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Szechuan Beef Stir Fry with Noodles

Szechuan beef stir fry with noodles a quick 20-minute recipe that sings with zingy Szechuan pepper, pepper flakes & a rich, delicious sauce.

It is the perfect quick-cook fakeaway dinner that will have you dumping those delivery menus, or even that pesky app!

Szechuan beef stir fry with noodles and bell peppers served in a blue bowl.

Spicy Sichuan Beef Stir fry.

Whether you call it Szechuan, Sichuan or Szechwan beef will really depend on where you are from.

My version, like many of my recipes, flirts with authentic ideas and foundations and then expresses my cooking sensibilites and flavours.

It also features one of my favourite ingredients.

Szechuan pepper, an ingredient of note in Dan Dan Noodles and Szechuan Chicken, I also make a wonderful Szechuan prawn recipe.

It has an almost citrus edge and it fizzes and has a mild numbing effect in the mouth.

As far as I am concerned it is grown-up popping candy and it makes me clap my hands like a fool!

The beef is “velveted” in beaten egg before being coated in cornflour (corn starch for my US readers). This creates a beautifully tender beef but also helps thicken our sauce.

It is then combined with peppers, onion and dried chilli, and I use dried chipotle chilli flakes. I love the smoky flavour that it adds to my version of Szechuan beef!

Close up Szechuan beef stir fry with noodles and bell peppers.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Can I substitute normal pepper for Szechuan pepper?

No. It is not actually pepper at all but it is a seed and it is not spicy pungent like pepper or hot like chilli.

What does cutting the meat across the grain mean?

If you place the meat on your cutting board and look at it from on top you will notice a series of lines.

These are the meat fibres, you want to slice your beef perpendicular to these fibres.

As a result of doing this, the fibres of beef that you eat are short, this leads to a gloriously soft and tender Szechuan beef.

Do I have to add shrimp paste?

No, but please give it a try! It adds a rich and deep umami flavour to the sauce that is not at all fishy.

Don’t be put off by the smell though! It is quite pungent, but that tempers very quickly with cooking.

It is not at all an unusual ingredient, many cultures use fish as a seasoning agent.

Whether it be Oysters in a hyper-trad beef pie, anchovies in Caesar salad dressing or fish sauce in my Thai duck curry it is a well-trodden path.

Overhead Szechuan beef stir fry with noodles and bell peppers served in a blue bowl

Serving Suggestions.

Ordinarily, I serve this Szechuan beef stir fry as a one pot meal, it is plenty big enough for a meal for me.

I usually garnish with sliced spring onions and sesame seeds. But because beef and onion works so well serving this with crispy fried onions would be superb.

As part of a multi course meal it would serve wonderfully well with my hot and sour soup.

There are some that would also serve this with rice, a good egg fried rice would work well.

However, if I wanted to serve this with rice I would likely omit the noodles and make it a pretty neat Szechuan beef stir fry.

In order to do that I would reduce the amount of sauce by around a third.

Without the noodles, this would be awesome served with either my stir fried asparagus or broccoli stir fry.

Szechuan beef stir fry with noodles and bell peppers served in a blue bowl with chopsticks.
Yield: 2 Servings

Szechuan Beef Recipe with Noodles

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

You can't beat a good Szechuan beef fakeaway, this glorious noodle recipe takes just 20 minutes to cook and will see you dumping those takeaway menus.

Ingredients

  • 300g (10oz) Flank Steak
  • 125g Egg Noodles
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Cornflour (Corn starch in the US)
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • Ginger Thumb Sized Piece
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
  • 1 Tsp Szechuan Pepper
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 Small (75-100g) onion
  • 2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 Tsp Shrimp Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds for Garnish
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil

Instructions

  1. Cook your noodles as per the instructions on the packet and then refresh in cold water.
  2. Lightly beat the egg in a bowl big enough to hold the beef.
  3. Cut the flank steak (across the grain) into thin strips around 3mm thick and 1-2cm wide by 4-5cm long and add it to the egg.
  4. Sprinkle over the salt and mix well and set aside whilst we prepare the remaining ingredients.
  5. Peel and grate the ginger.
  6. Peel and mash the garlic.
  7. Grind the Szechuan pepper in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. and sift if you are not a fan of the texture of Szechuan pepper.
  8. Deseed the bell pepper and slice it into strips 4-5mm in profile, I used half of a red and green pepper for colour.
  9. Top and tail the onion, peel it and then cut it into 8 wedges.
  10. Mix the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, Shaoxing wine, and shrimp paste together in a bowl and set aside.
  11. Drain any liquid egg from the bowl with the beef just before you heat the wok.
  12. Heat a wok over a high heat and when it shimmers add the oil.
  13. Sprinkle the cornflour over the beef and roughly mix to combine, leaving a little loose cornflour on the beef.
  14. Add the beef to the wok and stir fry for two minutes before removing and setting aside.
  15. Return the wok to the heat and when it is hot add the Szechuan pepper, dried chilli flakes, garlic, ginger and onion then stir fry for 60 seconds.
  16. Add the bell peppers, and fry for another 2 minutes.
  17. Return the beef and add the noodles and toss to combine for 30 seconds.
  18. Finally, add the sauce mix you created and cook until slightly thickened, this should take no more than 60 seconds.

Notes

Toasting the Szechuan pepper first can help with the grinding process because it makes the husks more brittle. This can help reduce the grittiness sometimes associated with Szechuan pepper.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 637Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 224mgSodium: 2471mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 39g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Steve Harford

Monday 5th of April 2021

Looks good Brian. I’ll give it a go. One thing: Sechuan peppers can be very gritty. Even when ground with mortar and pestle. This, I believe, comes from the seeds and only the casing should be used? But if you’ve ever tried separating them you will know what a task that is ! By using a spice grinder and grinding up the whole lot, does that get rid of the gritty texture? Steve

Brian Jones

Tuesday 6th of April 2021

I kinda accept the "texture" that Szechuan pepper adds to a dish personally, I should have added an addendum to the recipe and will go back and do that today. If you want to get rid of as much of that as possible toasting the seeds first, then grinding before passing through a fine mesh sieve will be as far as you can go. It does a fair old job :)

Brian Jones

Sunday 22nd of April 2018

lol, enjoy!

Patty

Saturday 21st of April 2018

I love cooking Asian style stir fry recipes with any meat, the marinade looks delicious and the meat must be so tender! Love all the flavors in this recipe and can't wait to try it!

Brian Jones

Sunday 22nd of April 2018

Thanks Patty.

Arjhon Canoy

Saturday 21st of April 2018

Just by looking at the pictures is mouthwatering. can't wait to try this. My family loves beef dishes. Thanks for this recipe.

Brian Jones

Sunday 22nd of April 2018

Thank you.

Natalia

Monday 11th of April 2016

I love your pictures! This looks amazingly tasty! Will be trying it really soon :)

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of April 2016

Thank you Natalia, please let me know how you get on, I love hearing from people that cook my recipes :)

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