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Szechwan Shredded Beef

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 30 min
chill beef 30 min

Cook Time: 5 min

Servings: 4 to 6

Recipe By: Belinda Hulin

From:  Knack Chinese Cooking
Used with permission of Knack

Other Main Dishes
Other Chinese
Other Meat

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Szechwan Shredded Beef

Hold onto your rice bowl, this dish is spicy, crunchy, and very satisfying. In Chinese cuisine, shredding, which suggests meat being pulled apart, is a bit of a misnomer. Instead, Chinese cooks painstakingly slice beef and pork into long, thin strips (or shreds) that meld with similarly cut crunchy vegetables like bamboo shoots, celery, and peppers. The combination adds a balance of ingredients in each and every bite.

1 pound top round or flank steak
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons rice wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 rib celery
2/3 cup bamboo shoots
2 to 4  fresh hot peppers
1  green bell pepper
2  green onions
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger root
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
 salt, to taste
Cut beef into matchstick-size shreds. Cutting beef is easier if the meat is very cold. Wrap fresh beef and place in freezer 30 minutes to an hour. Slice semi-frozen beef across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Cut slices lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick matchstick pieces. Briefly marinate with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, wine, sugar, and sesame oil. Sprinkle cornstarch over mixture and stir to coat.

Cut vegetables into uniform pieces. A natural tissue irritant, capsaicin in the peppers can cause burns when peppers are handled barehanded. To avoid this, wear thin latex gloves when cutting peppers. Cut the hot peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and slice peppers lengthwise into thin strips.

Stir-fry beef in 2 tablespoons oil over high heat 30 seconds. Remove. Add vegetables to wok. Stir-fry 1 minute. Add garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes. Return beef to wok. Add remaining soy sauce. Salt to taste. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.

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