You could reserve the flavoursome broth used to poach the beef and serve it on the side, or freeze it and use it as a base for Chinese-style soups.
- 2 telegraph cucumbers, halved lengthways, seeds removed
- 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 50 ml sesame oil
- 1 tbsp chilli oil
- 1 cup (loosely packed) coriander
Star anise-poached beef
- 30 ml peanut oil
- 430 gm piece of beef fillet
- 2 litres (8 cups) beef stock
- 60 ml (¼ cup) dark soy sauce
- 6 star anise
- 1 cassia quill
- 1For star anise-poached beef, heat peanut oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add beef fillet and brown well all over (3-4 minutes), then transfer to a plate lined with absorbent paper, set aside. Meanwhile, combine stock, soy sauce and spices in a saucepan, season to taste and bring to the simmer over medium heat. Add beef, reduce heat to low, simmer until medium-rare (12-15 minutes), remove beef (broth can reserved for another use).
- 2Cut cucumber into 5cm-long batons, place in a bowl, combine with 2 tsp sea salt and mix well. Stand for 15 minutes, then rinse under cold running water and pat dry with absorbent paper, set aside. Meanwhile, dry-roast peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until fragrant (1 minute), then combine with cucumber, oils and coriander.
- 3Divide cucumber salad among plates, place thinly sliced beef on top, serve immediately.