Chinese chilli beef

Chinese chilli beef

Fast Cooking
Tara Fisher

The first time you cook this you won’t believe how simple it is. The most important part is to deep-fry the beef strips well to get them really crispy. Then it’s all about the sauce, and not adding the beef too early – you want the end result to be nice and sticky, but not soggy.


Quantity Ingredient
300g long-grain rice
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons szechuan peppercorns
2 oranges, grated zest
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for deep-frying
400g beef fillet
8 tablespoons rice or potato flour, or cornflour
2 fresh red chillies
1 x 10cm piece fresh root ginger
150ml rice wine vinegar
150g caster sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chilli flakes
1 small bunch fresh coriander
3 spring onions


  1. Put the rice and salt in a pan with 500ml cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes, until tender. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat a frying pan until hot, add the Szechuan peppercorns and toast for 1 minute. Place in a pestle and mortar and crush thoroughly, then add the orange zest and crush again.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 190°C. Cut the beef into strips and coat with the vegetable oil. Put the salt and flour into a bowl, add the Szechuan pepper mixture and mix well to combine. Add the beef and toss to coat each piece thoroughly. Cook the beef in batches for 2 minutes, until crispy, in the deep-fryer. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Make the sauce. Chop the chillies and grate the ginger. Heat a frying pan until hot, add the vinegar, sugar and soy sauce and bring to the boil. Add the chillies, chilli flakes and ginger and cook for a few minutes, until just thickened. Add the cooked beef to the sauce and cook for 1–2 minutes, tossing to make sure everything is coated.
  5. Chop the coriander and slice the spring onions. Serve the beef with the rice and the coriander and spring onions sprinkled on top.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
quick meals
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