If you like elaborate, elegant and utterly delicious Chinese cuisine, this is “THE” dish for you to make. Orange goes so well with beef!

Szechuan Orange Beef

Szechuan Orange Beef
Recipe type: Beef
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound beef (rump is better than flank), sliced against the grain, cut into 2 x 1 x 1/4 inch slices
  • 3/4 Cup pure water chestnut flour
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 Cup beef broth
  • 4 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 8 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons dry rice wine or pale dry Sherry
  • 3 Tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely sliced scallion
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • Cornstarch Mixture of:
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, plus
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Prepare:
  • pieces of dried orange peel
  • dried red chile peppers (cut into halves)
  • 2 coarsly chopped scallion bulbs
  • 2 coarsly chopped cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. The suggestion of using water chestnut flour to coat the beef was a great one (it really is important to the dish).
  2. Mix together all ingredients except beef. The coating will have the consistency of thick gravy. Stir in the beef to coat; it will not coat heavily, but that's okay. After it sits for a while, it gets like wall putty. Let sit for 20-30 minutes; I do it the night before and let sit in 'fridge overnight.
  3. Heat oil in a deep-fryer, pot, or wok; enough oil to deep-fry the beef. If you hold a wooden chopstick in the oil and tiny bubbles stream from the tip of the stick, the oil is hot enough (I use the highest setting on an electric burner). Add several pieces of the coated beef to the hot oil and fry for 5-8 minutes (you may want to remove a piece after 5 minutes and cut it in half and taste it to see how you like it. I cook it for 7-8 minutes until parts of the outside start to turn dark brown; it's a matter of personal choice).
  4. Put the first batch into the oven (on low) to keep warm while you fry the rest. Prepare the sauce while you fry the beef.
  5. Sauce: Mix all ingredients together and set aside.
  6. Now: After beef is finished and waiting in the oven, heat a wok on high heat and add the 2 TBSP of oil. Add the dried chiles, pieces of orange peel, and scallion (the Orange Chicken recipe calls for 5 pieces of orange peel and 3 dried chiles. We use 20 pieces of orange peel and 25-30 chiles, but we like it hot. The heat amount is your choice, but we would use 10 pieces of orange peel initially. You can increase it next time if it's not "orangy" enough for you).
  7. Stir-fry about 30 seconds; peel starts to give nice orange smell and chiles start to darken. Add the garlic and stir-fry another 30 seconds or so 'till peels start to brown and chiles turning black.
  8. Stir-up the sauce mixture and add to the wok. Stir constantly until sauce thickens and starts to bubble (1-2 minutes). Add the pieces of beef and stir until thoroughly coated. Serve with rice.
  9. You can also serve this dish over a bed of broccoli which has been stir-fried or lightly steamed (still crunchy, but not raw). The water chestnut flour is the key to the crunchy coating. You can remove the orange peel after it's done if you don't like to eat them, but they taste good if eaten together with a piece of beef and a couple of peppers.
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