Tangerine Beef

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

This dish, which cooks up in just minutes, tastes even better than the version you can find in most Chinese restaurants. If you like, you can substitute 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks of skinless chicken breast for the beef, but, whatever you make it with, be sure to serve it with plenty of hot steamed rice.


  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) flank steak
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. finely grated tangerine or orange zest
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh tangerine or orange juice
  • 1 Tbs. dry sherry
  • 1 Tbs. hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili bean paste
  • 1 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


Cut the flank steak across the grain into slices 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 tsp. of the sugar, the baking soda and 1 tsp. salt and stir to mix well. Add the beef slices and stir to coat thoroughly. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the tangerine zest and juice, sherry, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, chili bean paste, ginger, sesame oil, cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 tsp. sugar until the sugar and cornstarch dissolve. Set aside.

Pat the beef slices dry with paper towels. Warm a wok or large fry pan over high heat, then swirl in 2 Tbs. of the canola oil. Add half of the beef in a single layer and sear until brown on the first side, about 1 minute. Using tongs, turn and sear until brown on the second side, about 30 seconds. Transfer the meat to a colander to drain. Return the pan to high heat, warm another 1 Tbs. of the oil and repeat to sear the remaining beef. Transfer the second batch to the colander to drain.

Wipe the pan clean. Reheat over high heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and bell pepper and stir-fry until the edges begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chile and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour in the tangerine juice mixture and return the beef to the pan. Stir-fry until the sauce thickens and the beef is heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl or platter and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cook Good Food (Weldon Owen, 2014)

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