Chilli beef with sticky rice omelette

Chilli beef with sticky rice omelette

These thin strips of beef fillet are seasoned with Sichuan pepper and citrus zest before being deep-fried then coated in a sticky chilli sauce.


  • oil, for deep frying
  • 400g/14oz beef fillet, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 limes, zest only
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 3 heaped tbsp rice or potato flour or cornflour
For the sauce
  • 150g/5½oz caster sugar
  • 150ml/5fl oz Shaoxing rice wine
  • 25ml/1fl oz rice wine vinegar
  • 1½ red chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 10cm/4in piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stems, outer leaves removed, then finely chopped
  • 4 lime leaves, finely chopped
For the sticky rice omelette
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 400g/14oz cooked cold sticky rice

Preparation method

  1. For the chilli beef, heat a deep fat fryer to 190C/375F or heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  2. Toss the beef strips with the two tablespoons of vegetable oil.

  3. In a pestle and mortar, crush the Sichuan peppercorns to a fine powder. Place them in large bowl with the lime and orange zest and rice flour then toss well to combine. Add the beef and toss to coat each piece thoroughly.

  4. Drop the beef into the deep-fat fryer a few batches at a time, and cook for two minutes. Drain onto kitchen paper.

  5. For the sauce, heat a frying pan or wok until hot, add the sugar, rice wine and rice wine vinegar and bring to the boil.

  6. Add the chillies, chilli flakes, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves then cook for 5-8 minutes until thickened, sticky and glossy looking.

  7. Add the cooked beef to the sauce, remove from the heat and toss well so that all the beef is coated in sticky chilli sauce.

  8. For the sticky rice omelette, heat a wok until hot, add the oil and swirl to coat it before very carefully wiping the wok out with kitchen towel, removing any excess oil.

  9. Whisk the eggs together, add the soy sauce, then pour into the hot wok, lifting the wok up and rolling the egg around the sides of it so you have one very large omelette.

  10. Add the cooked rice to the centre of the omelette then carefully peel the omelette away from the sides of the wok to cover the egg.

  11. When the rice is hot through and the omelette set, roll out onto a board and cut into four pieces.

  12. To serve, pile the beef onto plates and the rice omelette in separate bowls.

James Martin recipes from James Martin: Home Comforts

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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