CRISPY BEEF. What else could you want in a dish? This Whole30 compliant Szechuan Beef is jam-packed with flavor, CRISPY (and tender) BEEF and lots of veggies. I call that a WIN.
I should preface this entire recipe and post by first saying that albeit this is not a "traditional" or "authentic" Szechuan Beef recipe, it is even better. It does not have any soy, wheat, or sugar. aka #whole30compliant #paleo #sugarfree So in my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner opinion, that makes it perfect. Typically this is a spicy dish but I have created the recipe so that you can control just how spicy you want this. If you are making this for your kids, then you may go easy on the red chili flakes but if you like a bit of spice in you life, as I always do, then do not be afraid! The ginger also adds some natural heat so even if you decide to take it easy you will still get some awesome flavor.
Once the veggies hit the pan, this recipe is super quick, but it does require a bit of prep work which means it would make an amazing dinner for date night at home or a Saturday night "take-out" dinner. But lets be real. I made this 100% on my own because BEEF is what goes down in my house when Sunil isn't home. But for other families with beef as a shared interest, this is the perfect dish to practice your knife skills and to split up the work between you and your cooking partner. Not going to lie though, I feel like I want to try making this as well but with some chicken instead sometime...it's that good that I just want to use whatever protein I can so I can shove these flavors into my mouth as often as possible.
My little trick for getting the beef nice and thin is to cut it when it is REALLY cold, or even pop it in the freezer a couple hours before you're ready to cook. The colder the beef, the easier it is to cut. BUT! You definitely want to let it come to room temp before cooking it in the hot oil or else you will have have an oil rain storm in your kitchen and that's not fun for anybody. (I have 100% made this mistake more than once). So my recommendation is to get that meat cut and then let it sit out on the counter while you chop your veggies, measure out your coconut aminos (here is my favorite brand) and spices (here is the Szechuan Seasoning I used) and have everything prepped and ready to add to your pan when it's time.
NOW! For the *spicy* main event!
1-1.5 lbs. flank steak or sirloin
1 tbsp. tapioca flour
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cracked pepper
3 tbsp. avocado oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, julienned
3 scallions, julienned
2 cups tri-color baby carrots, julienned (or 1 large carrot)
2 stalks celery, julienned
1.5” knob ginger, peeled & julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red chili flakes (or up to ½ tsp. depending on how spicy you like it)
3 tbsp. coconut aminos
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
½ tsp. fish sauce
½ tsp. Szechwan seasoning (this is the brand I got), Szechuan peppercorns or Chinese Five Spice
*optional green onion, chopped for garnish
Slice steak in ¼ " slices against the grain. *works best when steak is slightly frozen or VERY cold*
Bring steak to room temperature. Combine tapioca flour, garlic powder, salt & pepper in medium bowl. Toss steak in seasonings until evenly covered.
While meat comes to room temperature, cut all veggies and combine coconut aminos, rice vinegar and fish sauce in small bowl. Set aside.
Heat large skillet or wok over high heat with 2 tbsp. avocado oil and 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil. Once oil is shimmering, cook beef in batches, being sure to not overcrowd the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Set aside.
Reduce heat and add veggies, garlic, ginger and red chili flakes. Cook veggies until tender, 5 minutes.
Add coconut aminos, rice vinegar and fish sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, add beef and cook another 2-3 minutes until sauce is thickened.
Sprinkle with szechwan seasoning, peppercorns or Chinese Five Spice.
Serve alone, with cauliflower rice or white rice. Garnish with chopped green onion.