Even if you’ve never heard of Kung Pao Beef before, you’ve most definitely heard of its iconic counterpart, the Kung Pao Chicken. What started as a Szechuan governer’s favourite dish back in the Ch’ing dynasty (1644–1911) has since been popularized to the point of having western variations of the classic Szechuan meal, and deservingly so. Best served with a hot bowl of steamed rice, the dish might seem complicated to make on your own, but it really isn’t. Here is a simple Kung Pao Beef recipe for you to follow if you’re looking to cook this meal!
Kung Pao Beef brings to the table an array of tastes. From burning hot and spicy, all the way to savoury sweet and slightly sour. This dish is versatile, and will most definitely bring you on a trip to China and back when you eat it.
- 1 lb beef short rib meat (flank steak or beef tenderloin, sliced into 1/4″ thick strips)
- 1 green bell pepper (cut into 1/2″ x 1″ pieces)
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil (for stir-frying; peanut oil recommended)
- 3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
- 1-inch ginger root (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 10 dried red finger-length hot chillies
- 1/2 tsp finely ground Szechuan peppercorns (I like grinding in a mortar with a pestle)
- 3 green onions (cut into small rounds)
- 1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine (or sherry wine)
- 1/2 tsp white sugar
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Szechuan Peppercorn Oil and Hot Chili Oil
- 2 Tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
- 2 Tbsp dried red chilli flakes
- 1/2 cup oil
Szechuan & Hot Chilli Oil*
- Place the Szechuan peppercorns and dried red chilli flakes in two separate bowls.
- Heat the oil in a wok until it begins to smoke.
- Pour half of the oil into each bowl, and leave to cool.
- Once cooled, strain both bowls and keep the oils in separate containers.
*this can be done a few days in advance
Kung Pao Beef
- Place the sliced beef in a bowl, and pour in the marinade ingredients. Leave to marinate for ten minutes.
- Place all the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Set it aside for later.
- Heat ½ a tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok, and stirfry the beef until it is brown and almost cooked. Set it aside for later.
- Add another ½ a tablespoon of cooking oil, and stirfry the bell peppers for two minutes, or until it is slightly charred and softened up. Set aside for later.
- Heat the remaining cooking oil, and add 1 tablespoon of Szechuan oil, and 2 tablespoons of Hot Chilli oil (you can add more for extra spice). Add the sliced garlic and ginger, and stir quickly for a few seconds before adding the dried red chilli. Stirfry until you can smell the spicy aroma of the dried red chillis.
- Add in the sliced beef and bell peppers and stir quickly. Keep adding the sauce until the beef is nicely coated in it. Sprinkle in the finely ground Szechuan peppercorns and stir in the green onions.
- Serve immediately with a hot bowl of steamed rice, enjoy!
There you have it – a delicious and simple Kung Pao Beef recipe! If you’re craving for some Chinese cuisine, order them using the foodpanda app today! You can also check out more delicious beef recipes, such as Beef Pad Krapow and Beef with Egg Rice Bowl.