Beef with cumin (Zi ran niu rou) from Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking (page 106) by Fuchsia Dunlop

  • scallions
  • green peppers
  • red peppers
  • ground cumin
  • fresh ginger
  • sesame oil
  • dried red pepper flakes
  • beef steaks
  • potato flour
  • Shaoxing rice wine
  • light soy sauce
  • dark soy sauce

Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

Always check the publication for a full list of ingredients. An Eat Your Books index lists the main ingredients and does not include 'store-cupboard ingredients' (salt, pepper, oil, flour, etc.) - unless called for in significant quantity.

Notes about this recipe

  • snoozermoose on December 13, 2021

    We really enjoyed this even if it didn't taste like the cumin beef preparations you get from restaurants. It was surprisingly flavorful with that in mind. To get it more restaurant-quality, I'm imagining the beef needs to be sliced, marinated in potato starch, somewhat fried, and then stir-fried with cumin seeds in addition to the ground cumin.

  • TrishaCP on November 11, 2021

    Fast and tasty, but I agree with metacritic that something flavor-wise seemed to be lacking.

  • metacritic on May 16, 2021

    This was ... fine. Flavorsome for sure. It had good heat. But compared to lamb versions I've had in restaurants it was a bit lifeless. I missed the pungency of lamb fat and its gaminess. Beef was just too tame for my liking. I also felt that there was one or two missing notes to this, though I can't put my finger on what those notes should be.

  • Agaillard on March 30, 2020

    I found it a very standard seared beef recipe with classic soy sauce marinade, although the cumin does add an original note. All in all nothing too special in my opinion, just nice, and a good way to do what I chose the recipe for : finish off the steak and peppers from yesterday night.

  • Barb_N on April 24, 2017

    I did not use bell peppers (we don't eat them) and forgot the chili flakes so perhaps I shouldn't be reviewing this at all! I did add some chili sauce at the table after tasting, and increased the cumin to compensate for using blanched chopped greens as the vegetable. Despite loving cumin, I will not be repeating this dish.

  • SebastianH on February 17, 2017

    I am not sure if the measurements are right in the recipe. Very dull for a Hunan dish. It clearly lacks salt and flavor. Next time I will increase the amount Shaoxing asked for from a teaspoon to a tablespoon. (fyi: the original recipe in the Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook also asks for a tablespoon and not a teaspoon)

  • pistachiopeas on May 25, 2015

    Love this recipe. Absolutely delicious.

  • Delys77 on June 17, 2014

    We also cut back on the oil and the dish was still great, with the pungent heat of chilli and the lovely earthy tang of cumin. I would suggest cutting in slices as opposed to cubes as my beef definitely through off a bit of liquid and took a little too long in the work., as a result the dish was somewhat lacking in wok hai.

  • stockholm28 on December 15, 2013

    Very quick and tasty. I'd cut back a bit on the oil.

  • westminstr on April 01, 2013

    We really liked this one! I doubled the recipe (but not the marinade or the chillies) to no ill effect. Kids loved it! On a revisit 3/17/2015 it wasn't too popular. I cut the chillies down a lot but E still didn't like it. The dish lacked salt but beyond that seemed to lack flavor. I think I need to give up on Dunlop at this stage of life and come back to it when the kids are older.

  • bluegizmo on November 28, 2012

    Really nice quick, tasty and easy stir fry. Cumin went really well with other ingredients and nice to have a change from the usual Chinese spices.

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