Stir-Fried Beef with Sichuan Peppercorns & Sweet Bean Sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

I really love the numbing effect of the Sichuan peppercorns and the touch of heat the chilli oil gives this stir-fry. By all means, dial up the heat by adding more chilli oil.


  • 350 g (12 oz) beef fillet, finely sliced across the grain, cut into thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons shaoxing
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into julienne
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into julienne
  • 1 small handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves

Sweet Bean Sauce

  • 1½ tablespoons sweet bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli oil
  • a pinch of sea salt


To make the sweet bean sauce, mix together the sweet bean paste, Chinkiang vinegar, caster sugar, chilli oil and sea salt.

Heat a wok until just smoking. Add half the oil and, when hot, stir-fry the beef in batches until well browned, then remove and wipe the wok clean.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok until just smoking and stir-fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant. Deglaze the wok with the shaoxing, return the beef to the wok with the sweet bean sauce and toss well to ensure the beef is evenly coated. Add the Sichuan peppercorns, celery and spring onions and toss to heat through. Spoon onto a plate and sprinkle with coriander leaves to serve.