Garlic Hunan Beef is a spicy stir fried beef with garlic, ginger and thai chilies, this dish is one of the most popular on menus in Chinese Restaurants.
Garlic Hunan Beef is one of the dishes I grew up ordering as a kid when we would go to get Chinese food at the amazing Chinese restaurant in town. You may recognize it as Panda Express, but at the time they had not yet launched the fast food arm of the company and they were still just Panda Inn.
Panda Inn (which still exists, it just isn’t nearly as good as it used to be) was one of the most popular restaurants in town next to Tony Roma’s (see my Tony Roma’s BBQ Chicken, Onion Loaf and Cole Slaw) and we used to wait hours to get a table. Ordering food was so much fun, the menu was so big, the dishes would be put on a lazy susan and when you finished your meal you’d get a fortune cookie dipped in white chocolate and wrapped in brightly colored foil. No two item plates here, each dish was a work of art.
Garlic Hunan Beef is spicy dish with dried Thai chilies, coarsely ground black pepper (please do not use normal black pepper you would otherwise have in a pepper shaker, it will completely ruin the dish and blow out your taste buds), ginger, garlic and Chinese wine.
This dish in addition to other Chinese food dishes like Spicy Tangerine Beef with Carrot Ribbons, Spicy Cashew Chicken, Orange Peel Chicken and all the Panda Express copycats all benefit from the use of a wok. I know you probably think you won’t get a lot of use from a wok, but once you buy it you’ll find yourself looking for more recipes just to use it! I find woks are amazing for quick, high temperature stir-fries. It also helps you make large quantities of food quickly since the depth and size of the pan allows for quick tossing. Moral of the story, woks are awesome.
- 1 pound flank steak, sliced thinly against the grain
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup Shaoxing wine
- 2 de-stemmed and crushed dry Thai bird chiles
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- ¼ cup canola oil
- sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- In a large ziploc bag add the steak, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, black pepper, wine, chiles, and cornstarch.
- Marinate for at least two hours, I recommend overnight.
- Heat your wok on high and add the canola oil.
- Remove the beef from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and add to the wok.
- Cook the beef for 30 second on each side until caramelized.
- Add in the reserved marinade and stir to combine until thickened, 15-30 seconds.
- Serve immediately with steamed broccoli and rice.