by Debra Wysopal

I love the Chinese Take-Out Cookbook by Dianna Kuan, her recipes are fantastic and this is no exception. This dry-fried beef dish has the consistency of a crispy beef jerky, uses less oil than most stir fries and yields a deeply flavored result. It’s quick once you start, so be sure to read the recipe fully before starting. This baby is not the prettiest dish to shoot, but super popular in my house.

Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 6 voted )


  • 2 TBS Chinese Rice Wine or dry sherry
  • 1 TBS Chili Paste
  • 1 TSP Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 TSP ground Sichuan Pepper or ground White Pepper
  • 1/4 TSP freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 4 TBS peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 LB Flank Steak, sliced against the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 4 -5 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 TSP minced ginger
  • 1 Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, cut into 3-inch lengths and shredded
  • Steamed white rice to serve


Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the rice wine, chili paste, soy sauce, Sichuan or white pepper and black peppers and set aside.

In another small bowl,  ready the ginger, garlic and dried chilis. 

Have a plate lined with paper towels ready nearby.

Once you start, this goes super fast, so be sure you've read the directions through. 

Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 3 TBS of oil, swirl to coat the bottom of pan and wait for 1 minute for it to heat up.  Add the beef, spreading out evenly (you may need to do this in batches - see note).  Allow beef to sizzle untouched for 1-2 minutes.  (The oil will become cloudy initially as the beef releases its juices.)  Cook beef for about another 6 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until the oil becomes clear again.  The beef should be mostly dark brown, and having lost most of its water content, also crispy in texture.  Transfer the beef with tongs to a plate lined with paper towels.  Repeat with second batch if necessary.  

Carefully wipe the wok clean with a thick wad of paper towels, being especially careful of not to touch your hands on the sides of the skillet/wok.  Once dry, swirl in the remaining oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan).  Add the chilies, garlic and ginger and stir fry until just aromatic - about 30 seconds only, you do not want to burn the garlic!  Add the bell peppers and stir fry for another minute or two until just soft.  Add the beef to the wok and pour in the sauce, using a spatula to stir releasing any brown bits stuck to bottom of the pan. 

Toss in scallions off-heat and serve with some fluffy white rice. 


You may need to do the beef in batches as you want the beef to sear in the pan to get a nice crisp. Overcrowding causes steaming, we don't want that.

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