Savoury, fruity, slightly sour and refreshingly spicy, orange beef stir-fry is a comforting dish that can be easily prepared in your own kitchen.
There are always plenty of fresh fruits in our Red House. Sometimes I would pick up some to add to my savoury dishes. Pineapple for beef fried rice, apple for beef stew, mango for chicken stir-fry, etc. Today I’d like to introduce another fruity dish: Spicy orange beef stir-fry (橙味牛肉).
In a traditional Chinese dish named Chenpi beef (陈皮牛肉), sun-dried tangerine peel is used to deliver a sophisticated citrus flavour to the beef. Unfortunately dried tangerine peel was quite difficult to find in Switzerland where I lived before coming to England. Once by accident I came across a cooking program from 1980s in which the famous TV chef Ken Hom demonstrates how to make stir-fried beef with fresh orange peel. It inspired me to create my own version of orange beef which has a stronger flavour of orange and a more pungent taste provided by fresh chilli.
In my recipe, orange is used in three parts:
- I like using a vegetable peeler to get the zest. Make sure you just peel the orange-coloured part of the skin and avoid peeling off the white part which tastes a little bitter. Julienne the zest before adding to the oil along with fresh chilli, ginger and garlic.
- Squeeze the juice out and use some to marinate the beef. Not only does it add flavour, it also helps to tenderize the meat thanks to its acidic element.
- Fresh orange juice is also used in the sauce (with soy sauce, corn starch, sesame oil, etc.) which is added at the end of the cooking process to give the beef a shiny and flavoursome coating.
I love all things spicy! So I put quite a lot of fresh chilli (red and green) in my orange beef. It balances the overall flavour of the dish and makes it more visually appetizing (you know that I always eat with my eyes first). A tip for you: if you love it extra hot, include the seeds of the chilli instead of discarding them.
A final note on the beef: like cooking my favourite Black pepper beef, you need to stir fry the beef twice. Please make sure you work quickly and avoid overcooking:
The 1st time: Dish out the beef immediately after it becomes pale (still pink inside).
The 2nd time: Give everything a quick stir to combine before you pour in the sauce. As soon as the sauce turns thick and the beef is evenly coated, remove the wok from the heat.
Have a lovely day!
Other meat recipes you might like: