Serious Heat: Sichuan Sirloin Salad Recipe

Serious Heat: Sichuan Sirloin Salad Recipe

Editor's note: We're pleased to welcome back Gretchen VanEsselstyn of Chile Pepper Magazine, who will be along weekly with Serious Heat, a column devoted to the most mouth-searing food out there. This week, though, in honor of the Super Bowl, she'll have a recipe a day before the big game. --Adam

You might just win friends with this salad. Between the spicy grilled beef strips, unique vegetables, and kicky Sichuan peppercorns, it's got something for everyone.

Sichuan peppercorns and rock sugar are available from, if you can't find them locally.


  • 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 (4-ounce) portions Sichuan Sirloin (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • Freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed green peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rock sugar, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 (4-ounce) portions beef sirloin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 dried chile piquin, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. 1.

    In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil. When hot, sauté the jicama and squash, tossing for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. In a bowl, combine the cabbage, tomatoes and bell pepper with the jicama mixture.

  2. 2.

    On a plate, mound 1 cup of the cabbage salad in the center. Top the salad with the Sichuan Sirloin, sprinkle with a grind of Sichuan pepper and a drizzle of vinaigrette. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

  3. 3.

    Sichuan Sirloin

  4. 4.

    - makes 4 servings, zest factor: medium -

  5. 5.

    In a bowl, combine stock, soy, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, scallion, sugar, oil and cilantro, and mix well. Add the sirloin, and marinate the steaks for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

  6. 6.

    Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Sear the sirloin for 2 minutes. Turn steaks 180 degrees, and grill 2 minutes. Turn over, and grill 3 more minutes. Remove steaks from grill, and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut each steak across the grain into equal strips. Sprinkle pepper equally over the grilled steak.

  7. 7.

    Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

  8. 8.

    - makes 2 cups, zest factor: medium -

  9. 9.

    In a blender, combine all ingredients.