Stir-Fried Beef in Spicy Hunan Sauce

"The sauce can't be beat for flavor, and like any stir-fry, the recipe works best if you have all of the ingredients/mixtures ready before you begin to cook. I like to serve this beef dish with rice and fresh,lightly steamed or stir-fried green beans or broccoli."
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Ready In:




  • Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir in the sliced beef; let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Mix Hunan Sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  • After 20 minutes, drain the beef well, saving the marinade, and mix marinade into the Hunan Sauce bowl.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a skillet at medium-high heat.
  • Stir fry the beef until it is cooked but still a bit rare.
  • Remove beef onto a plate.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the skillet and stir-fry the Hunan Sauce mixture until fragrant.
  • Stir in the beef, heat through and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I had this dish in a food court in Shenzhen with my wife (fiancee). A former colleague of my wife invited us there and we have no idea how to find the restaurant back. And although my wife actually is from Hunan she didn't know how to prepare this (beef is a rich men's dish in rural China). I've been trying to mimick it ever since I first ate it and came close but I really didn't find a good recipe. This is the best I've found - the dish I had had more red chili's in it but wasn't overly spicy. I actually made it using this recipe for a group of 8 Chinese ladies (including my wife) and I got complimented at my restaurant level cooking which is a big compliment for a amateur white guy cook :-)
  2. I am not going to rate this, because I made it a little differently, as suggested by another reviewer. I doubled the hunan sauce (not the marinade, though), since I was adding veggies. We did not like it like that at all, way too spicy for us all and not a very good flavor, either. So be careful before adding the whole amount of chili paste. Maybe I'm thinking of another Hunan beef, because I was expecting something different.
  3. This was ok for us, thanks for posting the recipe. I would add garlic, red pepper flakes and thicken with cornstarch if we used this recipe again. Just needed a bit more flavor for us.
  4. Both my husband and I loved this! He normally doesn't like Asian beef recipes, but he enjoyed this! While I was heating the sauce he said, "I don't know what you're making but it smells amazing." I had to use a different chili paste since I was out of my usual garlic chili paste, so it ended up a little bit too spicy. Also, I stir fried some veggies to add to this, next time I'll make more sauce to compensate. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!


An avid cook since I was a teenager, and a retired First-Grade teacher, my students and I used to cook twice a month in the classroom, coordinating what we prepared with our curriculum. I always snuck in mini- lessons on nutrition and manners at the same time. :) The children loved it, taking home recipes they made in class and asking their parents to make them again at home. THESE were no boring lessons on liquid and dry measurement! If you think about it, cooking is largely a combination of math, chemistry, and artistry. Fond memories of my students play a role in my cooking-life today. A giant, framed, black chalkboard graces one dining room wall, replete with the menu-of-the-day in manuscript handwriting and simple chalk drawings. Special joys in my life these days, (besides two outstanding grown children :), family, friends, and cooking) include gardening/landscaping, writing a book about teaching, music, discovering watercolors by local artists, and exploring my new island home, where bald eagles and Dungeness crabs are among my neighbors.
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