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Beef with Orange

A mouthwatering Chinese beef dish from Ken Hom. Enhanced with dried orange peel, this fragrant beef curry recipe is delicious on its own or with rice.


This is a dish from northern and western China. The Chinese always use dried peel – the older the skin, the more prized the flavour. It’s easy to make your own dried peel, but I have often made this dish with fresh orange peel and find that the tartness works just as well with the robust flavour of the beef. This is an easy dish to make and is a pleasant change of flavour from the usual stir-fried beef recipes.

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450g (1lb) lean beef steak
65ml (2½ fl oz) groundnut oil
2 dried red chilli peppers, cut in half lengthways
1 tbsp dried orange peel, soaked and coarsely chopped
2 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns, roasted and finely ground (optional)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1½ tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
For the marinade:
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1½ tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp sesame oil


Cut the beef into thin slices 5cm (2in) long, cutting against the grain. Put the beef into a bowl, add all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Add the groundnut oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, remove the beef from the marinade with a slotted spoon. Add the beef to the pan and stir-fry for 3–5 minutes or until browned. Remove and leave to drain in a colander set inside a bowl.

Pour off most of the oil from the wok or pan, leaving about 2 teaspoons. Reheat over a high heat, add the dried chilli peppers and stir-fry for 10 seconds.

Return the beef to the pan, add the rest of the ingredients and stir-fry for 4 minutes, mixing well. Serve at once.

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