Hunanese Beef with Cumin

We tried this recipe last friday night as part of our Chinese night in and it was heavenly the technique that “velvets” the beef makes it taste fabulous!


350g Sirloin or fillet steak, trimmed

400ml groundnut oil

2cm fresh root ginger, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

2 salad onions, sliced

1 tsp toasted sesame oil


1 tbsp chinese cooking wine or Shaoxing wine

½ tsp salt

1 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp dark soy sauce

1½ tbsp corn flour

Cut the beef into thin slices. Mix the marinade ingredients with 1 tbsp cold water; stir thoroughly until smooth and blended, then stir into the beef.

Heat the oil in a wok to about 140°C or until a cube of bread turns brown or I add a couple of sprinkles of water, once these are bubbling away the oil is ready!

Add the beef and stir gently for 1 minute – this process “velvets” the meat, giving it a soft texture. When the pieces of beef have separated, remove from the oil and drain.

Pour off all but 3 tbsp of the oil. Over a high flame, add the ginger, garlic, chilli, cumin and the salad onions stir-fry briefly until fragrant. Add the beef and stir fry for 2 minutes, seasoning with salt to taste.

When all is sizzlingly, remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve, we had this will sticky rice perfect!


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