Spicy Beef with Daikon
The long, giant white radish most commonly known as Daikon is milder in flavor than other radish varieties, and what peppery bite it has when raw is diminished considerably by cooking. As such, the vegetable does well in dishes where it can take on, and be enhanced by the stronger flavors of other ingredients. In this dish, julienned Daikon is paired with tender strips of Beef in a hot and sour sauce aromatic with Ginger, Garlic and Scallion.
The Basic Method
The Beef for this recipe is cut, across the grain, into julienne strips and then marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil with a little sugar. The sugar will add a little extra sweetness (more is used in the sauce), and it will also quicken the browning of the beef.
The white sections of the scallion will be added before the green, and the two are kept separate. The sauce for this dish is composed of Chili Paste (Sambal Oelek, in this case) mixed with Sugar, White Vinegar, and Rice Wine. There is only a small amount of liquid here and it will be thickened by a brief reduction during the final cooking stage.
The Beef strips are first flash-fried at high temperature to brown them. For this step, if you only have a small pan, you may wish to work in batches to avoid dropping the pan-heat too much. When that happens, the beef will tend to exude water and steam rather than fry, which makes it much less tender. Once browned, the beef is removed from the pan and kept in a bowl until after the next cooking step is complete.
The next part of the cooking process begins with very quickly frying the ginger, garlic and the white parts of the scallion until they release their aroma and then the Daikon and the green parts of the scallion are added. The Daikon is then cooked until just softened, which will only take a minute or two.
Once the Daikon is done, the beef is added back to the pan with the sauce mix and everything gets stir-fried for another minute or so until everything is piping hot and the sauce has reduced to little more than a glaze for the main ingredients. Once done, it should be served immediately.
Your Recipe Card:
Sichuan-Style Spicy Beef with Daikon
- 1/2 lb. Beef sliced into 2” julienne;
- 2 cups fresh Daikon cut into 2” julienne;
- 3 Scallions;
- 5 Tbsp. Sugar;
- 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce;
- 1 tsp. Sesame Oil;
- 2 Tbsp. Chili Paste I used Sambal Oelek;
- 4 Tbsp. White Vinegar;
- 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 1 Tbsp. Garlic Paste;
- 1 tsp. Ginger Paste.
- Mix the beef with one tablespoon of the sugar, the soy sauce and the sesame oil, and let it marinate for an hour or so.
- Cut the scallion greens into 2” sections and chop the white parts coarsely, keeping the two separate.
- Mix the remaining sugar, chili, vinegar, and the rice wine together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Bring 3 tablespoons of oil to just below the smoking point over a high heat and quickly fry the beef until just browned. Remove the beef to a bowl for now.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and the white part of the scallion to the oil and saute briefly until their aroma rises, then add the green scallion pieces along with the daikon and stir-fry until the daikon is softened and slightly translucent.
- Finally, add back the beef and the mixed sauce ingredients and saute for a minute or so longer until the sauce has reduced slightly and everything is piping hot.
- Serve Immediately.