In a medium bowl, combine the thinly sliced beef with baking soda and water. Massage these ingredients into the beef until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Let stand for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes or so, rinse the beef, remove excess water and pat it dry with paper towels.
Slice all the fresh peppers into long thin slices. Set aside the dried red peppers. If you prefer a spicier version, chop half the dried red peppers into smaller pieces.
In a small sauce bowl, stir the sugar into 2 tablespoons of hot water until dissolved. Add the rest of the Hunan sauce ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
Take 1/2 tablespoon of the Hunan sauce made above and season the thinly sliced beef with it. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Massage until all ingredients are evenly absorbed. Set the beef aside.
In another small sauce bowl, mix the Chinese black vinegar, Shaoxing wine and cumin. Set aside.
Frying the Beef Separately
Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Spread ⅓ cup of oil around the wok and sear the beef in small batches. For each batch, allow the beef to sear until it is browned and slightly crispy on the outside. Between each batch, make sure the wok and oil are hot. I did mine in 3 batches.
Drain the crispy beef by moving it up to the side of the wok, allowing the oil to drain to the bottom portion of the wok. Transfer the beef to a plate or metal strainer.
After frying the beef, leave approximately 2 tablespoons of the oil in the wok, removing the excess. If your wok got burned in the frying process, now is a good time to wash it. Or, you could remove any burnt pieces visible in the oil if you prefer. While you want the beef flavor from frying, you don’t want burned bits in the stir-fry.
Assembling Hunan Beef
Set the wok over medium heat. Add the sliced ginger and fry until caramelized. Add the shallots and crushed garlic. Continue to fry for another 30 seconds, and then add the dried red peppers. Stir fry for another 30 seconds.
Add the fresh peppers. Turn the heat up to high and stir-fry for 1 minute to get a nice sear on the peppers.
Next, pour the cumin sauce ingredients around the perimeter of the wok. Stir-fry for another 30 to 60 seconds on high heat.
Add the fried beef and then pour the pre-prepared Hunan sauce. Maintain the highest heat possible and stir-fry everything together for 30 seconds. Add the coriander stalks. Continue to stir fry until most of the sauce has evaporated.
Remove from heat. Plate your Hunan Beef Stir Fry with Cumin, and garnish with coriander leaves and green onion. Enjoy!
Hunan Beef Stir Fry with Cumin https://www.awanderingfoodie.com/hunan-beef-stir-fry-with-cumin/