Hunan Beef with Broccoli and Chilies

While reorganizing all my cookbooks  I found this one “Martin Yan’s Feast: The Best of Yan Can Cook“. Does anyone remember “If Yan Can Cook, You Can Too”? In 1978 he first started teaching Chinese cooking in Calgary on a Canadian talk show. Beginning in 1982 he hosted over 1,500 episodes of the PBS cooking shows Yan Can Cook.

He was interested in dispelling the mysteries of  Chinese and Asian cooking and furthering an understanding of the cultures that created these cuisines. He was very entertaining and made cooking fun! His personality drew you in just like Julia Child and other great chefs. By the way Jacques Pepin wrote the forward in this cookbook – they are good buddies!

He is still going strong with a chain of restaurants, an international cooking school and has written over 2 dozen cookbooks. He has been designated a Master Chef and has appeared on several episodes of Iron Chef America. He organizes specialized tours to areas which were showcased in his shows. In the Fall of 2014 Martin Yan’s Taste of Vietnam, a new 26 episodes series on public television began. His latest adventure will be a cruise in 2017 centered around Asian cuisines.

Yan says “Chefs from Hunan province are experts in cooking with chilies. Stir-frying them over high heat releases just enough of their spiciness”. I like to cut off the ends so some of the seeds spill out giving some added heat.

This recipe is very flavorful and spicy which is the way I like it. I think you will too! I did change some ingredients and directions.

Hunan Beef with Broccoli and Chilies, Adapted

  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Shaoxing or dry sherry (see Comment below)
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch or 1 tsp. potato flour
  • 3/4 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain (top sirloin, strip loin, tri-tip and tenderloin also work well)

Marinate the meat in the above ingredients about 30 minutes before you cook.

  • 3 tbsp. Chinkiang Vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Shaoxing or dry sherry
  • 1-2 tsp.  sugar (optional – add to taste – the chili sauce I used has a lot of sugar in it so I did not add this additional sugar)
  • 2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Combine the above sauce ingredients and set aside.

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • few green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (I added)
  • 2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 4-6 small dried red chilies (Tien Tsin), ends cut off so some of the seeds spill out
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch or 1/2 tsp. potato starch dissolved in 2 tsp. water

You can blanch the broccoli briefly first to set the green color and immediately place in cold water; then drain. I do not like overcooked broccoli!

Heat the oil in your wok over high heat (I just love my Breville electric wok). Add the garlic and chilies (I cut off one end so some seeds will spill out) and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the beef and stir-fry for just a couple of minutes.

Add the broccoli, green onions and sauce; bring to a boil. Add potato starch mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens.

Comment: According to Yan: “The rice wine of Shaoxing in Zhejiang province is renowned throughout the world, not only as an accompaniment to Chinese food, but also as a flavoring ingredient in cooking. It’s made by a process that has remained unchanged for more than 2,000 years. In outdoor urns covered with seaweed mats, rice is fermented with local lake water and an ancient strain of yeast that has been cultivated for centuries. The process can’t be rushed, the wine ages at least 18 months, and sometimes up to 100 years.”

Recipe by cookingwithauntjuju

Yes, I have one more Chinese recipe and then I promise to make more seasonal dishes. I’m linking this spicy Hunan recipe to Angie @ Fiesta Friday #140 and the two co-hosts; Julie @ Hostess at Heart and Linda @ Fabulous Fare Sisters.

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36 thoughts on “Hunan Beef with Broccoli and Chilies

    • Thanks so much Julie – you can tell by the number of posts I’ve made lately that I do love Chinese/Asian cuisines. I love my computer but I still have not done anything with my pictures (thanks for the compliment on the finished dish). Maybe this winter when I won’t get out as much I can sit down and figure out what I want to do. Your site looks so nice – pictures and everything!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was a huge fan of Yan Can Cook back in the 80s in college! I watched him and the Frugal Gourmet every chance. I do have three of The Frugal Gourmet’s cook books, but never picked up any of Yan’s. Thanks for sharing this, it looks yummy!


    • Thanks Zeba – I did not realize he was involved with so many different things and 2 dozen cookbooks besides! I am happy it brought back good memories for you – he is quite the chef still. I felt the same when I “found” this cookbook – good memories. That’s what I get for having too many cookbooks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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