Pakistani Food

Chinese Beef Chilli Dry – Pakistani Recipe

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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4.8 from 5 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
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Sumbul Jafri
    at

    Yes Sarah….those were the days. Great fun filled ones.

  • Reply
    Nadia Ahmed
    at

    Do you whip the egg white till it forms stiff peaks?

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      at

      nope just whisk to break up!

      • Reply
        Nadia
        at

        I made it and it was delicious!

  • Reply
    Rabia
    at

    What cut of beef did you use? Going to ditch the vegetarianism this week to make this…😁

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      at

      Hey Rabia! AM SO SO SORRY – I don’t know what was happening here that I missed this from weeks ago! I am full on lame and go to my super desi butcher and ask him for pasandas. That said, I believe standard beef fillets work well. DO let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Eraj
    at

    Lol I heard the term “hakka chinese” after landing in Canada too (I’m still convinced its desi Chinese that doesnt exist on mainland China) 😅 that said, i love beef chili dry and I never knew how to make it. I will try this, it looks so good!

  • Reply
    Mindpeace camping
    at

    We always have to with Chinese egg rice…Delicious !!!

  • Reply
    Susan
    at

    This recipe sounds great Sarah. And I love how you talk about your childhood memories. Lovely post!

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      at

      Aww thank you Susan! that means SO much!

  • Reply
    Aashi
    at

    Hey Sarah, I just had to crawl out of the blanket and say this. You taught me how to make kickass dum keema and psanday among other things. I am going to try the beef chilli dry tomorrow. I just really am bad at frying so was wondering if you could let me know if in step 3, do you keep the heat at slow or medium slow or medium. sorry for such a dumb question. Also, thank you again!

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      at

      Hi Aashi!!! First of all thank you so so much for your sweet words! Secondly that’s a great question – stir fries are usually on high heat. So sorry for the late response. Happy Cooking!

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