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Hunan Spiced Beef Shreds (Stir-fry Beef in Chili-oil Sauce)

Updated on November 1, 2012

Hunan Spiced Beef Shreds

Flank Steak
Flank Steak
Dried Chili Peppers
Dried Chili Peppers
Ginger Root
Ginger Root
Chinese Red Wine Vinegar
Chinese Red Wine Vinegar

Hunan Cooking

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Hunan Spicy Beef Shreds


This is one of those Hunan recipes that are very similar to Sichuan dishes. The most obvious difference is that ground bean sauce is used instead of Sichuan sweet or chili bean sauce. The heat in this dish comes from chili oil and cayenne pepper.


As is typical in most Chinese beef stir-fries, flank steak is used because it’s flat shape and its directional grain makes it easy to slice thin. If you slightly freeze the meat, you can easily cut it into thin slices across the grain, which will be very tender when stir-fried.


The sauce for this dish is made from ground bean sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chili oil, cayenne pepper and chicken stock which is thickened with some cornstarch and seasoned with sesame oil.


Once the beef is blanched, the "Chinese Trinity" (garlic, ginger and scallions) are stir-fried before the sauce is added. Then the water chestnuts, cloud ears and beef are added and the sauce is thickened with a little cornstarch. Finally, everything is seasoned with sesame seed oil before serving.




Preparation Time:

60 Minutes

Cooking Time:

30 Minutes



1 Lb. of Beef Flank Steak cut into matchstick size pieces

1 Egg White

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Sugar

I Tablespoon Cornstarch

2 Cups of Oil

Mix in a bowl except for the oil and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.



1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger Root

2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic

3 Scallions cut into pea-size pieces including the green part

½ Cup Sliced Water Chestnuts

2 Tablespoons Cloud Ears (soak in hot water until soft, discard any hard parts and cut them in half)


Sauce Mixture:

1 Tablespoons Black Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Ground Bean Sauce

1 Tablespoon Dry White Wine

2 Teaspoons Chinese Red Vinegar

1-1/2 Teaspoons sugar

¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 Teaspoons Chili Oil (See my hub on Sichuan Eggplant in Chili Garlic Sauce for the recipe)

½ Cup Chicken Broth

2 Teaspoons Cornstarch mixed with 1 Tablespoon Cold Water. (Use it to thicken the sauce at the end.)


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan that is large enough that it will be less than half full once the scallops are added. That will keep the hot oil from boiling over and starting a fire, but just in case keep the cover handy.
  2. Add the beef mixture half at a time and cook about 30 seconds until they turn white. Remove them with a strainer or slotted spoon and repeat with the second half.
  3. Transfer two tablespoons of oil to a large heavy frying pan and lightly brown the bell ginger root, garlic and scallions
  4. Then stir in the sauce mixture and continue cooking until it begins to bubble.
  5. Finally, add the beef, sliced water chestnuts and cloud ears to the pan and bring it all back to a boil.
  6. Finally, stir in the cornstarch mixture and when it thickens, mix in the sesame seed oil.


Hunan Beef

How to make Mongolian Beef

Changsha - the Capital of Hunan Provence

Changsha Montage
Changsha Montage

Changsha - the Capital of Hunan Provence

Dongting River near Changsha the Capital of Hunan Provence
Dongting River near Changsha the Capital of Hunan Provence

Map of Shanghai and Changsha (the capital of Hunan Provence

show route and directions
A markerShanghai, China -
Shanghai, China
get directions

B markerChangsha, China -
Changsha, Hunan, China
get directions


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    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 6 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      sounds delicious. Flank steak sounds perfect! vote up