Kung Pao Beef
- For the Beef
- 570g beef tenderloin, sliced to 1cm thick strips
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- For the Sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 2 heaped tsp Guilin chilli sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 1/2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, divided
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 5 whole dried Thai chillies
- 2 small red Fresno peppers or 1 Serrano chile, bruised and cut into 3.5cm pieces
- 60g dry roasted peanuts
- 2 spring onions, cut into 5cm pieces
- 4 tbsp chopped coriander, stems and leaves
In a medium bowl, season the beef with salt and pepper. Add two tablespoons of cornstarch and mix well.
In another smaller bowl, stir together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
In a small pan over medium heat, toast Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant; about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and crush half a tablespoon of the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Leave remaining peppercorns whole.
Heat a wok over high heat and when wok starts to smoke, add the peanut oil. Add the remaining whole Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilies, and fresh chilies and stir-fry for a few seconds. Then add the beef and stir-fry for two to three minutes to brown meat. Add the sauce mixture and peanuts and cook until the sauce has reduced slightly and is sticky and has a thicker consistency. Add the scallions and coriander; toss to coat and warm through. Then transfer to a serving plate, garnish with ground Sichuan peppercorns. Serve immediately.