Monday, February 10, 2020

Szechuan Pepper Steak

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I am proud to have Certified Angus Beef® Brand as our beef sponsor.

Have you ever used Szechuan peppercorns?  They are interesting in that contrary to what you might think, they aren't spicy black pepper or chiles.  Even more twisted, they contain a chemical named hydroxy-alpha-sanshool, which creates a slight numbing effect.  You can take advantage of this anesthetic effect by pairing it with spicy heat. 

That's what we did with this Asian inspired Szechuan Pepper Steak that Alexis and I cooked this weekend. The Szechuan peppercorns bring a flowery, almost citrus flavor, and Garlic Chile Butter adds luscious spiciness.  Of course, we cooked it on a grill, but you could absolutely do this on a stovetop.

Szechuan Pepper Steak featuring Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip Steaks from Food City

Szechuan Pepper Steak


  • 2 12-ounce Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip Steaks
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced on a bias for garnish

For the Dry Rub

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground toasted Szechuan Peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

For the Chile Butter

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, left at room temperature for 1 hour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chile sauce
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped

For the Stir-Fry

  • 3 tablespoons peanut or other high-temperature cooking oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, 3/4" dice, parboiled for 3 minutes
  • 1 green bell pepper, 3/4" dice parboiled for 3 minutes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 3/4" dice parboiled for 3 minutes
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and 3/4" dice
  • 1 recipe Szechuan Sauce (make ahead)
  • 6 ounces lo mein noodles, cook according to package directions


  1. Make the chile butter.  Mix the butter, garlic chile sauce, and green onion together and then form into a log.  If you made this ahead of time and refrigerated, leave it out at room temperature for about an hour so it will melt quickly when you put it on the steaks.
  2. Set up and preheat your grill to 500°f.  I set my Big Green Egg up, so it was easy to switch from stir-frying to searing the steak.  See the pictures below to see how I did that.
  3. Season the steaks.  Lightly apply 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the steaks.  Combine the dry rub ingredients together and use the rub to season the steaks on both sides.  
  4. Stir fry the veggies.  Allow the wok to preheat on the grill for 5 minutes and then add the oil.  Add the onion and bell peppers and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the sauce to the wok and continue stir-frying for another minute.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  5. Grill the Steaks.  Grill the steaks until your desired doneness.  These strip steaks were a little thinner, so I grilled them about 3 minutes 15 seconds per side to get medium-rare.  Place two pats of garlic chile butter on each steak as soon as the steaks come off of the grill.
  6. Plate the dish.  Place some of the noodles on the plate and top with the stir-fried veggies. Garnish with the green onion. Slice the steak and place the steak on top of the vegetables and noodles.  If you have any butter leftover, you can melt and drizzle it over the steak.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0 hrs. 35 mins.
Cook time: 0 hrs. 25 mins.
Total time: 1 hrs. 0 mins.
Tags: steak, Certified Angus Beef® Brand, grilling

Toasting Szechuan peppercorns on a cast-iron skillet
Like most seed-based spices, Szechuan peppercorns benefit from being toasted before grinding them.  Just toss them in a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat and stir them around a bit until they become fragrant.

Garlic chile compound butter
Garlic chile compound butter is excellent on steaks, chicken, pork and many types of seafood. This is based on a recipe I learned at Le Cordon Bleu in Vegas a few years ago and it's one of my favorite compound butters.  

Certified Angus Beef uses 10 science-based quality standards on top of the USDA requirements for Choice or Prime grades
I couldn't resist this pair of USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip Steaks when I saw them at my Food City.  Certified Angus Beef uses 10 science-based quality standards on top of the USDA requirements for Choice or Prime grades to ensure the marbling and juiciness of their beef.

One wok setup for a Big Green Egg kamado grill.
I set my Big Green Egg up so I could easily switch from stir-frying to grilling.  I put my cast iron grate on the bottom so it could be preheating while I wok-n-roll.  Then I turned a spider rig upside down and used that for an improvised wok stand. When I was done stir-frying, I could just pull the wok and spider rig out and go straight to grilling the steaks.

Today I used Tennessee hardwood lump charcoal, no smoking wood.  I fired it up with my JJ George grilling torch.
Stir-frying on the Big Green Egg is a good way to take advantage of a kamado grill's high heat capability.
With stir-frying, you need to keep the food moving. Scrape and stir, scrape and stir. 

Grilling the strip steaks on the Egg.  This Craycort cast-iron grate is over 10 years old and still kicking butt.  

If you're starving, you can plate a whole steak per plate.

There is a bounty of flavor and color in this dish!
 Sign up for Steakholder Rewards to earn rewards for eating delicious meals like this.