I have Village Idiot to thank/"blame" for this. I've been doing more stir frys, I just haven't been posting them all here because I felt like I was becoming a one-trick pony. But the other day VI posted wonderful pictures and a link to a great recipe for Shredded Beef with Sweet Peppers, a Sichuan recipe that was NOT intended to be hot & spicy. It was from a Sichuan cookbook by a lady named Fuschia Dunlop. From VI's pix I knew I had to make it. I did a version last night (see below) and it was the best beef stir fry recipe I've made to date. It was not spicy but had great flavors.
Today I was looking into getting a copy of the cookbook myself and I found a bunch of links to Fuschia Dunlop's recipes on line. This one in particular caught my attention. It was called Beef with Cumin and I had all of the ingredients on hand. Better yet, it was a spicy Sichuan recipe. The recipes I've done from my two Grace Young's cookbooks have been excellent, but none of them have been what you would call hot and spicy. This recipe was indeed intended to be spicy. It called for 2 spicy red chili peppers, but was not specific about the type. So I used 3 Thai red chills knowing they would add some extra spice to the proceedings. It called for 2-4 tsp of red pepper flakes and I used the full 4 tsp. It also used a new to me technique of deep frying the beef in the wok. This was actually the first time I've deep fat fried anything.
I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story, but let me give you the bottom line:
I think I had a food-gasm!!!!!
The dish was an incredible blast of flavors with cumin (one of my favorite spices) being the primary flavor. It was very very hot. I knew my wife would never be able to eat this and it was almost too spicy for me too. For those who might be interested here is the link: Beef with Cumin. On to the pix:
The ingredients are gathered & prepped. The marinade used dry sherry (or rice wine), light & dark soy sauce, potato flour, water & salt. The other ingredients were flank steak, scallions, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, sesame oil & peanut oil.
The wine, potato flour, water, salt pepper & soy sauces are mixed in with the thin sliced flank steak.
The marinaded meat rests for 30 minutes. While this was going on I went out and fired up the Egg & brought it up to just under 300 degrees for deep fat frying the beef.
The wok is on the Egg and the peanut oil has been heated to 28o degrees. I checked the temp with my infrared thermometer which can shoot the surface temp of the oil.
The beef was added to the hot oil and I was rewarded with that sizzling sound meaning the oil was hot enough.
The beef has been frying for nearly 2 minutes and is almost done.
The beef is draining while I bring the wok up to 550 degrees.
The scallions, red peppers, garlic, ginger & cumin have been added& get stirred to combine.
Everything is mixed together & it is time to add the beef back in.
The beef has been thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients and it i time to plate the beef.
The beef is plated and has been doused with some toasted sesame oil to finish.
This recipe was extremely hot and just exploded with flavors. It was as good as any Sichuan dish I've had in any restaurant.
The Beef with Cumin was served with some veggie fried rice and it was needed in large doses to help deal with the heat from the beef.
If you decide to try this yourself and you don't like real hot you'll need to reduce the amount of red pepper flakes and chili peppers or use a less hot type of chili than the 3 Thai chilies I used. Also be sure to have plenty of rice available to help fight the heat. I like hot & spicy dishes, but this one was almost to hot for me.