell peppers, crunchy carrots, and tender onions, all of which pair beautifully with the steak. Szechuan Beef looks and tastes like the best version of itself, so you may be tempted to just make it yourself from now on!
IngredientsFor the steak and marinade: • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar • 2 cloves garlic, grated • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn, ground • 1 pound sirloin steak, sliced very thinly against the grain For the stir-fry: • 3 tablespoons cornstarch • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided • 1 tablespoon fermented chili bean paste (doubanjiang) • 6-12 dried red chilis, to taste • 1 tablespoon whole Szechuan peppercorns • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving • salt, to taste • 2 tablespoons red chili oil • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil • 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar • sesame seeds, optional, for garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons black vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, the granulated sugar, 2 cloves garlic, ginger, black pepper, and ground Szechuan peppercorn, until fully combined.
Reserve 1/2 of the marinade, setting it aside.
Add the steak to the remaining marinade in the bowl, tossing until evenly coated.
Let the steak marinate for 30 minutes.
Drain the steak and pat it dry with paper towels.
In a large bowl, toss together the cornstarch and marinated beef, shaking off any excess cornstarch.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil.
Add the steak to the skillet in a single layer, working in batches as needed.
Cook the steak until seared, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Transfer the steak to a plate.
Return the skillet to medium heat.
Heat the remaining peanut oil.
Add the bean paste, dried chilis, whole peppercorns, remaining garlic, green onion, and salt.
Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Add in the chili oil, bell peppers, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
Add the broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the hoisin, sambal oelek, and reserved marinade, stirring until evenly distributed.
Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Add the seared steak and toss until evenly coated.
Cook, stirring until the sauce thickens and clings to the steak and the steak is fully cooked through at a minimum of 145 degrees F internally, about 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the skillet from the heat.
Stir in the remaining sesame oil and remaining vinegar.
Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.