What Is Hunan Beef?

Depending on who is producing it, the Americanized version varies quite a bit. I once questioned my father and other Chinese restaurant chefs about Hunan Beef, and even they admitted that they didn’t know much about it outside of how that specific restaurant prepared it.

What is Hunan beef?

Hunan beef comes from the Hunan province of China. That province is in the southern central region of China. The Hunan province is known for spicy and sour sauces. This region is also known for its vegetables and crops. A hearty serving of vegetables and Hunan beef are two delicious ways to enjoy the region’s hot and sour flavors. By varying the amount of chili paste used, you can tailor the level of heat in this dish to your personal preferences.

How do you make Hunan beef?

In the beginning of this recipe, a pan is used to brown a flank steak. The meat is taken out, and a variety of vibrant vegetables are added to the pan. Combining soy sauce, oyster sauce, beef broth, and chili paste yields a straightforward sauce. The meat and vegetables are covered with the sauce, which is then simmered until thickened. Serve, and enjoy!.

Tips for Hunan Beef

  • To ensure that your vegetables cook at the same rate, cut them all into pieces of a similar size.
  • You can use your favorite chili paste for this recipe. In most grocery stores, you can find sambal oelek in the ethnic foods section. Additionally, you could make use of sriracha, hot chili oil, and chili garlic sauce.
  • Cook the meat in one layer to ensure that it browns nicely; otherwise, the meat will steam in the crowded pan rather than brown. The steak will need to be cooked in batches, which adds a little extra work but is completely worthwhile.
  • I enjoy including baby corn in my Asian dishes. Baby corn is available in jars and cans, and you can find them in the ethnic foods or the canned vegetables aisle.

What is Hunan sauce made of?

Beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chili paste, and cornstarch are the ingredients in Hunan sauce. These elements combine to create a delicious sauce that covers the beef and vegetables. This recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of chili paste, which results in a sauce that is moderately spicy. Feel free to add up to 1 tablespoon more chili paste to the sauce if you prefer it hotter.

Beef Stir Fry variations

Although this recipe is flavorful and delicious, you can change it if you’d like.

  • Other vegetables, such as carrots, snow peas, water chestnuts, bok choy, or mushrooms, can be used in this recipe.
  • Meat: You can make this recipe with thinly sliced chicken or pork in place of the beef.
  • Nuts: For more crunch, try adding a handful of cashews or sliced almonds.

Hunan beef is a flavorful, spicy way to eat beef and fresh vegetables!

More great Asian recipes

What Is Hunan Beef?

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound flank steak thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup broccoli florets cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup celery thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup canned baby corn drained and halved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste such as sambal oelek
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • In a big pan, heat the vegetable oil on high heat.
  • Season the steak with salt and pepper to taste before adding it to the pan in a single layer.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. Cook in multiple batches if needed.
  • Place the beef on a plate after removing it from the pan. Cover to keep warm.
  • Add the broccoli, celery and bell pepper to the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the baby corn. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the beef back to the pan with the vegetables.
  • Beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chili paste, and cornstarch should all be combined in a small bowl.
  • Add the sauce to the steak and vegetables, then simmer them. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Serve immediately over rice if desired.

Quick and Easy Hunan Beef Recipe!


What is the difference between Hunan and Szechuan beef?

Hunan vs. Hunan beef is less sweet and has more heat and spice, whereas Szechuan beef is sweeter and has a tingling sensation. Hunan’s flavor is considered plainer and contains more vegetables.

What is Hunan beef made of?

Hunan style beef is a chili-heavy dish that is frequently offered on menus at American-Chinese restaurants. Beef is stir-fried and covered in Hunan sauce, which is a concoction of rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and chilies. It’s one of the spicier recipes on the menu.

What is Hunan beef taste like?

This Hunan Beef Chinese stir fry has a mildly spicy, tangy, and lightly sweet flavor that is perfectly balanced, and it tastes like Hunan Beef. It has a deep umami, Asian flavor that comes from the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Sambal oelek gives the sauce it’s spicy, garlicy flavor.

What is the difference between Hunan beef and kung pao beef?

While Kung Pao Beef uses a mix of spicy, salty, and sweet flavors, Hunan Beef depends on spice to give it a distinctive flavor. Hunan beef also has a tendency to be saucier than Kung Pao beef.

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