The popularity of this preparation, once unique to Sichuan, has spread to Beijing and to other parts of China over the years. In Beijing, where the dish is cooked in virtually the same way as it is in Sichuan, the Sichuan peppercorns have been replaced by cinnamon sticks. Rice-based coatings are also used in Hunan and Fujian, to cite just two more examples.
To make the marinade: In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients and reserve.
Cut the brisket across the grain into pieces
Place the dish of beef in a steamer, cover, and steam for 50 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
Turn off the heat. Remove the dish from the steamer, sprinkle the beef with the green portions of scallions and serve.
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