Flavours of WUR: Sichuan Beef

Jinyu Luo, MSc student of Plant Biotechnology from China, shares a recipe for Sichuan beef.
Jinyu Luo, masterstudent Plant Biotechnology uit China. Photo Sarah Maria Scheid

You encounter all the flavours of the world in our WUR community. MSc student of Plant Biotechnology Jinyu Luo (22) from China, shares a recipe for Sichuan beef.

‘This recipe comes from my hometown Chongqing. This dish originated from people called ‘burlaks’, who hauled boats up the rivers in China. In the old days, the burlaks didn’t have much to eat so they added any vegetables they had to this dish. And they also added a lot of spicy ingredients such as chilli peppers, to cover up the smell of the unrefrigerated dish. The burlaks are a thing of the past now, but this recipe is still part of our culture. I learned how to cook it from my father.’

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • 350g potatoes
  • one onion
  • one head of fennel
  • one cabbage
  • one chilli pepper
  • ½ Chinese ham sausage
  • 200g sliced beef
  • one egg
  • 50g dried jelly ear mushrooms
  • 40g glass noodles
  • Packet of hotpot seasoning
  • 50g Sichuan chilli bean paste
  • 20 ml soya sauce
  • 20 ml oyster sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Sichuan pepper
  • One star anise
  • 10g garlic granules
  •  5g cornflour
  • Rice for 4 people


  1. Peel the onion and potatoes. Then wash and cut the cabbage and fennel.
  2. Cut the ham sausage.
  3. Soak the noodles and jelly ear mushrooms in warm water for half an hour.
  4. Marinate the beef slices with the soya sauce, oyster sauce, salt, egg and cornflour. And then stir with a fork until all the liquid is absorbed by the beef slices.
  5. Fry the garlic granules with the hotpot seasoning, chilli bean paste, chilli pepper, Sichuan pepper, and star anise.
  6. Add water and boil for a few minutes. Then add the beef and cook it for one minute, then put it aside in a bowl.
  7. Boil the rest of the ingredients (onion, fennel, cabbage, ham sausage, jelly ear mushrooms, noodles) for 20 minutes.
  8. Optionally, add more salt, pepper, soya sauce, and oyster sauce, depending how spicy you want your dish to be.
  9. Return the beef to the pot and mix it in.
  10. Sichuan beef is best served with rice.

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