1 pound flank steak (or skirt steak), sliced to 1/4-inch pieces again the grain
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp
4 green onion, coarsely chopped
(Optional) Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Combine beef, salt and oil in a large bowl. Gently mix by hand until all the beef slices are coated with oil. Marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add cornstarch one tablespoon at a time. Mix to coat the beef. It’s OK if the beef is not evenly coated.
Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat until hot. Carefully spread the beef slices with minimum overlapping. You might need to cook the beef in two batches depending on the size of your pan. Cook until the bottom turns golden and crispy. Flip the slices to fry the other side, until golden brown and crispy. Transfer beef to a large plate.
Remove the pan from the stove. Use a few layers of paper towels attached to the front of a pair of tongs to remove the oil. Alternatively, you can carefully pour the oil into a ceramic bowl. Return the pan back to the stove.
Return the beef, pour in the spicy chili crisp, and add the green onion. Stir and cook until the beef is evenly coated with the chili oil. Transfer to large plate.
Garnish with sesame seeds, if using. Serve hot over steamed rice and vegetables.
Slice the beef against the grain, so it yields a tender texture once cooked.
To create ultra-crispy beef with a melt-in-the-mouth center, use enough oil to cover 1/4-inch (5-mm) of your pan so the beef will be deep fried properly.
To create a healthy dish with less oil, use just enough oil to cover the pan. It can be anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup if you use a large frying pan. In this case, the beef will still have a crispy crust, but it does not stay crispy as long as the deep fried beef.
To add vegetables into the dish, you can use chopped onion and celery (about 2 cups chopped veggies) before adding back the beef (step 5 in the recipe).
You can also add the steamed broccoli during the stir fry (in step 5), and use a bit more chili sauce.
The beef remains crispy and delicious after it cools down as well, but it tastes best when it’s right off the stove.