Spicy Stir-Fried Liver and Onions

[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

About the author: Born in Shanghai and raised in New Mexico, Chichi Wang currently resides in Manhattan, where she divides her time between writing, cooking, and tracking down the best noodles in the city. Visit her blog, Mostly Tripe.

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Spicy Stir-Fried Liver and Onions

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:50 minutes
Special equipment:wok
This recipe appears in: The Nasty Bits: On Not Overcooking Liver


  • 4 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 10 ounces pork or poultry liver, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch segments
  • one 1-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 dozen dried red chilis
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan bean paste


  1. 1

    Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the liver and stir-fry until the firm but interior is still very pink, 60 to 90 seconds. Remove the liver with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

  2. 2

    Return wok to high heat. Add the scallions and ginger, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onions reduce heat to medium, and continue to stir-fry until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. 3

    Push the onions to one side of the wok. Add one more tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add the chilis and the Sichuan peppercorns stir-fry until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the fermented bean paste and stir-fry for a few seconds longer.

  4. 4

    Add the liver back to the wok. Stir-fry the liver over medium heat until the interior is still pink but no longer rare, about 20 seconds longer. Remove from heat and serve immediately.


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