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Beef with Preserved Tangerine Peel

This hot and spicy Beef with Preserved Tangerine Peel from Yan-kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook is a beautifully fragrant dish, perfect served with rice for elegant entertaining.


True to form, this Hunan dish is spicy hot, savoury and slightly sweet. As if these flavours are not complex enough, tangy tangerine peel is added to provide a further dimension in taste. The orange rind is not a traditional ingredient for the dish, but it is used here since it complements rather than detracts from the tangerine peel.

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5–6 pieces preserved tangerine peel
1 sweet orange
700g (11⁄2lb) beef, rump, fillet or skirt steak, trimmed
60ml (4tbsp) groundnut or corn oil
2.5cm (1 inch) fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into silken threads
6 spring onions, cut into 5-cm (2-inch) sections, white and green parts separated
15ml (1tbsp) Shaohsing wine or medium dry sherry
30–45ml (2–3tbsp) chilli sauce
For the marinade
4ml (3⁄4tsp) salt
5ml (1tsp) sugar
10ml (2tsp) thin soy sauce
10ml (2tsp) thick soy sauce
10ml (2tsp) Shaohsing wine or medium dry sherry
7.5ml (11⁄2tsp) potato flour
30ml (2tbsp) water
1 dried red chilli, seeded and chopped
15ml (1tbsp) hot chilli oil
For the sauce
2.5ml (1⁄2tsp) potato flour
30ml (2tbsp) water or clear stock
15ml (1tbsp) thick soy sauce


Soak the tangerine peel in cold water for about 2 hours or until soft. Drain and slice into strips about 5mm (1⁄5 inch) wide.

Peel the orange rind lengthwise and blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes to remove its bitterness. Drain and rinse in cold water. Slice into strips similar to the tangerine strips.

Cut the beef into thickish slices, about 2.5 x 4cm (1 x 1½ inches) and put into a bowl.

Prepare the marinade: add the salt, sugar, soy sauces, wine or sherry and potato flour to the meat. Add the water, 15ml (1tbsp) at a time, and stir in the same direction until all is absorbed. Mix in the chopped chilli and leave to marinate for 30–60 minutes.Blend in the hot chilli oil.

Heat a wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the ginger, stir, then add the white spring onion and let it sizzle. Add the tangerine and orange peel and fry for a few seconds. Put in the beef and, sliding the wok scoop or metal spatula to the bottom of the wok, flip and turn for 1–2 minutes or until very hot. Splash in the wine or sherry around the side of the wok, continuing to stir. When the sizzling dies down, add the chilli sauce. Cover, lower the heat and cook for about 2 minutes so that the flavour of the tangerine peel can permeate the beef.

Prepare the sauce: mix together the potato flour, water or stock and soy sauce.

Dribble the sauce into the wok and stir as the sauce thickens. Add the green spring onion and stir to mix. Remove to a warm serving dish. Serve immediately.

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