Chinese Chili Recipe (2024)



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Cooking Notes

Ed Hawco

Just a side note: it's a bit silly to specify "San Marzano" tomatoes in a recipe like this. The subtle distinctions that justify the higher price for San Marzanos are completely lost in a recipe like this (i.e., all those spices and sauces overwhelm those fine distinctions). Any decent Roma tomatoes will work just as well.

Roni Jordan

I just finished prepping this for dinner, following the recipe almost exactly - simply left out the habanero so as not to blast my family off the planet. Finished result much too soupy for my liking, so I added enough semolina flour - 2-3 tbsp - to thicken it up a bit and concentrate the sauce flavors. Much better. Also added 1 can of Goya black beans and will serve with white rice and cornbread.


Most asians use either Tapioca flour/starch, cornstarch or potato starch(Japanese), mixed with water to create a slurry for thickening vs. flour less potential for clumping and don't have that problem of raw flour taste if not cooked out. FYI!


This is a really interesting dish. I used ground beef since this is going t get reheated for a work pot luck and simmered it with the lid off to concentrate the liquid. Delicious.


A great chili. My family's favorite. You may want to cut down on jalapeños and habanero. (I cut the quantity in 1/2. At that level it is quite spicy but still delicious.). I serve w cilantro, sour cream and some grated cheese. Added black beans once and that was good too. Have also gone w 1 lb pork and lb beef, also good.


Used a Christmas ale, thinking it would complement the five spice (mistake). Served the leftovers over quick-sautéed shredded cabbage in flour tortillas mu shu style - delightful!


I would consider halving or eliminating the habanero in this, as it overwhelmed the dish. Otherwise interesting chili and would make again.


I used a 24 oz can of tomatoes and a half teaspoon of sugar in place of hoisin sauce.


You might also give Masa Harina, traditional Mexican corn flour traditionally used to thicken chili, a try. It has a unique flavor.


Interesting dish, but I think it needs some tweaks. I would halve the five spice for a start. I think this might work really well in the slow cooker.


Turned out well. I couldn't find a habanero, so I subbed a poblano. We had it with soba noodles and bok choy braised in chicken broth, a few drops of soy sauce, and a teaspoon of spicy bean paste on the side.


There's a dish similar to this that I had at a Xinjiang restaurant in Beijing (I know, other end of the continent, but they were legit). It had thick flour/egg noodles cooked into it at the end, kind of like a spicy numbing Chinese chili-mac. I highly recommend trying something like that in this! Udon would be good, or even macaroni. I can't wait to try it!


This was delicious, but trimming and dicing the brisket was a huge pain. If I make it again, I will use some type of ground beef.With all the comments about the habanero overwhelming the chili, I decided to leave that out, and just added chili oil at the end to get my desired level of heat.


Not my favorite. Definitely halve the five spice powder as other reviewers said, but still, it's not worth making to me. If I want chili, I want an intense chili flavor. If I want Chinese food, I want an intense Chinese food flavor. This is halfway in-between.


I really enjoyed this recipe. I tried it because it sounded interesting and will make it again because it was good. I used beef broth instead of beer (didn't have any at the time), omitted Sichuan peppercorns (not a fan of the numbness) and added in some spicy bean paste which gave it a bit of a mapo tofu type vibe, worked extremely well here.

Peggy Mendes-Stern

Diced brisket needed 2.5 hrs on stovetop to get soft n chewy. That’s okay because it was too soupy and could cook down. Two jalapeños were perfect. No other hot peppers needed. Added a 14oz can of black beans last half hr. Great addition. Quite tasty Asian chili. Left out the five spice per many recommendations. It’s quite strong and detracts from the other flavors. Added more ginger. Served over crispy fried Chinese noodles. Topped with chopped scallions and cilantro and chili oil. Yummy.


Meh, this was okay but I wouldn't cook it again. I'm Chinese and used the exact ingredients. Thought it might be interesting but it wasn't. BTW, there is no such dish in the Chinese culture, it just uses Chinese ingredients.

Noreen R.

I used ground beef out of laziness, subbed 1 anaheim for 2 jalapenos, omitted habanero, upped the ginger, subbed gochugaru because that's what I had, and added tomato paste cause I wanted it thicker. I also sauteed the vegetables in chili crisp oil and garnished with cilantro, green onions and extra chili crisp. I used the full tablespoon of five spice powder, and even added more to taste later. I liked it as did the group I made it for!


I only left out the sichuan peppercorns (because I thought I had them at home but didn't). We aren't a huge fan of them anyway and this dish was tasty without it. I used two large jalapenos & a habanero and there was just enough spiciness, it was actually mild (and I don't like spicy). The complaints? It's a chili, it's supposed to have some liquid, look at the photo. If it's too liquidy for you, continue simmering. It did need some salt/soy in the end and we skipped the chili oil. Easy recipe!


I made a vegetarian version of this with pan-fried crumbled firm tofu and mushrooms instead of meat. It was delicious and savory and reminiscent of mapo tofu! I’ll definitely make it again. I had to add some extra salt, soy sauce, hoisin and Szechuan pepper to make it pop.


Laoganma brand Preserved Black Beans in Chili Oil completed the dish. Also, used a bit of Habanero Hot Pepper Sauce in the bottle instead of the fresh habanero because I didn't have any.


Amazing! The only modifications I made was I doubled the quantity of San Marzano tomatoes and I used reduced sodium beef broth instead of ale. We loved it! I’ll add this to my regular dinner rotation.


Made a batch of hoisin sauce for another recipe so searched and found this dish to use it up - and I am delighted to report it turned out great! I used a pound of fresh cut up San Marzano tomatoes from my garden and Belgian dark lager. Served with rice, chopped cilantro, and the fried Chinese noodles. Omitted the beans. The only variation in prep - I removed most of the excess fat from the brisket before dicing it. Will be adding this dish to the mid-winter rotation.

Samantha S

I’m making this with some ground venison in the back of my freezer. Didn’t have sezchuan peppercorn so I substituted black pepper, ground coriander seed, and lime zest (substitute I found online). Used a diced picked habanero from a jar of pickles I saved, red pepper flakes, and gochujang. Fresh tomatoes from the “ugly but delicious” section of the farmer’s market and a bottle of Newcastle. Simmering now, but it already tastes fantastic!


Strangely, my children gobbled up this chili (I left out the hot peppers and used green bells and sriracha instead), but my husband and I felt it was lacking. I doubt I'd make it again, but if I did, I'd cut way back on the five spice powder. We served with cornbread; maybe rice would have been a better choice.


Delicious. Swapped a serrano for the habanero, and I can't imagine enjoying it much spicier than that--might just stick to the jalapenos next time. The rest of the flavors were phenomenal.


I have to agree with the others, I would not use brisket, nor San Marzano tomatoes for this recipe. I used half of the 5 Spice powder as well. I would actually recommend ground or pulled pork for this recipe. The Chinese have long been pork eaters, not so much American style beef. Also, in place of the beer, I used beef broth and if using pork, I would suggest pork broth.


I really like this as an alternative to American/Tex-Mex chili (boring), and good for winter nights and leftovers. Made it vegetarian -skipped brisket, used TJ's beefless ground beef and 2 cans of white beans instead. Then made it non-veg by using oyster sauce instead of hoisin (had none). Had no beer so used (ahem) flat sparkling wine, had no habaneros, but used extra ginger, 5-spice and sichuan peppercorns --that's what makes this special. Also topped with scallions, sour cream, and avocados.


We make this frequently, and it is amazing! As written, it is tremendously warming and has a great depth of flavor. Make sure you use fresh spices! The last time we made it, we inadvertently subbed diced fire roasted canned tomatoes for the crushed tomatoes, and it added a little sweetness and toned down the acidity of the tomatoes. I recommend it both ways, but next time we'll reach for the fire roasted tomatoes intentionally.

Deborah G.

Made this in the crockpot - meat was very tender but agree with other comments that the overall flavor was “meh”. Served over rice as it is very soupy. Decent but doubt I would make again.

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Chinese Chili Recipe (2024)
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