1 pound beef steak (such as a skirt, flatiron or flank)
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
4 tablespoons (a handful) Chinese braising spices (such as star anise, fennel, cassia bark, bay leaf, cloves, Cao Guo, sand ginger, etc.)
1-inch ginger, thinly sliced
2 green onions, cut in half
1 cup peanut or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons chili oil with flakes
4 teaspoons Sichuan chili flakes
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon red or green Sichuan pepper powder (more if the pepper isn’t fresh and strong)
Add 4 cups chicken broth to a medium saucepan along with Shaoxing wine, Chinese spices, ginger, and green onions. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow the broth to simmer while you cook the beef.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the whole steak. Cook at a low boil for about 15 minutes, until it is mostly cooked through. Remove steak and let it cool enough to cut. Slice into thick batons about 1/2-inch wide and 2-3 inches long.
Heat wok until hot, then adds 1 cup of oil or enough to deep-fry the meat. Heat oil to about 325° and add beef slices. Deep-fry beef until it is browned and crispy over half of the surface area. Remove from oil and set aside.
Returning to the spiced broth, remove it from heat and strain the broth, leaving the spices behind.
Pour off oil, clean wok, and return to heat. When wok is hot, add about 1 tablespoon fresh oil to the wok as well as 1 CUP of the spiced broth, salt, and sugar. Add the beef and bring the broth to a boil, then lower the heat and braise the beef at a low simmer for several minutes, until only 3-4 tablespoons of broth remain in the wok.
Turn heat off and add chili oil, chili flakes, sesame oil, and Sichuan pepper powder. Mix all ingredients well, then remove beef to a serving bowl. When cool, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve at room temperature.
The remaining broth is delicious as a noodle soup base. Refrigerate or freeze for later use.