Sichuan pepper steak

Well, this recipe isn’t very different from some of the others I’ve posted. This is basically just a quick-and-easy pepper steak dish with that excellent ma la (麻辣), or “numbing and spicy,” Sichuan flavor. The husks of the Sichuan peppers create a pleasant tingling sensation on the tongue, while the Lao Gan Ma (老干妈) black bean chili sauce adds heat.

This recipe is “simple,” which by my definition means that it can be fully prepared in the time it takes to cook the rice.

Sichuan Pepper Steak

Sichuan Pepper Steak


  1. 1 lb round steak (sliced into small, thin pieces), marinated for 25 minutes in 1 Tbsp light soy sauce, 1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine, and 1 tsp corn starch
  2. 3 cloves garlic, 1/2″ ginger, both minced finely
  3. 1 red bell pepper, sliced into shapes that match the beef
  4. 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp corn starch, 1 Tbsp Lau Gan Ma black bean chili sauce, 1 Tbsp Sichuan peppercorns (husks only), stirred together


  • Heat your wok until barely smoking. Then add 1 Tbsp peanut oil and swirl it around. Then add the beef mixture (#1) and let it cook undisturbed for about 1 minute until almost totally opaque. Then add #2 (garlic and ginger) and stir-fry everything for about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper (#3) and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the sauce (#4) and stir on medium/low heat for about a minute until everything is combined and heated through.

Variations: At the last minute, stir in scallions that have been cut on the diagonal into 1″ lengths. Garnish with cilantro. Add dried red chiles to step 3. Substitute fresh hot peppers for the red bell pepper. Also, adjust the Sichuan peppers to taste: if this is an unfamiliar taste to you try 1-2 tsp instead of the full tablespoon.

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