Sichuan boiled beef (Shui Zhu Niu Rou, 水煮牛肉)
Sichuan boiled beef (Shui Zhu Niu Rou) is super tasty and addictive. This detailed recipe shows you how to achieve the best texture & flavour.
Servings: 3 servings
For the spicy topping
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 1 handful dried chillies, seeds removed see note 2
- 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns see note 3
For the vegetables
- half Romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 1 handful bean sprouts
For the broth
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 6 slices ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste see note 4
- 1 tsp chilli powder or to taste
- 500 ml unsalted stock or water 2 cups
For the garnish
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- coriander, chopped
Marinate the beef
Cut the beef, against the grain, into thin slices (about 2mm).
Put them into a mixing bowl. Add salt, Shaoxing rice wine, dark soy sauce, egg, cornstarch and water.
Rub and mix with hands until the liquid is absorbed.
Add sesame oil then stir well.
Fry the spicy topping
Add oil, dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns in a wok.
Fry over low heat until fragrant (do not burn).
Transfer onto a chopping board. Chop small then set aside.
Fry the vegetables
Put romaine lettuce and bean sprouts in the same wok.
Fry with the remaining oil over medium heat until they lightly wilt.
Transfer to the serving bowl and set aside.
Prepare the broth
Pour oil into the wok. Add ginger, garlic, Sichuan chilli bean paste and chilli powder. Fry over low heat until fragrant.
Pour in stock/water. Cook over high heat until it starts boiling.
Cook the beef
Turn the heat to medium. Add marinated beef, one piece at a time.
Simmer until fully cooked (no pinkness on the surface).
Pour the beef and stock onto the vegetables.
Sizzle & garnish
Place minced garlic & chopped spicy topping over the beef.
Heat up the oil in the wok (cleaned and dried) until smoking. Pour it over the garlic & spices.
Garnish with coriander and serve immediately with plain rice.
1. You may use any cuts of beef (except for some tough cuts for stewing dishes). I quite like thick rib which is an inexpensive cut, yet very flavourful and tender enough for this dish (when marinated properly).
2. Choose dried chillies that suit your level of tolerance to spiciness. I use two types of Chinese dried chillies for this dish:
3. You may use regular red Sichuan peppercorns or the green variety. Please refer to my post “Sichuan pepper: your questions answered” to learn more about this unique Chinese spice.
4. Sichuan chilli bean paste (Doubanjiang/豆瓣酱, aka spicy broad bean paste) is widely used in Sichuan cuisine and can be purchased in most Chinese stores. The best-known variety is Pixian Douban (郫县豆瓣) which needs to be coarsely chopped prior to cooking.
- Facing heaven chilli (Chao Tian Jiao/朝天椒) which has a quite high heat level.
- Lantern chilli (Deng Long Jiao/灯笼椒) which is mild in heat but very fragrant.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 410kcal