Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce —

It’s October, but the winter chill has arrived! It’s CRAZY cold and windy outside today in New York. Those of you in certain parts of the country (like me) are really going to need a little extra fuel (Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce) to make it through this terrible weather, seriously! 😛

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

Poached beef in hot chili sauce, called “shui zhu niu rou” in Chinese, is one of my favorite hearty, warming winter dishes. The dishes of Szechuan cuisine are famous for their hot and spicy flavor, and this one is probably the most popular Szechuan dish in China.

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

Poached beef in hot chili sauce is bright in color, with a very rich, deep flavor. The beef in it tastes tender and smooth, while the vegetables (I used bean sprouts) palatable and fresh.

The dish is definitely spicy! It’s one of the best spicy dishes I have ever tasted. For those who can’t handle spicy food, you can adjust the spiciness to your tolerance level.

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

I can’t wait to share this recipe with you, because in such a cold weather there’s nothing better than having a seriously delicious dish cooked up right in your own kitchen!

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

A photo of Chinese dish Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce


Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Serving Size: 4


  • 1/2 lb lean beef
  • 1/2 lb bean sprouts
  • 2 stalks scallions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsps cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsps Pixian Broad Bean Paste
  • 2 tbsps peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup chili oil (with flakes)
  • 2 tbsps dried chili peppers (optional)
  • 2 tbsps Szechuan peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsps cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cold water (for the marinade), 2 cups of hot water (to boil vegetable & beef)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Step by step

  1. Cut the beef into thin slices about 2 x 4 cm (if you find it difficult to slice meat, you can put it in the fridge for about 20mins before you cut), and transfer into a bowl
  2. Add salt, Chinese cooking wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, and water in the bowl and stir well to coat all the pieces of beef. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a wok/saucepan, stir-fry the bean sprouts quickly for about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of hot water, and then boil it for 1 minute on high heat until just done. Take out the bean sprouts and put into a serving bowl.
  4. Heat chili oil and stir-fry scallion, garlic, Szechuan peppercorn, dried chili peppers and Pixian Broad Bean Paste until fragrant, about 1 min. Add the marinated beef, sugar, and a cup of hot water, and boil it for 1 to 2 mins (cooking too long would make meat hard and tough). Pour the beef and sauce into the serving bowl over the bean sprouts.
  5. In another saucepan, heat chili oil and stir-fry Szechuan peppercorn and white sesame seeds until fragrant. Remove from heat and quickly pour over beef dish (it will still be sizzling when you bring it to the table). Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Simply follow this delicious Szechuan poached beef in hot chili sauce recipe, and your taste buds will be heated up in no time! Enjoy!

See all Chinese MAIN DISH recipes



  1. October 3, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    Thanks for another very tempting dish. I just bought some elk meat, perhaps that would work too. And I have my own Szechuan pepper from my garden.

    • October 3, 2015 / 2:44 pm

      Wow thank you. that’s great! It is sooooo cold in New York these two days lol. This dish is just perfect. Let me knew if you like it!!! 😀

  2. October 3, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    This looks heavenly!

  3. October 3, 2015 / 3:28 pm

    I knew I was going to love the dish when I saw the title. My only problem is I can’t find Shaoxing wine locally (Ontario, Canada). What can I used to substitute? I have mirin and marsala wine though that may be too sweet.

    • October 3, 2015 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you! I’m afraid mirin and Marsala wine can’t be substituted for Chinese cooking wine (aka Shaoxing wine). Is there any Asian/Chinese market in Ontario?

      • October 3, 2015 / 4:51 pm

        I’ve visited both the 2 local Asian grocery stores and no luck.

      • October 3, 2015 / 5:11 pm

        I did some googling and sake is a suggested substitute. I have that as well as the Korean soju.

          • October 3, 2015 / 5:34 pm

            I’d really like to give it a try, Charlotte. 🙂

    • October 23, 2015 / 5:55 pm

      I would use a very dry sherry. Shaoxing is dry and salty, the sherry works well.

        • October 23, 2015 / 8:54 pm

          The Australians add salt to it so it doesn’t attract customs duty.

  4. October 3, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    This dish looks so tempting thanks to your fantastic pics.

  5. October 3, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    These pictures make me want to lick my screen. XD

  6. October 3, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    This looks very good and spicy! Do you eat it with a starch? I’d imagine it best with plain rice to counter the heat, but what do you recommend?

    • October 3, 2015 / 11:46 pm

      Yes, definitely eat with white rice! The best choice. And thank you! I hope you will love it! 😀

  7. October 4, 2015 / 7:57 am

    It’s just coming into summer here in Australia but this is on my must try list for the next cold day!

    • October 4, 2015 / 9:27 am

      Yup, I can’t believe it becomes so cold in NY lol. I hope you will love it! 😀

  8. Niav Halpin
    October 9, 2015 / 10:04 am

    Love the photos, looking forward to giving this a try, so different from what I usually cook and eat.

    • October 9, 2015 / 1:03 pm

      Thank you! It’s a very traditional and popular Szechuan dish. I hope you will love it! 😀

    • October 9, 2015 / 4:16 pm

      Wow thank you so much! It really makes my day!!! I’m honored and surprised!! Thanks again! Have a wonderful weekend! ☺️☺️

      • October 9, 2015 / 4:54 pm

        You are welcome and thanks charlotte.

  9. October 16, 2015 / 1:03 am

    Looks amazing, have saved it to try soon! Questions: after steaming the sprouts, do you dump the water before sautéing the scallions, etc? Also, is there a good substitute for the broad bean paste if I can’t find it? Peanut butter? Almond butter? My mouth is watering, and your photos are just gorgeous!

    • October 16, 2015 / 9:20 am

      Thanks Collin! 😛 Yes, I do dump the water after boiling the sprouts. Szechuan broad bean paste is also called Chilli Bean Sauce and Doubanjiang in Chinese. It’s spicy and salty, made from fermented broad beans, soybeans and chilli. It’s great for Sichuan style stir fries or use as a dip.Unfortunately, there’s no substitute for it. I think you’ll be able to find it in Chinese market and in most Asian market. I hope you will love it! XX

  10. October 19, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    This looks SOOO good!! I LOVE hot chili sauce!! <3

  11. October 20, 2015 / 5:14 pm

    I absolutely love this, the photos are great and the recipe is spicy enough for my taste

      • October 20, 2015 / 5:52 pm

        Yesss.. thank you for sharing this, seems like my cold days shall now be warm. 😀

  12. October 22, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    Ooohhh . . . I want it! I love to make homemade Chinese, but it’s nowhere near as fancy as this! If i’m ever feeling especially motivated, I’m gonna try to make this. 🙂

    • October 22, 2015 / 9:59 pm

      Haha thank you for liking it!! It’s so popular in China that almost all Chinese restaurants have added it to their menus. Definitely give it a try and I’m you will love it! 😛

  13. October 25, 2015 / 9:08 am

    Always great to read a recipe that’s good for those cold evenings.

    I always go back to the traditional British Stew. It doesn’t take that much skill as you basically cut things up and keep adding them while everything slowly boils. Yes, the dumplings can be a bit fattening, but they’re a lovely treat on a cold and damp British night.

    • October 25, 2015 / 3:32 pm

      Same here in New York. The freezing winter has already come… I can’t wait to make more comfort dishes that are delicious and hot! And it doesn’t need that much effort to cut the meat actually. As you cook more, you’ll definitely become more skilled! Just give it a try! 😛

  14. November 26, 2015 / 11:26 am

    This looks amazing. I have to try it

    • November 27, 2015 / 1:29 am

      Thank you! I’m so happy you liked it! Let me know how it turns out! ;P

  15. December 11, 2015 / 4:41 am

    This looks so delicious! And really spicy as well, just look at the color!

    • December 11, 2015 / 8:37 am

      Thank you! I’m obsessed with it! This dish is very delicious with a lot or a little bit of chili. Adjust the spiciness to suit your taste preferences. You’ll love it. 🙂

  16. March 2, 2016 / 9:08 am

    This looks wonderful! A little scary for the spicy timid… but wonderful! 🙂

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