Sichuan Dry-Fried Beef Slivers (gan bian niu rou si, /干 煸 牛肉 丝) is a classic from the Chinese province of Syczuan.
In fact, dry-fried beef slivers is a common variation of the famous dish “dry-fried eel slivers” (gan bian shan si), ie from the eel. The Eel lives in the rice fields of southern and eastern China and is traditionally caught by the farmers in spring and early summer in a kind of seasonal, special pleasure. Nowadays they are commercially bred and a normal sight on the markets of Sichuan, where they fidget in large basins full of oxygen-enriched water on the ground. The long, slender eels are killed on direct order and always consumed absolutely fresh. Their flesh has a pleasant crisp texture and a wonderfully aromatic taste, which is attributed to the natural richness of glutamic acid.
The method of “dry-frying” is an invention of Sichuan. She gets by without marinades or sauces, but she relies entirely on the gradual drying out of the main ingredient in medium heat and on the gradual addition of spices and aromas. The main ingredient, which is usually cut into thin strips, is slightly crispy at the end and also slightly chewy, but juicy in the interior, with a very tasty roasted aroma and a dry-spicy taste. Eels, cattle, pork, dried squid can all be treated with this method, as well as some vegetables, e.g. green beans, aubergines or bitter melons.
Fresh Eel (shan yu or Huang Shan) are of course the ingredient of choice in Sichuan, but since they are virtually not to be found in Europe (the usual eel is not an adequate substitute!), Is dry-fried beef slivers as a variant with beef the most common and is also used by many cooks Sichuan so.
The following recipe is based on that from “Sichuan Cookery” by Fuchsia Dunlop but is still supplemented by a few carrot strips to strengthen the vegetable portion a little.