Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners
Active Time
20 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
Yield
Serves 4 to 6

Looking to experiment with garlic scapes? This better-than-takeout version of Szechuan beef is the perfect place to start. The beef is tender while the veggies are crisp, and everything’s covered with a rich sauce that’s both spicy and sweet. Garlic scapes, which have a milder garlic flavor and a stringy texture, are in season in late spring and early summer. You’ll find them at local farmers’ markets, produce stands, and international markets, which is also where you should scope out chili oil (lao gan ma) and fermented chili bean paste (doubanjiang)—in a pinch, however, fermented black bean paste will do the trick. Make sure to trim the woody ends from the tops and bottoms of the scapes. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine beef strips, egg, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium bowl. Toss well, and let stand 15 minutes.

Step 2

Whisk together beef stock, sugar, vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, chili oil, bean sauce, and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside.

Step 3

Drain and discard liquid from beef strips. Add remaining 1/2 cup cornstarch, and toss to coat.

Step 4

Heat remaining 1/3 cup vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high. Add coated beef strips to skillet in a single layer; cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and brown on other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate.

Step 5

Add garlic scapes, de árbol chiles, bell peppers, and onion to skillet; cook, stirring often for 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir beef stock mixture into vegetable mixture; cook, stirring often, until sauce begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add beef to mixture, and stir to combine. Serve immediately over rice, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

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