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Posted for ZWT II 2006 Asia as taken from Sunsets Chinese Cookbook. A favorite Chinese appetizer - more moist and less brittle than our cowboy jerky. You precook the meat in two stages: this eliminates the extensive drying that most Jerky requires. After this precooking, drying the meat in a moderately hot oven for a short time preserves it enough so you can keep it moist and tender for several months in the refrigerator. Cooking time includes cooling time.
- 3 lbs boneless lean beef (such as a rump or sirloin tip steak)
- 2 cups water
- 1⁄3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 star anise, whole or 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 2 (2 inch) cinnamon sticks
- 4 slices fresh ginger, quarter size, crushed with the side of a cleaver
- 2 whole green onions
- 3 -4 small dried hot chili peppers
- Cut meat lengthwise into long strips about 3 inches thick and wide. Place in a wide frying pan with the water, soy, sherry, sugar, salt, star anise, ginger, onions and chile peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer turning meat occasionally for 30 minutes.
- Remove meat from cooking liquid, cool, and chill for at least 1 hour or until firm. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Return meat slices to cooking liquid. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, turning slices occasionally until all liquid is absorbed (about 50 minutes) Turn meat more frequently as liquid is absorbed. Discard onion, ginger, and star anise.
- Arrange strips of meat slightly apart in a single layer on cooky sheets. Bake, uncovered, in a 300 degree F oven until dry to the touch but still pliable (about 20 minutes) Pat dry any beads of oil with paper towels, let cool thoroughly. Place in plastic bag, seal, and store in refrigerator up to 2 months.