Thursday, January 22, 2015

Beef with Long Hot Peppers and Sticky Rice

Beef with Long Hot Peppers and Sticky Rice

This dish is a spin on a favorite from a Chinese restaurant near the office.  This restaurant has a dish called Chicken with Long Hot Peppers.  It’s simple and fantastic and I've gotten many others hooked on it over the years - I don’t even look at the menu when we go there, my order is automatic.

This dish is quick and easy to make at home when you have a craving for something satisfyingly hot and spicy – this time I did it with beef instead of chicken because that is what I had on hand.  I also cobbled together this marinade from several different recipes – so it’s an experiment that I think came out well – but don’t be afraid to tinker with it to your taste.


  •  1 1/2 lbs of thinly sliced beef *
  • 3-6 long hot peppers (I only had 3 on hand this time but definitely use more normally)
  • Marinade (see below)

 * The beef should be sliced very thin.  We have a slicer, so I pulled a bag of pre-sliced beef from the freezer to make this dish.  However, you can find thinly sliced beef in most supermarkets – but in our experience your best bet to find it thin is an Asian supermarket.

Note: If you are want to try it with chicken like the original dish then the chicken should be tenderized and cut into thin narrow strips.

  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chili infused sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 thinly sliced green onion
  • Several cranks of freshly coarse ground black pepper


Ideally, marinate the beef for a several hours, but in a pinch I've marinated for as little as 30 minutes and it still comes out great.

These are the guys you are looking for – they’re most 
often green but can be red as well.
Generally, the firmer they are the milder they are –
the  wrinkled ones usually pack more heat

For the sticky rice:
  1. Prepare rice per package directions – we use sticky sushi rice and make in a pressure cooker, but you can it on the stove top in a pot as well
For the peppers:
  1. Cut the stem ends off the peppers, cut in half longwise, remove the seeds and veins
  2. Chop in thin (~1/8 inch) strips - sideways, not longwise
  3. Toss into very hot non-stick skillet or wok
  4. Quickly hit them with vegetable oil non-stick spray, or mix in a tiny bit of oil to lightly coat
  5. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt
  6. Sauté on high heat for a few minutes, until they start to char slightly but are still crisp
  7. Transfer to a bowl and set aside
For beef:
  1. Drain the marinade off
  2. Toss into very hot non-stick skillet or wok
  3. Sauté on high heat for a few minutes
  4. When almost done, toss in the peppers and mix together, cook for another minute
 To serve:
  1. Place a mound of rice (~1 cup) on a plate
  2. Place some of the beef and pepper mixture around the rice
  3. Place a dollop of chili garlic sauce on top of the rice (you can find this in most supermarkets – I get it in Shoprite)

For Technologists

It’s a brand new year – traditionally a time for reflection and resolutions.  This dish is a favorite and reliably works for me.  Sticking with favorites is a good thing – “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” – be it a technology, tool, technique, process or approach.  However, that should not stop us from experimenting and trying new riffs on familiar things.  Worst case, it may not work well but we learn something new.  Best case we may find new favorites – and more or better success.  This year, resolve to look at your “favorites” and look for opportunities to adjust and improve – be agile.


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