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Star anise-poached beef and Sichuan cucumber salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for star anise-poached beef and Sichuan cucumber salad.

By Rodney Dunn
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus cooling, standing
  • Serves 12
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Star anise-poached beef and Sichuan cucumber salad
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


  • 1
    For 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).
  • 2
    Cut 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.
  • 3
    Divide cucumber salad among plates, place thinly sliced beef on top, serve immediately.