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    Ze Ran Niu Rou - Hunanese Beef with Cumin

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    Ze Ran Niu Rou - Hunanese Beef with Cumin

    I learnt to make this sizzling and seductive dish in the kitchen of an old restaurant in the Hunanese capital, Changsha.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 4 minutes to 6 minutes
    • Total time: 19 minutes to 26 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 2


    • 350g Sirloin or fillet steak, trimmed
    • 400ml groundnut oil
    • 2cm fresh root ginger, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 salad onions, sliced
    • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    • Marinade
    • 1 tbsp chinese cooking wine or Shaoxing wine
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp light soy sauce
    • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
    • 1½ tbsp corn flour


    1. Cut the beef into thin slices. Mix the marinade ingredients with 1 tbsp cold water; stir thoroughly until smooth and blended, then stir into the beef.
    2. Heat the oil in a wok to about 140°C or until a cube of bread turns brown in about 1 minute. Add the beef and stir gently for 1 minute – this process "velvets" the meat, giving it a soft texture. When the pieces of beef have separated, remove from the oil and drain well.
    3. Pour off all but 3 tbsp of the oil. Over a high flame, add the ginger, garlic, chilli and cumin and stir-fry briefly until fragrant. Add the beef and stir well for 2–3 minutes, seasoning with salt to taste, until cooked through. When all is sizzlingly fragrant, add the salad onions and toss. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.

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    Drinks recommendation

    Choose a light, fresh and juicy wine (slightly chilled if you like) which will work well with the spicy beef strips.


    Average user rating

    3 stars