Szechuan beef shreds or Szechuan style beef stir fry is a very popular and common Sichuan style stir fries which creates extremely delicious and hot flavors.
There are actually two famous beef dishes in Sichuan cuisine. One is this savory tender beef stir fry and the other one is dry fried shredded beef with spices (干煸牛肉丝). In our local Sichuan dish chain store (similar to KFC, but providing very basic and common Sichuan dishes), this Szechuan style shredded beef is a must part of a whole meal. Shredded beef is served with any other ordered dish, like chicken, meatballs and steamed rice to form a very typical Sichuan working day lunch. Through it is not famous outside China, try it at once. Believe me, it is as good as your favorite kung pao chicken.
The basic ingredients for an authentic Sichuan style stir fry.
- Doubanjiang is a famous Sichuan chili paste made from fermented broad beans and fresh peppers. It provides a very mild and yummy spice flavor.
- Pickled peppers (泡椒) is another underrated star of Sichuan cuisine. They are almost only popular in Sichuan cuisine in China as seasonings. We love to use them in stir frying dishes or make stews. Sichuan pickled peppers are naturally fermented with the help of Lactic Acid Bacteria and consequently help the final dish to obtain a slightly sour taste. You can learn how to make authentic Sichuan style pickled peppers from this post or refer to this shortcut pickled peppers. If you cannot get pickled peppers, you can use 4-5 fresh peppers and add black vinegar to imitate the flavor.
I the picture, I show you the magic ingredient of this recipe -- pickled peppers. Chop pickled peppers into small pieces.
Cut the beef against the grain into thin slices. Then cut into shreds. Mix the beef with all the seasonings expect cornstarch. Marinating for 15 minutes. Then mix cornstarch in. Mix well.
Add around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in wok and fry celery for 1 minutes until just cooked. To avoid overcooking the beef shreds.
Heat the wok until hot firstly. Then place 1 tablespoon of oil and add garlic, ginger, scallion and pickled peppers. Fry until aromatic over slow fire. Do not burn them!
Push all the content in the wok to one edge of the wok, add another 2 tablespoon of cooking oil in center and spread the beef shreds in. Gently fry. When the beef begin to change color on surface, place 1 tablespoon of doubanjiang in. Add dark soy sauce, celery and salt if necessary.
Mix well quickly. Serve hot!
Shredded Beef Szechuan Style
- 250 g shredded beef
- 4 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil , divided
- 100 g celery , around 5 cm long or as needed
- 10 to 15 pickled peppers , finely chopped (Note 1)
- 2 green onion whites , cut into sections around 5 cm long
- 1 inch root ginger , chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 tbsp. doubanjiang
- a small pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. dark soy sauce , for better coloring
- 1 tbsp. cooking wine or water
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 small pinch salt
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- Cut the beef against the grain into thin slices. Then cut into shreds.
- Mix the beef with all the seasonings expect cornstarch. Marinating for 15 minutes. Then mix cornstarch in. Mix well.
- Add around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in wok and fry celery for 1 minutes until just cooked.
- Heat the wok until hot firstly. Then place 1 tablespoon of oil and add garlic, ginger, scallion and pickled peppers. Fry until aromatic.
- Push all the content in the wok to one edge of the wok, add another 2 tablespoon of cooking oil in center and spread the beef shreds in. Gently fry When the beef begin to change color on surface, place 1 tablespoon of doubanjiang in.
- Add dark soy sauce, celery and salt if necessary. Mix well quickly. Serve hot!
First I want to thank you for enabling me to re-create the dishes I learned to love in Sichuan.
Second thank you for letting me know why I was almost dying during my time in Sichuan because my intestines killed me up to hospitalization although I don't mind chili usually - I am allergic to broad bean. I didn't know it was in so many of the dishes I ate. I am now recreating a variation of doubanjiang without broad bean (so basically just the soybeans and spices and I add smoked rice for the flavor). It still tastes similar and it doesn't hurt me anymore 🙂
Amazing recipe Elaine - here in UK most Chinese restaurants sell a crispy shredded beef with chilli but basically its beef shreds in a light batter deep fried then tossed in a wok with carrot shreds & a mild sweet chilli sauce.
I always find it disappointing as I love the spicy numbing heat of Szechuan cuisine. Here in UK its hard to get Szechuan style food basically all the restuarants are Hong Kong / Guangdong except in London's 'china town' (around Gerard Street) but I really love Shui Zhu Beef. extra spicy & amazing I'm going to treat myself to this recipe this weekend my mouth is drooling like the chicken!!!!!
Thank you Alan. I hope you will like this one after trying.
Delicious recipe! I followed the instructions exactly as written, and it came out looking just like the pictures. Plus, it got 2 thumbs up from the family. Will definitely make again!
It is such a lovely comment, making the day quite sunny.
Mr Larry Hamilton
Hello Elaine, there are many types of dried red chilis, what type do you use in this recipe. Also same question about red chili powder. I have to laugh when looking at recipes like this because people just say chili this or chili that when in fact there are literally hundreds of chilis in dried form as well as powdered.
I usually use three types of chili peppers, all of them are from Sichuan province. And the most popular one and the one I use in this recipe is this one.
I made this. It was so damned delicious! Thank you, chinasichuanfood!
Jeff Dennis Campbell
This dish is wonderful! I live on a cattle ranch in Oregon, and I am always looking for great beef recipes. What is the name of this in Chinese? (Is it Sichuan beef shreds (干煸牛肉丝)? I got this from the comments.) Thank you!
It is a common Sichuan style shredded beef stir fry. You can get the dry-fried version here.
Thank you for your wonderful recipes. Where I‘m from it’s impossible to find pickled peppers. You wrote that adding vinegar to fresh peppers is an alternative. Do you mean just adding vinegar to the wok, or should I soak/pickle my fresh peppers in vinegar ahead of cooking?
Keep up the great work.
Best wishes from Germany!
You can choose a shortcut version pickled peppers or you can chop peppers and then add vinegar. Then rest overnight before using.