Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stir-Fried Chili Beef with Bell Peppers and Snap Peas

For some strange reason, I don't tend to turn to stir fries when I need a quick dinner idea.  I think part of the problem is that I often don't have many of the required ingredients in my pantry, but this recipe is well worth a trip to the grocery store.  Plus, once you make the recipe one time, you'll have leftover sauce ingredients to make it again.

Once you get your ingredients set up, this recipe comes together quickly.  I definitely recommend doing a mise-en-place for this recipe, because it would be easy to burn or overcook the food in the wok if you're busy prepping other ingredients on the counter.  The finished dish is pretty darn spicy (you could use half the amount of hot bean sauce if you're not a spicy fan), with super flavorful, tender beef and colorful, crunchy vegetables.  I really like the sauce because it's got a touch of sweetness from the hoisin sauce, but it's not overly sweet like some stir fry sauces can be.  The dish is definitely best fresh out of the pan, but leftovers kept reasonably well.

Stir-Fried Chili Beef with Bell Peppers and Snap Peas (adapted from Fine Cooking)
Serves 4

12-16 ounces flank steak
3 T Shaoxing rice wine, divided
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
Salt and pepper
1 tsp plus 2 T vegetable oil
2 T hot bean sauce (also called chili bean sauce or chili black bean hot sauce)
2 T hoisin sauce
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch by 2-inch strips
6 medium scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1. Cut the beef with the grain into 2-inch-wide strips, and then cut each strip across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices.  Transfer to a bowl, and add 1 T of the rice wine along with the ginger, soy sauce, cornstarch, 1/4 tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper.  Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Add 1 tsp of the oil and stir until coated.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot bean sauce, hoisin sauce, and remaining 2 T rice wine.
3. Heat a wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact.  Add 1 T of the remaining oil, swirl to coat, and then add the garlic.  Stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds.  Push to the sides, and carefully add the beef in one layer.  Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, and then stir-fry with the garlic for another minute, until the beef is browned but not cooked through.  Transfer to a plate.
4. Add the remaining 1 T oil to the wok.  Add the peas, bell pepper, and scallions, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt, and stir-fry about 1 minute.  Return the beef and any accumulated juice to the wok.  Add the hot bean sauce mixture by swirling it around the sides of the wok.  Stir-fry until the beef its just cooked through and the vegetables are crisp-tender, 1 minute more.  Serve over rice.


  1. I love the fresh relaxing taste of stir fry recipes. The quick prep time is just a wonderful bonus. Thanks much Sara!

  2. Your sauce sounds delicious.

  3. I adore chilli beef in sauce, it is hard food but very tasty.