A tender and flavorful stir fry Hunan Beef with cumin. This easy and quick stir fry beef dish makes for the perfect last-minute dinner meal. The meat is infused with aromatic spices, making it extremely delicious but not overpowering. If you are in the mood for some ethnic food then this recipe is for you!
For those craving Chinese food, you can skip the take-out or delivery, and make one of the most popular dishes in Hunan Cuisine, stir fry Hunan Beef with cumin.
Why You’ll Love this Stir Fry Beef Cumin Recipe:
This stir fry Hunan Beef with cumin is tasty and satisfying. The meat is so tender and cooks with fragrant spices giving a hint of smokiness from dried red chili pepper flakes and cumin.
This Hunan stir fry beef with cumin recipe can be ready at your dinner table in less than 30 minutes! Most importantly, you can find most of the ingredients in your pantry. And the result? It tastes similar or even better than what you can get at Chinese restaurants. In addition, this beef dish is so good and addictive but is made without MSG!
What is Cumin Beef?
Cumin beef is a very simple beef dish cooked with aromatic spices and vegetables. It is one of the most popular dishes in Hunan cuisine. This cumin beef is also one of the most popular meat dishes serve at Sichuan/Sezhuan restaurants in the US. I have been hooked on it for years, and I am happy to now make it home more often than eating it out.
CHECK OUT MORE ASIAN RECIPES:
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- SINGAPORE NOODLES (XING ZHOU MI FEN)
- GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN (SWEET AND SAVORY DEEP-FRIED CHICKEN)
- VEGETABLE STIR FRY WITH TOFU
- BEST PORK TENDERLOIN STIR FRY
- ASIAN GROUND BEEF STIR FRY
- THAI SALAD DRESSING
- MINCED PORK NOODLES WITH HOISIN SAUCE
- CHINESE EGGPLANT WITH MINCED PORK
- SHRIMP AND GREEN PEAS STIR FRY
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Stir Fry Beef Cumin Ingredients:
As I mentioned above, this aromatic beef dish is made with simple Chinese spices and condiments that you can find in your pantry or local grocers.
To make this Hunan beef, you will need a good sirloin steak. You will also need a few ingredients to marinate the meat, such as Shaoxing wine (which can be replaced with dry sherry), a low-sodium soy sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, and corn starch.
In addition, you will also need important ingredients for stir-frying, such as aromatic ginger, scallions, garlic, sesame oil, dried chili pepper flakes, and vegetables. I opted-in for fresh green and red bell pepper to add nice colors to the dish. If you like, you can replace these vegetables with some thinly sliced yellow onions, and/or diced celery.
Is It Easy to Make Cumin Beef?
The cooking process of this cumin beef is very simple. Anyone can make this even if you are not that familiar with Hunan cuisine. But be warned, once the cooking begins, things must move along quickly. So, be sure to prepare all the ingredients and equipment needed nearby.
The Best Type of Beef Meat for Stir Fry:
To make this recipe you can use most tender cuts such as sirloin, tri-tip, ribeye, top loin (strip) tenderloin, shoulder center (Ranch Steak), shoulder top blade (Flat Iron) and shoulder petite tender. A small amount of cornstarch can be used during the marinating process to coat the beef, bind flavors, and seal in juices while cooking.
In this recipe, I chose to use sirloin steak because it has little fat and usually no bone. Therefore it makes it easy to prepare for stir fry. For easier slicing, you can place the sirloin steak in the freezer for 30 minutes and then slice.
Important Cooking Steps For Cooking Cumin Beef Stir Fry:
- Marinate the beef and let it sit while you are preparing the other ingredients.
- Cook the beef at a high temperature until deeply browned, for about 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness.
- Cook the aromatic spices separately.
- Lastly, add the beef back into the pan, then toss to combine until sizzlingly fragrant.
The whole cooking process should take less than 10 minutes! Just be sure to use a good wok or a pan that is wide and flat. I like using a sauté pan so all of the ingredients have a lot of contact with the heat.
This stir fry beef with cumin recipe is inspired by Fuchsia Dunlop, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, tweaked by me with a few adjustments. You can purchase her cookbooks here.
Hunan Beef with Cumin
- wok or non-stick skillet pan
- 0.75 pound beef sirloin
For Stir Fry:
- ¾ cup diced green bell pepper
- ¾ cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- ½ tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried red pepper chili flakes (use more according to your taste)
- 1 fresh Thai chili, red (stems and seeds discarded, finely chopped)
- 2 scallions (green part only, chopped)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp vegetable, canola or peanut oil (divided)
- salt/pepper to taste
- Trim off any visible fat from the edges of the steak. Slice across the grain about ⅛ inch thick or thin bite slices.
Marinate the Beef:
- In a medium bowl, mix the beef with the marinade sauce. Set aside and let it sit while you are preparing the other ingredients.
Browned the Beef:
- Pre-heat the wok. Once it's hot add 3 tablespoons of oil. Cook the marinated beef undisturbed for about 30 seconds, turning and continuing to cook until the beef slices are browned but still have a bit of pink inside. This cooking process should take about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add 1 tbsp of oil into the wok. Add ginger and garlic, and cook just enough until fragrant.
- Add green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and red chili into the wok. Keep stirring for about 1 minute then add the browned beef, cumin and dried chili to the wok. Continue cooking until the beef is coated with aromatic spices and more fragrant. Adjust seasoning with salt/pepper or additional soy sauce according to your liking.
- Add scallions, and sesame oil, just toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Serve and enjoy.