The Chinese tend to prefer White Pepper for many preparations but Black Pepper does make the odd appearance (notably in some versions of Hot and Sour Soup), and it goes very nicely with Beef. Today I am doing a quick stir-fried dish using these two ingredients and I am also adding both zucchini and button mushrooms. However, you could easily replace these vegetables for all sorts of other combinations if you like…
- 1/2lb. Beef, sliced in 2 – 3 inch strips;
- 1 cup Zucchini in 2 – 3 inch batons;
- 1 small can Button Mushrooms;
- 1 pinch Salt;
- 1 tsp. Cornstarch;
- 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil;
- 2 tsp. Black Peppercorns;
- 1 tbsp. each of Sugar, Chinese Black Vinegar, Soy Sauce and Shaoxing Wine;
- 1 tsp. Sesame Oil;
- ½ tsp. Sichuan Pepper Oil (optional).
Mix the strips of beef with the salt and cornstarch and then stir in the vegetable oil.
Coarsely ground the peppercorns and then mix together the remaining flavoring ingredients to make the sauce. Set both aside for now…
Heat a cup or two of oil in your wok over moderate heat and then gently deep-fry the beef strips until they just turn color and remain soft and slightly raw at the center.
Drain the oil from your wok, leaving a tablespoon or so and turn up the heat to high. Add the mushrooms and quickly sauté until they brown nicely.
Now add the zucchini and continue to stir-fry until they soften and take on some color, then add back the beef. As soon as the beef is heated through, add the pepper, stir a few moments longer, and then add the sauce mix. Toss and stir until the sauce is reduced to a glaze and then plate and serve immediately.