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Best of Arlington 2018

Peter Chang

Best Spicy Dish: Crazy Beef

Peter Chang, the master chef of Sichuan cooking, gives the Crazy Beef on his menu a 5-out-of-5 pepper rating, and you should take him at his word. Searching for a chili whose intense heat approximated that of Chinese Seven Sisters peppers (so named because they grow seven to a stem), Chang discovered ghost peppers growing in a friend’s yard. To prepare the dish, he marinates sliced beef in hoisin, dark soy and oyster sauces, then stir-fries it with leeks, red onions, dried chilies and sliced ghost peppers that have been stir-fried separately. At first the heat doesn’t seem daunting. But then it magnifies, sets your mouth ablaze, and racks your body like a roller coaster of pleasure and pain. It’s a ride of a lifetime for those who like it hot.


–David Hagedorn