Air Fryer Recipes

crispy chilli beef from the Chinese

Embark on a culinary journey into the heart of Chinese cuisine with the tantalizing flavors of crispy chili beef. This beloved dish is a harmonious blend of textures and tastes, marrying the crispiness of tender beef slices with the fiery kick of dried red chilies, all enveloped in a savory-sweet sauce. While traditionally savored in restaurants, mastering the art of crispy chili beef at home brings a sense of satisfaction and culinary prowess. Follow this comprehensive guide to unlock the secrets of creating this iconic dish in your own kitchen.

Marinating the Beef: The foundation of exceptional crispy chili beef lies in the art of marinating the beef. Opt for premium cuts such as sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced to ensure quick and even cooking. A marinade infused with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, cornstarch, and sesame oil imparts depth of flavor and tenderizes the meat, elevating its succulence. Allow the beef to luxuriate in this marinade, a ritual that enhances its taste and texture, for at least 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Achieving Crispy Perfection: The hallmark of crispy chili beef is its irresistible crispiness, achieved through a meticulous frying process. Heat vegetable oil to the perfect temperature in a wok or deep skillet, ensuring it is sufficiently hot to create that desirable crunch. Fry the marinated beef slices in batches, allowing each piece to sizzle and attain a golden-brown hue. Patience is key as the beef transforms into delectable morsels of crispy perfection, evoking anticipation with every crackle.

Crafting the Flavorful Sauce: At the heart of crispy chili beef lies its flavor-packed sauce, a harmonious symphony of savory, spicy, and sweet notes. Infused with minced garlic, ginger, green onions, and chopped dried red chilies, the sauce tantalizes the senses with its aromatic allure. A blend of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and honey or brown sugar adds complexity and depth, creating a luscious base for the dish. Thickened with a cornstarch slurry, the sauce envelops the crispy beef in a velvety embrace, ensuring each bite is a burst of flavor.

Presentation and Garnishes: Elevate your culinary creation with a presentation that tantalizes both the eyes and the palate. Serve the crispy chili beef hot, garnished with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a flourish of sliced green onions. These simple yet vibrant accents not only enhance the visual appeal but also add layers of texture and freshness to the dish. Paired with steamed rice or noodles, this exquisite masterpiece becomes a feast for all the senses, inviting indulgence and appreciation.

Conclusion: In mastering the art of crispy chili beef, one discovers the essence of Chinese culinary craftsmanship – a symphony of flavors, textures, and techniques that captivate the palate and nourish the soul. From the meticulous marination of the beef to the artful crafting of the sauce, each step in the journey is a testament to the dedication and passion for the culinary arts. With this guide as your compass, embark on your own culinary odyssey and savor the delights of crispy chili beef in the comfort of your own home.

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crispy chilli beef from the Chinese


  • 400g beef steak (sirloin or flank), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced diagonally
  • 2-3 dried red chilies, chopped (adjust to taste)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water


  1. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Add the sliced beef and toss to coat. Let it marinate for at least 15-20 minutes.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the marinated beef slices in batches and fry until crispy and golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  3. In the same pan, remove excess oil, leaving about a tablespoon. Add minced garlic, ginger, chopped green onions, and dried red chilies. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Add the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and honey or brown sugar) to the pan. Stir well to combine.
  5. Once the sauce starts to bubble, add the cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) to thicken the sauce. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
  6. Add the crispy beef back to the pan and toss to coat evenly with the sauce. Cook for another minute or until the beef is heated through.
  7. Serve the crispy chili beef hot, garnished with sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Enjoy with steamed rice or noodles.

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