I don’t think I eat enough Chinese food. There. I said it. When I was growing up, the takeaway choice was simply Indian, Chinese or Pizza, so at the weekend I was often tucking into a chow mein, mushroom fried rice or chicken with pineapple dish, but now, being in London there’s just so much choice.
Being lots more creative in the kitchen these days too, I’m always looking to break out into new cuisines but somehow Chinese has been left behind – WHATTT?! I know right? There’s so many seriously tasty dishes that I really need to recreate them at home.
Chinese New Year is coming up at the of the month, 28th January to be exact, a Saturday but celebrations will run from 27th January to the 2nd February, so I thought it was the perfect time to get stuck into creating a Chinese recipe.
I actually decided that this year, we’re going to celebrate Chinese New Year, me and my housemates. Well, why not? Another excuse to make yummy food and be together.
Planning our Saturday evening celebrations, I thought that I best get practising my Chinese cooking skills beforehand, to check that they were up to scratch before promising great things. And wow…I even surprised myself a little.
Last week, I perfected my recipe for crispy chilli beef, one of my favourite Chinese recipes. With a nice kick of heat, it’s got a deep and rich flavour which runs through the dish. The beef, cut into thin strips, is slightly crispy and generously covered in the thick sauce. Topped with some fresh red chillis and spring onion, it’s easy to make the dish look pretty, which is great for when you’re trying to impress.
I served the chilli beef with my stir fried noodles, egg fried rice and stir fried vegetables so there was plenty of choice. It felt like a feast!
So for all about of you thinking of whipping up some Chinese dishes at the end of the month, or even if you just fancy something making something a little different for dinner, here’s how to make my crispy chilli beef:
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 300g frying steak, cut into thin strips (about a cm thick)
- 2 tbsp. cornflour
- 2 1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice
- 1 tsp. hot chilli powder
- 100ml vegetable oil
- 3 spring onion, chopped, white and green parts separated
- 2 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/2 dried chilli flakes
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. tomato purée
- 2 tbsp. sweet chilli sauce
- 1 fresh red chilli
- In a bowl, combine the cornflour, Chinese five-spice and chilli powder. Add the beef strips, and turn until well coated.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the beef until cooked (I tend to do my crispy chilli beef well done). Remove from the pan, and place to the side.
- Remove some of the oil in the pan so that you’re left with just enough to fry the vegetables (about a tablespoon). Add the spring onion (white end only), garlic, red pepper, ginger and chilli flakes and stir fry for only a couple of minutes, until starting to soften.
- Whilst the vegetables and spices are cooking, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, tomato purée and sweet chilli sauce in a cup with a little water (2-3 tablespoons). Pour over the vegetables and spices in the frying pan and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Return the beef to the pan to heat through. Allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
- Serve in two dishes, topped with chopped fresh red chilli and the green parts of the spring onions for presentation.
And there you have it. My Crispy Chilli Beef.
As I mentioned earlier, I served mine with stir fried noodles, egg fried rice and stir fried vegetables and it went really well with each side, so the choice is yours! Enjoy!
If you are limited for time, WingYip sell several stir fry sauces – I’ve tried the Szechuan and the chow mein sauces. Both are really tasty. I like my homemade chow mein quite saucy, so I did use one jar for 2 people, with some leftovers for a lunch, which was perfect.
What’s your favourite Chinese dish to make at home?
*This post is in collaboration with WingYip, the largest oriental supermarket in the UK. WingYip sent me a parcel to get me started – all view my own.