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Orange Szechuan Beef and Carrots

Orange Szechuan Beef and Carrots are the ultimate celebratory meal. It has fried crispy beef and the carrots soak up all the flavor from the spicy chilli sauce. Serve it with Ginger Sesame Chinese Fried Noodles for a meal you will never forget. This dish has so much flavor, your tummy will get full much sooner than you want!

 

Hands holding a bowl with orange Szechuan beef and carrots.

 

This recipe is adapted BBC Food’s recipe, and at my house we just refer to this dish as Chilli Beef. It’s not difficult to understand why this is one of my favorite dishes. Just look at all these amazing, amazing, ingredients. I think I just got water in my mouth. Yes, yes I did.

 

I love this recipe so much, it was actually the very first recipe I shared on Ginger with Spice, back in August 2017. The recipe is still the same, I’m just freshening it up with better content and new photos.

 

Don’t forget to serve it with Ginger Sesame Fried Noodles

 

As I also mention in my Ginger Sesame Fried Noodles recipe, these two dishes are designed to work beautifully together. That doesn’t mean you have to always serve them together, but it is the very best way. And when you are serving them together, it will be extra important to prep everything beforehand.

 

Chop the veggies, measure the sauces, cook the noodles. The good thing here is that you can also finish frying the beef and carrots before starting frying the noodles and making the chilli sauce. It is not hard to make this dish, but it requires some prepping.

 

White bowl with noodles, beef and carrots.

 

These dishes may have some unknown ingredients but…

 

Let me tell you, it is worth it. Trust every single ingredient in this dish!

 

You may think: “oh, but I don’t want to buy this and that only for this recipe”. This is where I’m saying you would be wrong. You only need this one recipe as an excuse, because you will be making this again and again.

 

My Dad had saved the BBC recipe on his VCR and watched it for literally years before we made it. And we regret it to this day. Now I make it on my own as well, we just got instantly hooked on this recipe and I always have the ingredients on hand. So don’t worry about getting a big bag of Szechuan peppercorns or dark soy sauce.

 

Ingredients to make the orange beef.

 

And it’s not like you won’t have any use for these ingredients in other dishes, because you will. Like sesame oil in Chinese fried rice, dark soy sauce in vegetarian lo mein and rice wine vinegar in lemon chicken winter salad. And Szechuan peppercorns in this pork stir fry!

 

It’s got a lot of everything, I know, but this is just one of those recipes you have to trust. The dark soy sauce can make this dish kind of look like charcoal, but it’s the damnest best charcoal I’ve ever tasted.

 

Szechuan beef and carrots in a cast iron skillet.

 

What are Szechuan peppercorns?

 

Szechuan peppercorns, or Sichuan peppercorns, are named after the Sichuan (formerly known as Szechuan in English) region in Northern China, and they are native to China and Taiwan.

 

You cannot substitute Szechuan peppercorn with black pepper. They taste nothing alike. Szechuan peppercorns will give you a tingling sensation on your tongue, but they are not spicier than regular black peppercorns. After the numbness, comes the citrus flavor. It’s such an interesting spice!

 

It is often paired with chilli, because chefs believe that the numbness of the Szechuan peppercorns will mask the heat level of the chilli. Szechuan peppercorns are also one of the five spices in Chinese Five Spice

 

Close-up of Szechuan peppercorns.

 

Orange Szechuan Beef and Carrots

 

I may sound like a broken record right now, but I think it’s really important that you cut, shred and measure all the ingredients beforehand, because after this tedious job is done and over with, the rest goes pretty fast.

 

Begin with frying the Szechuan peppercorns until fragrant in a dry skillet, and use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns to powder (1). Mix the peppercorns with the orange zest, salt and potato flour (2).

 

Steps to coat the beef.

 

Cut the beef into strips and mix it with a little bit of oil (e.g. sunflower)(3) before you mix it with the Szechuan and orange goodness (4). Fry the beef strips in oil around 2-3 minutes in 170-190C.

 

Place them on a paper sheet to dry while you begin frying (yes, deepfrying) the carrot strips, for 1-2 minutes (5). Be careful, as the water in the carrots react to the hot oil and can make quite a splash. If you think you can omit the carrots, think again. This is just too good.

 

The beef strips will be really crispy and have an explosion of Szechuan pepper and zesty orange. Now we’re ready to make the chilli sauce (and noodles if you make the Ginger Sesame Noodles as well). 

 

White bowl with noodles, orange wedges and beef.

 

The Best Sweet and Spicy Chilli Sauce aka Glaze

 

Heat a skillet to medium heat, and pour in the rice wine vinegar, sugar and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Throw in the chilli, chilli flakes and fresh ginger and boil until the mixture has thickened, maybe around 5-7 minutes.

 

Steps to make the chilli sauce.

 

When the sauce has thickened, add in the beef and carrots, make sure all the sauce sticks to the Szechuan beef and carrots like the perfect glaze I know it is. Enjoy with Ginger Sesame Noodles!

 

Close-up of beef and carrots in a skillet.

 

Did you like this Orange Szechuan Beef recipe? Here’s more Asian inspired dishes I think you will like:

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

 

In order to keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.

 

This recipe was originally published on August 17th 2017 along with my Ginger Sesame Chinese Fried Noodles, but updated on March 22th 2021 for better photos, content and readability.

Hands holding a bowl with orange Szechuan beef and carrots.

Orange Szechuan Beef and Carrots

Yield: 6 people
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Orange Szechuan Beef and Carrots has a lot of flavor from the ginger and chilli sticky glaze and the orange zest and Szechuan peppercorns elevate this dish to the top level!

Ingredients

Orange Szechuan Beef and Carrots

  • 5 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns, more or less to your taste
  • 2 oranges, zest only
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup potato flour, 8-10 tbsp
  • 1 lb beef, cut into strips, 450-500g.
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil, e.g. sunflower, corn, avocado, canola
  • 5 large carrots, julienned
  • extra oil, for frying

Ginger Chilli Sauce

  • 7/8 cup rice wine vinegar, 200ml
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar, 150g
  • 5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 red chillis, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes, can be omitted

Instructions

Orange Szechuan Beef and Carrots

  1. To make everything easier, prepare all the ingredients beforehand; measure the sauce ingredients and cut all the vegetables and prepare the beef. Frying the beef and carrots can be done before making the sauce*.
  2. In a dry non-stick skillet on medium heat, toast the Szechuan peppercorns until fragrant. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the peppercorns. Mix with the orange zest, salt and potato flour.
  3. Cut the beef into strips and mix it with a little bit of neutral oil before you mix it with the Szechuan peppercorn and orange mixture.
  4. Using a large skillet with oil or a deep fryer, fry the beef strips around 2-3 minutes at around 350F (180C). Place them on a paper sheet to dry.
  5. Fry the carrot strips, for 1-2 minutes. Be careful, as the water in the carrots tend to make a war with the hot oil. Also drain on a paper towel.

Ginger Chilli Sauce

  1. Heat a skillet to medium heat, pour in the rice wine vinegar, sugar and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add in the chilli, chilli flakes and ginger and boil until the mixture has thickened, around 5-7 minutes.
  2. When the sauce has thickened, add in the beef and carrots, mix well to glaze the beef.
  3. Serving with ginger sesame Chinese fried noodles is the BEST, but any rice or noodle dish will be good.

Notes

Recipe adapted from: BBC Food.

* To serve this dish with Ginger Sesame Chinese Fried Noodles is definitely recommended. And to make it, you can prep all the vegetables and sauce mix for the noodles as well as cooking the noodles and rinsing them. Then complete the beef and carrots before continuing with the ginger chilli sauce and stir frying the noodles. Very easy as long as you prep the veggies and sauces first!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 11.9gSaturated Fat: 2.5gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1293mgCarbohydrates: 54.4gFiber: 4gSugar: 37gProtein: 25.6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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Genevieve | Fitty Foodlicious

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

This looks like an easy weeknight dinner recipe!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Friday 2nd of April 2021

Yes you could make it during the week, but I definitely see this more as a date night meal during the weekends!

Chef Dennis

Monday 29th of March 2021

Wow!! What a flavorful and easy to make dish! My wife loved your Szechuan Beef!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Thank you so much, I'm glad she liked it!

Julie

Sunday 28th of March 2021

What a great dinner! The flavors in this really popped and my whole family loved it. Will make it again soon.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it!

Jen Sim

Sunday 28th of March 2021

I love the sound of this recipe! I plan to serve it with some egg fried rice. Thanks for sharing.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Egg fried rice sounds perfect to this!

Robin

Sunday 28th of March 2021

Your Ginger Chili Sauce is so good I keep a jar of it in the refrigerator now.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Sunday 28th of March 2021

Thank you Robin. That is a great idea!

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