Sichuan Pickled Mustard Beef, or 川味酸辣牛肉丁, is a Hot and Sour dish combining Pickled Greens, Peanuts and diced Beef with Chili Bean Paste.
There is nothing subtle or refined about this dish. Indeed, it is a much bolder variation of my Beef with Pickled Mustard Greens 酸菜炒牛肉絲 , in that the Beef and tangy Pickled Mustard Greens are combined with Peanuts in a spicy Sichuan Chili Bean Paste. It is much more fiery, and the sort of simple, hearty peasant fare best suited to simple family meals rather than the banquet table.
Ingredient Notes for 川味酸辣牛肉丁
The Pickle used in this recipe is actually a Thai-style Pickled Mustard, but you can substitute for just about any pickled greens you fancy. A good substitute that will enhance the Sichuan character of the dish would be the Zha Cai Sichuan Preserved Vegetable. If you do use that, you may wish to increase the sugar by an extra teaspoon or so.
At the right of the picture above, the red paste you can see is the Sichuan Chili Bean Paste known as 辣豆瓣酱 (là dòubànjiàng). This is the preferred choice here but, if you cannot source it, you can replace it with many other types of chili paste. Lee Kum Kee™ Brand Spicy Bean Sauce or a simple Sambal Oelek would work well.
How to Make Sichuan Pickled Mustard Beef
First, heat your pan over a high flame and add a half-cup of oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef, stirring to separate, and let the cubes get brown and just a little crisp at the edges. Ideally, your oil should be hot enough that the outer surfaces will be nicely browned, but the interior will still be pink and underdone. This will yield the really tender beef after it is cooked a second time with the other ingredient. Once the done, remove the cubes to a bowl and set aside.
Next, drain all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan and add the garlic. As soon the garlic releases it’s aroma add the peanuts and then the chili bean paste, the sugar and the red pepper pieces. Stir for a moment or two until the red pepper starts to soften.
Finally, add back the beef along with the rice wine and mustard greens and stir until all is heated through and the sauce is thickened to a glaze. Stir in the sesame oil and then plate and serve while still piping hot.
Your Recipe Card for 川味酸辣牛肉丁:
Sichuan Pickled Mustard Beef
- ½ lb. Beefsteak diced;
- ½ cup Red Bell Pepper diced;
- ½ cup Pickled Mustard Greens chopped coarsely;
- ½ cup roasted Peanuts;
- 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped;
- 2 tbsp. Sichuan Chili Bean Paste;
- 1 ½ tsp. Sugar;
- 4 tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 1 tsp. Sesame Oil;
- Quickly deep-fry the beef in a half-cup of oil over a high flame and remove the cubes to a bowl as soon as they are beginning to crisp and brown.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan, add the garlic, and stir-fry briskly until it releases it’s aroma.
- Add the peanut, chili bean paste, sugar and the red pepper pieces, and stir-fry just until the red pepper starts to soften.
- Add back the beef along with the rice wine and mustard greens and continue cooking until the sauce is thickened to a glaze.
- Stir in the sesame oil and then plate and serve.