Calgary ginger beef is a regional dish that has expanded outwards. The dish is a combination of sweet and spicy flavours; each restaurant develops its own balance. This recipe tilts towards spicy, thanks to generous amounts of ginger used. Feel free to play around the proportion of ingredients to come to your own balance. Enjoy this Calgary ginger beef recipe!
In a saucier or large sauce pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seed oil over medium low heat. Add the Red Thai chile pepper and ginger; stir to combine. Sweat the ginger and chile pepper for 3 minutes; they should sizzle, but not brown.
Add 1/2 cup of soy sauce, chicken stock, rice vinegar, dry sherry, toasted sesame seed oil, minced ginger, and sugar to the ginger and chile pepper, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and let boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and reduce until there's 1/2 cup of a syrupy sauce left, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Marinade and Beef Strips
In a large bowl, whisk together the unrefined peanut oil, water, vodka, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seed oil. sugar, salt, and MSG (optional) until well combined. Set aside.
Cut flank steak on the bias and against the grain into 1/2 inch slices. Then cut each slice into 1/2 inch strips. Add beef strips to the marinade and combine well with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together potato starch, easy blend flour, and ginger powder until well combine. After beef is done marinating, sprinkle the dry ingredients above the marinated beef using a fine mesh strainer. Mix together with your hands to cover the beef strips in a batter.
Line a large bowl with paper towels. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat to 375°F in a large sauté pan or dutch oven. Add 1/3 of the beef slices and fry until the batter starts to darken, about 3 minutes. Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove the beef from the pan and place it in the paper towel-lined bowl. Let oil climb back up to 375°F, and repeat the above process twice more.
Transfer 2 tablespoons of the shallow frying oil to a 12 inch skillet, and heat it over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering and just beginning to smoke, add the carrots, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper. Stir frequently for about 2-3 minutes; the bell peppers should start to blister and the carrots should start to caramelize.
Create a well in the center of the pan, and add the julienned ginger, minced garlic, and crushed Szcheuan peppercorn. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the sauce to the skillet, and immediately turn off the heat. Add the beef to the sauce and vegetables. Stir to fully coat the beef strips.