Fu Qi Fei Pian (Sichuan Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce, 夫妻肺片)

Fu Qi Fei Pian, or Sichuan Sliced beef in Chili Sauce, is one of the most underrated dishes outside of China. The tender beef slices are served in a rich, spicy hot sauce and topped with peanut flakes and cilantro. Every bite is bursting with flavor. You need to try this one out if you’re into real-deal Sichuan food. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

A plate of Fu Qi Fei Pian with aromatics and peanuts on the side

Why is this dish not very well-known outside the Chinese community?

A dish with a weird name

Well, it has a weird enough name to scare anyone away, like the famous saliva chicken. Fu Qi Fei Pian can be translated literally as “Husband and Wife Lung Slices”. You can read a bit more about the story of this strange name on Wikipedia. Just so you know, the dish doesn’t usually contain lung.

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In reality, the dish is usually made with the cheapest cuts of the beef available, such as brisket, plus some offal, such as tripe, heart, or tongue. Not only are these offal parts cheaper, but they also create a mixed texture of tender and crunchy, which adds a nice touch to the cheap beef cuts.

Sliced beef brisket and beef tongue with Sichuan chili sauce

Traditionally, the beef cuts are braised for 6 to 7 hours in a savory broth, then thinly sliced and served in a scrumptious sauce made with chili oil, some braising liquid, and plenty of aromatics. And guess what? It’s only an appetizer.

Seems like some intensive labor just to make an appetizer, right? That’s why I rarely make it at home, at least, until recently. I found out it was a favorite dish of a close friend. So I decided to develop this shortcut version that yields perfect results, just like you’d get in China.

Picking a piece of beef brisket from Fu Qi Fei Pian plate

Cooking notes

1. Which cut to use

My favorite combinations are – beef brisket and beef tongue, or beef chuck and beef tongue. I would be sure to have at least two types of meat, so that the texture of the dish is more interesting. If you prefer to cook the dish the super authentic way, use beef tripe and beef brisket.  However, if you prefer lean meat, you could use brisket or chuck without any offal.

2. Be sure to cook it in a big batch

I usually cook about 3 to 3.5 lbs (1.4 to 1.5 kg) of meat in my 6-quart Instant Pot. I cut the meat into big chunks so it fits into the pot in one layer. This way, the cooking liquid will just cover the meat once the cooking is done. If you have a larger Instant Pot, you probably can cook more beef in one batch without doubling the sauce.

I would not recommend cooking this dish in a small batch. First of all, you will need exactly the same amount of time to cook a small batch. Plus, you will end up using more water if cooking it on the stovetop, or need to double the braising seasoning if cooking in a pressure cooker. It will dilute the broth and result in a taste that isn’t as rich.

Beef brisket and beef tongue with seasonings in Instant Pot

3. Homemade ingredients are key

Yes, it takes a lot of time to make chili oil and flavored sweet soy sauce from scratch, but it is totally worth the effort. These two ingredients stay well in the fridge for months, and you can use them to make many other dishes. For example, Sichuan Wontons in Red Oil, Lanzhou Beef Ramen, Sichuan Chicken in Red Oil, and Vegetarian Chow Mein. These two ingredients will make your dishes taste like the real-deal Sichuan food in China.

To make the best Sichuan food, I highly recommend getting some premium Sichuan peppercorns and chili flakes from The Mala Market. Their products are some of the freshest available and are imported directly from Sichuan.

Assembled Fu Qi Fei Pian with Sichuan chili sauce and aromatics

4. Cooking in advance is a great idea

This dish is perfect for meal-prep or hosting an impressive Chinese dinner. You can make the beef and the sauce a day in advance and assemble it a couple hours before serving. The beef will soak up the sauce and taste so good. When I make this dish for my friend, I always save some for myself and serve it on top of rice. So irresistible!

After my friend tasted my dish, she loved it so much and demanded more. She told me that it tasted even better than the restaurant version, because my dish had a fresher taste, plus all the seasonings were on point!

Fu Qi Fei Pian close up

More real-deal Sichuan recipes

 

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Fu Qi Fei Pian (Sichuan Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce, 夫妻肺片)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 
Tender beef slices are served in a rich, spicy hot sauce and topped with peanut flakes and cilantro. To make a gluten-free dish, replace the soy sauce with tamari, replace the Chinkiang vinegar with rice vinegar, and use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine. Note, the nutrition below is an estimation based on the calculation of beef brisket.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: pressure cooker
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 382 kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu
Ingredients
  • 3 to 3.5 lbs (1.3 to 1.5 kg) beef brisket , chuck, tongue, and/or tripe (I used a mixture of brisket and tongue) (*Footnote 1)
Braising
Sauce
Topping options
  • Chopped cilantro , toasted sesame seeds, and/or chopped toasted peanuts for garnish
Instructions
Braise
  1. (Option 1 - stovetop) Place the beef in a big pot and add water to cover by 1 inch. Cook over medium-high heat until boiling. Turn to medium heat and boil for 10 minutes. Skim the surface using a fine mesh strainer and discard the foam until the broth turns clear. Add all the braising ingredients. Turn to medium-low heat. Simmer, covered, until the beef turns tender but not tender enough to fall apart, 2 hours or so.
  2. (Option 2) Place the beef in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Add all the braising ingredients and 1 cup water. Close and seal the lid. If using a pressure cooker, cook over medium heat until the pressure is achieved, then turn to medium-low heat. Cook at high pressure for 35 minutes. Use natural release once done.
  3. Once the beef is done, transfer to a plate to cool enough to handle. Slice the beef against the grain into 1/8-inch (4-cm) pieces. (*Footnote 4) Now you can serve the beef or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days before serving.
Sauce
  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. For an even better result, mix the sauce in advance and let sit for a couple hours before serving.
Serve
  1. Cut the beef into thin slices. Transfer to a deep plate. Drizzle with plenty of sauce, top with cilantro, sesame seeds, and peanuts.
  2. Serve at room temperature as an appetizer or a main dish. (*Footnote 5)
Recipe Notes
  1. The real-deal Fu Qi Fei Pian served in China is usually a mixture of cheap cuts of beef and innards, such as tripe or heart. If you are not comfortable using innards, simply use a large cut of beef, such as brisket, chuck, pot roast, or eye round roast. My favorite combination is brisket and beef tongue.
  2. Get the braising liquid from the pot once you’re done cooking the beef.
  3. If you do not have this ingredient, you can also use 2 tablespoons soy sauce plus 2 teaspoons sugar as a substitution, though your sauce will lose its thick consistency.
  4. If using beef tongue, do remember to remove and discard the tough skin once you finish braising.
  5. The beef will taste best when it’s fresh and still a bit warm. If you store it in the fridge, you can gently heat it up in the microwave before serving. It will revive the beef, making the texture tender and bringing out its flavor, which helps it soak up more sauce.
Nutrition Facts
Fu Qi Fei Pian (Sichuan Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce, 夫妻肺片)
Amount Per Serving (8 g)
Calories 382 Calories from Fat 158
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17.6g 27%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 412mg 17%
Potassium 713mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 1.1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%
Sugars 0.2g
Protein 52g 104%
Calcium 1%
Iron 179%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Fu Qi Fei Pian (Sichuan Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce) recipe gives you the real-deal Sichuan experience. The tender beef slices are served in a rich, spicy hot sauce and topped with peanut flakes and cilantro. #glutenfree #beef #instantpot #chinese #recipes

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One thought on “Fu Qi Fei Pian (Sichuan Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce, 夫妻肺片)

  1. Ben

    Hi!

    I tried to make this last night and I had a few questions:
    1) I did did 35 mins on my instant pot in high pressure for tripe and beef shank, however, it seemed like the beef shank fell apart and was more like stewed meat. Is that the texture we’re looking for?
    2) Pressure cooking the tripe seems to have produced a stench that was emitted in the air and also in the braising liquid. Is that normal?
    3) I’ve some braising liquid left and I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what I could do with it.

    Thank you!
    Ben

    Reply