Spicy, Anise Red-Cooked Beef over Noodles


  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) Peanut or veg oil
  • 60 ml (4 Tbsp) each minced ginger and garlic
  • 480 ml (2 cups) roughly chopped yellow onions
  • 8 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed in mortar or ground in a spice/coffee grinder
  • 4 star anise
  • 5-6 tsp Chinese hot chili paste
  • 680 gm (1.5 lbs.) of bottom round or other lean stewing Beef, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 45 ml (3 Tbsp) soy sauce
  • 240 ml (1 cup) beef broth (canned is fine) or a Beef bouillon cube mixed with 1 cup water
  • 73 ml (4 1/2) tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons water (optional, if you prefer a thinner sauce)
  • 680 gm (1.5 lbs.) of fresh Chinese egg noodles or 450 gm (1 lb) thin dried egg noodles (in a pinch, fettucine will do)


  1. Heat oil in cooking vessel on high and add ginger, garlic, and onions. 
  2. Stir-fry for a minute and then add two-thirds of the green onions (set the rest aside for serving). 
  3. After 10 seconds add the peppercorns and star anise, and after 10 more seconds stir in the pepper/chili paste. 
  4. Stir-fry briskly for about 30 seconds and add the Beef, frying till every piece is seared. 
  5. Sprinkle Sugar and soy over all and stir-fry two more minutes.
  6. Add broth (or bouillon cube and water), along with 2 1/2 cups of water, stir well, and bring to the boil. 
  7. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and simmer until the meat is falling-apart tender, about 2 hours.
  8. At this point, refrigerate or freeze for storage, or proceed with the recipe (if you plan to freeze part of the recipe, remove it from the pan now, before adding cornstarch).
  9. Cook noodles in boiling water and divide into big bowls. 
  10. Bring the sauce to a boil and stir in the cornstarch, a tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is as thick as you'd like (it will thin a bit once it's on the noodles, especially if bean sprouts or pea greens are added). 
  11. Ladle sauce over noodles and garnish with green onion and, if you like, a sprinkle of Sichuan peppercorns.