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Szechuan Milanesa Sandwich

by Brad Prose
szechuan milanesa
spicy, crispy, savory crazy combo

Gimme that heat!

This Szechuan Milanesa Sandwich is a combo of ingredients from many cultures. I really just wanted to create an incredibly delicious sandwich based off of techniques and flavors that I love. I almost objected to referring to it as szechuan or milanesa but they were the most familiar options to name. I’m not claiming any authenticity here, this is just mouth-watering food.

milanesa
Milanesa de res: flattened, breaded & seasoned top round steak

My wife has been asking me to make milanesa de res (beef) for awhile and I finally remembered. The roughest description would be to say it’s a thinly-pounded steak coated in breadcrumbs and fried, similar to a chicken fried steak or schnitzel.

Nashville hot chicken is a super trend, meaning I can find a version of it at quite a few fast food restaurants, bars, breweries and even some BBQ joints. I stress *version* as what is served is usually not close to the real deal. Seeing it on a menu compels me to order it every time too, hoping that it’s somewhat close to authentic and I’m regularly disappointed.

I’m sure you’re putting the pieces together, my jump from milanesa to Nashville hot chicken. Here we have a cultural mashup where toasted szechuan peppercorns are part of my version to create that numbing profile that leaves you craving more. If you haven’t worked with them before, buy some.

szechuan milanesa sandwich
go on, take a bite.

NOTES:
I used quick pickled cucumbers in the photo, but you could use any sort of toppings that have some acid: pickles, avocado, pickled onions, coleslaw, etc. Whole grain mustard is a great addition as well.

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szechuan milanesa sandwich

Szechuan Milanesa Sandwich

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Indoor Cooking
  • Cuisine: Sandwich

Description

This Szechuan Milanesa Sandwich is a combo of ingredients from many cultures. I really just wanted to create an incredibly delicious sandwich based on techniques and flavors that I love.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.50 lbs thin cut top round beef (pounded out thin)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Ritz crackers, blitzed into crumbs (approx 1.5 tubes of Ritz)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Neutral oil for frying

Szechuan Spicy Paste

  • ½ cup hot frying oil
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 3 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat up a skillet with roughly 1/2″ of neutral oil until it’s ready for frying (oil should be shimmering).
  2. Heat up 1/2 C neutral oil in a small pot, this is going to be used for the spice paste. Heat it until almost shimmering, similar to the skillet you’re cooking with. If you are using whole peppercorns and szechuan peppercorns, toast them briefly and grind them. Combine all spices and vinegar in a glass bowl. Once the oil is hot, pour it into the spices and whisk. The hot oil helps the spices bloom.
  3. If the steak isn’t super thin, pound it thin to about 1/8″ inch. Whisk the eggs in one bowl, and add the Ritz crackers and seasonings in another bowl.
  4. Dip each steak in eggs, then the breading. Make sure to press the crumbs in all of the crevices. Place on a wire rack while the oil is heating up.
  5. Fry each steak for about 3 minutes on each side, being careful not to burn. Use your judgement – flip sooner (or later) if necessary. It’s a thin steak so it doesn’t take long to cook. Once they are done, place them on a wire rack to make sure they stay crispy.
  6. Generously brush each steak with the spice paste. If you’re stacking steaks (like you should) on a sandwich there’s no need to brush both sides. Top with your favorite pickles, consume and regret not making a double batch.

Notes

I used quick pickled cucumbers in the photo, but you could use any sort of toppings that have some acid: pickles, avocado, pickled onions, coleslaw, etc. Whole grain mustard is a great addition as well.

Keywords: spicy, sandwich

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