Dry Fried Sichuan Beef

I am known as the pickiest eater in the family. Perhaps I’m too critical of most restaurants, but I’ve found that most of them offer nothing more than average fare. One dish perfectly exemplifies this is dry fried Sichuan beef (gan bian niu rou).

It’s usually too sweet and laden with soy sauce. Alternatively, they use the same bottled condiment in every dish. Unfortunately, this “Sichuan Dry Fried Beef” isn’t even close to the real thing! Therefore, I rarely place orders for it because they are never fulfilled satisfactorily.

The Distinctive Features of Our Sichuan Beef

It’s no surprise that others have had similar experiences, which is why one of our readers recently requested Dry-fried Sichuan Beef. It was an excellent opportunity for us to put our stamp on things. After making a few adjustments to the standard recipe. You can tell this recipe is unique by a few things:

Beef tenderloin is the typical cut of beef used in this Sichuan dish. The tenderloin of beef has a low flavor intensity despite its tender texture. Instead, my go-to for stir-fries is flank steak. You can taste the flavor, and it’s very tender.

The beef is typically julienned, marinated, and stir-fried quickly to retain its tenderness, but this was different from the dish’s original intention. In its place, beef should be browned over high heat to seal in its natural juices and flavor. So we say “dry-fried” because of this method.

I made my slices slightly thicker to keep the beef from drying out while browning. In addition, the dish’s robust beef flavor is a lot like that of a high-quality steak, thanks to the use of unmarinated beef.

Last but not least, Sichuan peppercorns, essential to the dish’s signature flavor, are rarely added, even when requested. The amount of peppercorns can be adjusted to suit individual taste and numbness requirements.

By the way, if you don’t like spicy food, leave out the chili flakes and use regular sweet bean sauce/paste in its place.


  • 3 tbsp. of oil
  • 12 oz. of flank steak (340g, cut into ⅓ inch-thick strips)
  • 5 slices of ginger (julienned)
  • 1 tbsp. of spicy bean sauce
  • 2 stalks celery (julienned)
  • 1 small carrot (julienned)
  • 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • ¾ tsp. of sugar
  • 1 tbsp. of light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. of ground Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1/8 tsp. of chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 scallions (julienned)


  1. Get the wok really hot by using the highest setting on your stove. Prior to adding the beef, coat the wok with the oil (about a tablespoon’s worth). Get the beef out in a single layer right away. (This will keep the beef from sticking to the bottom of your wok.) Make sure the beef is seared, and all the liquid has been cooked off by browning it. About two to three minutes should be allotted for this procedure. Take the beef out of the skillet.
  2. Prepare the wok by adding 2 tablespoons of oil and reducing the heat to low. Toss the ginger into the oven to get crispy, and then add the hot bean sauce.
  3. Reduce heat as necessary to prevent burning, and continue cooking for about a minute or until the oil turns red. Add the cooked beef, carrots, and celery next. Increase the heat to high and constantly stir to blend ingredients thoroughly. Add the scallions, sugar, light soy sauce, sesame oil, ground Sichuan peppercorn, chili flakes, and Shaoxing wine quickly and stir.
  4. Only spend a minute mixing, but do so quickly and thoroughly. Place in a serving dish and surround with a mountain of rice. You’ll need it.
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