Pakistani Food Recipes

Chinese Beef Chilli Dry – Pakistani Recipe

December 5, 2018 (Last Updated: March 6, 2019)
Beef Chilli Dry

There are expressions that don’t translate into English with the same oomph they have in Urdu. “Gari mein thhoosna” is one of them and it is a hallmark of the Pakistani experience. It basically means to stuff yourselves into the car, and I mean stuff. Somehow in English it doesn’t capture the enthusiasm of children piled onto adults as the 25 people in the house pack themselves into two cars to head out for Chinese food. We would arrive at a Chinese restaurant decorated in the traditional red and gold, places that always knew how to put together enormous tables in minutes. Then soon enough it would be time to inhale the mellow smells of the Chicken Corn Soup (a must) when it arrived and wait with considerable enthusiasm for the “sizzlers”, the beef dishes served on hot plates, literally sizzling and smoking as they make their way over. Someone always burnt their tongue sneaking in that extra charred piece. I may or may not be that someone trying to subtly steal a piece of the Beef Chilli Dry. 

The idea that this kind of Chinese was specific to the Hakka region was unknown to me at the time. For me this was just Chinese food. When I got to the US and my brother took great pains to me to explain what Hakka food was. I listened earnestly, but did not really comprehend what that meant until I got to college and ordered my first Chinese takeout. It was suspiciously devoid of dried chillies or green chillies or really any chilli. Aah. This Beef Chilli Dry has no red chillies, but the green kind are integral.

This Beef Chilli Dry is my mothers recipe. It is a dish she has made for us a million times over and one that I have made often, but somehow never enough. It also is not one of those things that hangs around forever. I typically make it with my non fried Chinese Rice and Hong Kong Chicken, both recipes that I will share soon. Beef Chilli Dry

The China-Pakistan Connection

Before I go on to the exact recipe for Beef Chilli Dry it occurs to me that I should point out that the reason that Chinese restaurants have always been an integral part of the Pakistani food scene is the shared border with China. It has resulted in close trade ties and the community that calls Pakistan home. Pakistani Chinese restaurant food has traditionally been made by Chinese Pakistanis. 

Beef Chilli Dry

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4.67 from 9 votes
Beef Chilli Dry
Pakistani Chinese Beef Chilli Dry
Prep Time
8 mins
Cook Time
17 mins
Total Time
25 mins

A Hakka style Beef Chilli Stir fry recipe that packs a strong flavour punch

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Hakka, Indo-Chinese, Pakistani
Keyword: Pakistani recipe, Hakka recipe
Author: Sarah Mir
  • 1 lb thinly sliced beef strips
Marinade Ingredients
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 egg white whipped
  • 1 tsp oil
Stir fry ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
  • 2 Green Pepper, cut into strips
  • 4-6 Green Chillies, cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • Oil for cooking
  1. Marinade the beef strip in the marinade ingredients for thirty minutes

  2. Pour a lug of oil into a hot wok  and stir fry the garlic till it starts to sizzle and change coloue

  3. Now stir fry the beef, I like to get nice caramelly bits

  4. Keep moving the beef around in the wok so it doesn't stick together, it cooks fairly quickly

  5. Add the strips of green pepper and chillies as well as the remaining ingredients, stir fry on high for 2-3 minutes, taste, adjust seasoning if needed with vinegar, pepper and soy. (I always add more!)

Recipe Notes

This recipe is quick to cook and best served fresh!

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