This Szechuan Beef is so much BETTER than the takeout version! Thinly sliced flank steak seared in a hot pan then coated in an amazing sweet and spicy Szechuan sauce! This one-pan beef dish is low carb and perfect for a quick and easy, filling family meal. You will never want takeout again!
If you’ve been looking to try beef Szechuan style, you’re in for a treat! This Szechuan Beef is super tender, juicy, and covered in an amazing homemade Szechuan sauce. The best part of this dish has to be the sauce! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.
I’ve lightened this recipe up by not deep frying the beef. Instead the beef gets seared in a little bit of oil over really high heat. This quick cooking helps to keep the beef tender and gets a nice crisp caramelization on the outside.
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What is Szechuan beef?
Szechuan Beef is stir-fried thin slices of marinated beef coated in a Szechuan sauce. The sauce is thick, tangy, slightly sweet with a bit of a kick. This style originally comes from the Sichuan Province in China. This region’s cuisine is traditionally loaded with bold flavors from garlic, chili peppers, and the Sichuan peppercorn. Kung Pao, Hot & Sour, and Mapo dishes also come from Sichuan.
What makes this Szechuan Beef recipe so good?
- It’s loaded with flavor: It has over 8 different spices, herbs and sauces!
- It can be made fast!: Just 15 minutes of prep plus 15 minutes of cooking!
- It uses one pan: Less mess to clean up later!
- It’s low carb: just 14g net carbs per serving. Serve it over cauliflower rice if you’re keeping an eye on carbs!
Here are the ingredients for this Szechuan Beef recipe:
- Beef: strip steak or flank steak, sliced thin are the best cuts of meat for this recipe because they are tender and lean and stand up to fast cooking times.
- Oil: I use a neutral oil for pan frying the beef then sesame oil and chili oil for the sauce.
- Sauces: hoisin, rice wine vinegar, low sodium soy sauce, and mirin are all added to make the sweet and tangy szechuan sauce. You can find all of the sauce ingredients in the international isle of most grocery stores!
- Vegetables and herbs: red bell pepper, garlic and ginger give this dish so much flavor.
- Cornstarch: Is used to help the beef get crispy when frying, and to thicken up the sauce.
- Sugar: light brown sugar for a little sweetness. Nothing beats spicy & sweet!
How do I make Szechuan Beef?
- Slice the beef: I always like to slice the beef against the grain in super thin slices. This will give you the most tender cut of beef.
- Marinade the beef: Add the steak and the marinade ingredients – low sodium soy sauce, mirin, and cornstarch – to a large ziplock bag. Toss to coat and let the beef marinate for 15 minutes or while you are getting the sauce ingredients together.
- Make the sauce: Meanwhile in a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients – low sodium soy sauce, chili oil, water, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, hoisin, and light brown sugar – and set it aside.
- Cook the beef: When you are ready to cook heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in beef, and discard the marinade. The trick to this dish is to cook the steak quickly over high heat. It gets a nice sear on the outside but stays nice and juicy on the inside. Sear beef for 2-3 on both sides, just until the beef is browned on the outside. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
- Cook the vegetables: Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add in bell pepper, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
- To finish: Add the beef back to the pan along with the sauce. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.
What can I serve this with?
- Japanese Cucumber Salad
- Air Fryer Crab Rangoon
- Air Fryer Egg Rolls
- Broccoli Stir Fry
- Garlic Fried Rice
- Vegetable Chow Mein
What is mirin? Can I use something else instead?
Mirin is a sake-like rice wine, with lower sugar and lower alcohol. If you can’t find mirin easily, try rice vinegar or dry white wine instead!
How do I store this easy Szechuan beef recipe?
Here are more quick & easy takeout recipes you can make at home!
- Egg Roll In A Bowl
- Pepper Steak
- Chicken Lo Mein
- 30 Minute General Tso’s Chicken
- Beef & Broccoli Ramen
- The BEST Fried Rice
Spicy Szechuan Beef
Spicy Szechuan Beef
- Add the steak and the marinade ingredients to a large ziplock bag. Toss to coat and let the beef marinate for 15 minutes or while you are getting the sauce ingredients together.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients, set aside.
- When you are ready to cook heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.Add in beef (discard marinade). Sear beef for 2-3 on both sides. Just until the beef is browned on the outside. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add in bell pepper, ginger, and garlic, and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the pepper is tender.
- Add the beef back to the pan along with the sauce. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
- Serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish, if desired