Welcome to the fiery and flavor-packed world of Szechuan beef! This dish is a beloved staple in Chinese cuisine, known for its bold spiciness and mouthwatering aroma. Originating from the Sichuan province in southwestern China, Szechuan beef has captivated the hearts of spicy food lovers and Chinese cuisine enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you're a seasoned home cook or new to Chinese cooking, this guide will walk you through creating this iconic dish in your own kitchen.

Szechuan Beef


To start, gather the following ingredients for your Szechuan beef. Note that some ingredients can be substituted if you have difficulty finding them in your local stores.

  • 500g (1lb) flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (for marinating)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 dried red chili peppers (adjust based on your spice tolerance)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns (or ground black pepper as a substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (for sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Marinate the Beef: In a bowl, combine the thinly sliced beef with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, the Chinese rice wine, and cornstarch. Mix well to ensure each piece is coated. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to marinate.

Cooking Process

  1. Prepare the Stir-Fry: Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once hot, add the marinated beef in a single layer, allowing it to sear and brown without stirring for about 1 minute. Stir-fry the beef until it's nearly cooked through, then remove it from the pan and set aside.
  2. Cook the Vegetables: In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the dried chili peppers, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the bell peppers and celery, stir-frying for another 2-3 minutes until they're just tender.
  3. Combine and Finish: Return the beef to the pan. Add the Szechuan peppercorns, hoisin sauce, additional soy sauce, and sugar. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Cook for another 2 minutes until everything is heated through and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Serving Suggestions

Szechuan beef is best served hot, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds. It pairs wonderfully with steamed rice or noodles to balance the spiciness. For beverages, consider serving with tea or a light beer to help soothe the palate.


Congratulations, you've just made a delicious Szechuan beef dish! This recipe is not only a testament to the rich and spicy flavors of Sichuan cuisine but also a great way to bring a taste of China into your home. Remember, the key to perfect Szechuan beef is in the balance of spiciness, tenderness, and umami flavors. Feel free to adjust the levels of spices and seasonings to fit your taste preferences. Enjoy your culinary adventure, and don't hesitate to explore more Chinese dishes!

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