No need to order take-out when you can make this sweet, savory and spicy beef stir-fry from the comfort of your own home! You will be craving this flavorful dish over and over again!
I love Chinese take-out, but sometimes I just don’t want to leave my house! I love that I can make my favorite dishes that taste just as good, if not better! I love to pair this dish with my better than takeout chow mein and my better than takeout fried rice
It is a Chinese dish that has bold flavors from the liberal use of chili peppers, garlic, and pepper! It may include the use of the actually Szechuan peppercorn, which is milder when compared to the spiciness of black, white, or chili peppers. A Szechuan peppercorn creates a tingly numbness in the mouth, which aids when combined with hot spices!
You might be thinking, “How is Szechuan different from other Chinese dishes?” Well, let’s compare it to some of our favorite take-out dishes.
Hunan vs. Szechuan beef? Szechuan beef is sweeter and has a tingly sensation while Hunan is not as sweet and is more heat and spice. Hunan’s flavor is considered plainer and contains more vegetables.
Mongolian vs. Szechuan beef? Mongolian beef is mild and isn’t spicy at all. It has soy sauce and brown sugar, like Szechuan beef, does but uses hoisin sauce instead of oyster sauce.
But don’t let all this talk of spiciness scare you! The level of spice really depends on the number of spicy ingredients that you put in. You can cut the amount of chili oil/chili sauce or red pepper flakes.
I like to use thinly sliced beef tenderloin, sirloin or flank steak, cut against the grain. It is also very important to marinate your meat!
Combine your flank steak and marinade and let it rest at room temperature while you prep other ingredients. Or you can refrigerate it for up to 8 hours!
Szechuan Beef vs Mongolian Beef
Szechuan beef and Mongolian beef are actually both Chinese dishes. Szechuan beef hails from Sichuan Province in southwestern China while Mongolian beef has no actual Mongolian origins, but is believed that Mongolian beef hails from Taiwan.
There are eight traditional types of dishes a Chinese cuisine, which are considered as an integral part of Chinese culture. These cuisine styles correspond to eight different provinces in China, namely: Zhejiang, Shandong, Jiangsu, Hunan, Fujian, Cantonese, Anhui, and Szechuan.
Szechuan is not just a beef recipe, but a type of regional cuisine. Also known as Sichuan or Szechwan, szechuan beef originated from the southwestern part of China, the Sichuan Province.
In 2011, Sichuan Province was recognized by UNESCO for its distinguished food culture and declared as a “City of Gastronomy ”. Indeed, a very remarkable recognition as this was the first honor a province in Asia received.
Unlike a traditional Mongolian cuisine that is native to Mongolia, the Mongolian cuisine in China and some parts of the US is actually not from Mongolia. It originated in Taiwan way back in the 1950s which was significantly influenced by a popular teppanyaki Japanese style.
This teppanyaki Japanese style cuisine uses an iron broiler to cook dishes at extremely hot temperatures. It has a very slight similarity with the actual Mongolian cuisine coming from Mongolia.
In fact, most of the dishes in China with Mongolian names are actually not related to Mongolian culture. Hence, the Mongolian beef is typically a Taiwanese stir-fry and not a Mongolian cuisine.
Difference Between Szechuan Beef vs Mongolian Beef
So after learning the origins of Szechuan beef and Mongolian beef, it’s time to get to know the significant differences between these two. Just a heads up that the Mongolian beef we will be tackling is an American Chinese food and not the traditional Mongolian cuisine from Mongolia.
According to history, Szechuan is formerly the romanization of Sichuan, which translates to “four river”. Jialing, Jinsha, Min, and Tuo are the four major rivers located in Sichuan Province.
While Mongolian is related to Mongolia, a boundless state in East Asia. In pinyin, Chinese Mongols are referred to as Měnggǔzú . As to date, the Chinese Mongolian population is over twice the actual natives of the Mongolia state.
Sesame paste, peanuts, and ginger are the most common ingredients in Szechuan. A Szechuan is commonly consists of chili paste, cornstarch, rice, cooking wine, egg whites, soy sauce, sesame oil, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, onions, crushed chilli peppers, vegetable oil, peanuts, carrots, minced garlic, star anise, and red bell pepper. A simple dish made from innumerable ingredients, making its taste more complicated.
On the other hand, Mongolian beef’s common ingredients are brown sauce, green onions, and sliced flank steak. Other ingredients a Mongolian beef has are chili peppers, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, scallions, cabbage, green onions, broccoli, ginger, and mushrooms. The Mongolian beef recipe tastes simpler compared to Szechuan.
Basically, Szechuan ingredients are mostly dried, pickled, and salted while Mongolian beef recipes are into fresh ingredients like scallions and green onions.
Since Szechuan and Mongolian beef have different ingredients, it also follows that the two differ in taste.
Sauce is the signature of Szechuan dish, mainly on spices and heat, while Mongolian is more on meat and vegetables. Szechuan peppercorns and bell peppers are among the main ingredients of the Szechuan beef Chinese cuisine, while Mongolian’s commonly used ingredients are steak, green onions, and brown sauce.
Mongolian beef tastes like a Chinese takeout and has a sweeter taste compared to Szechuan. The Mongolian beef trademark is the stir-fry cooking method it uses.
Making Szechuan beef recipe is somewhat easy, but would require you enough time to prepare the dish. Szechuan cuisine can be stir-fried, braised, and steamed. This beef Szechuan is made of thin slices of marinated beef stir fried in Szechuan sauce to achieve mouthwatering superbness. It is best served on steamed rice.
Meanwhile, a Mongolian beef recipe solely relies on stir-frying. For quick cooking, the beef and vegetables are thinly sliced. The beef, sauce, and the rest of the ingredients are stir-fried, usually in a large wok with oil or water over high temperatures (above 500 Degrees Fahrenheit), to caramelize the beef. And same with beef Szechuan, Mongolian beef is best served with steamed rice but normally served on fried glass noodles.
If you are a vegan who loves beef recipes, a Mongolian beef recipe will definitely satisfy your cravings. Since Mongolian beef contains fewer components, it has more vegetables compared to Szechuan.
When it comes to texture, Mongolian is way crunchier than Szechuan. The latter’s crunch basically comes from its nut ingredients such as cashew nuts, sesame seeds, and salted peanuts.
Szechuan style has a hotness with a distinct tingly sensation because of Szechuan peppercorn spices. Szechuan exhibits a sweet and spicy flavor. It also has a citrusy taste since the peppercorn is from the citrus family. Its complex sauce is red in appearance.
Mongolian, on the other hand, is the complete opposite to Szechuan style. The Mongolian beef is one of the Chinese beef dishes that rarely uses spices. It also has a mild taste, with a sauce that is dark brown in appearance.
What is Szechuan Beef?
The Szechuan beef stir-fry is one of the most flavorful and best-known dishes in Chinese cuisine. It’s a bold, spicy dish that will please your taste buds. The primary ingredients used in preparing this stir fry meal are garlic, chili peppers, and peppercorn—all of which give it a bold and spicy taste that’ll leave you wanting more.
Szechuan Beef is served over rice or noodles for a complete meal. This mouthwatering dish will leave you feeling satisfied and full. Prepare yourself for an explosion of flavor in your mouth with every bite–This bold and spicy dish is sure to be one of the best things you’ve ever tasted.
What’s the difference between Szechuan Hunan and Mongolian?
What is the difference between Szechuan beef and Hunan beef?
What is the difference between beef and Mongolian beef?