Simple Gourmet: Beijing Bear

This tender sweet and spicy recipe is good for bears or any other red meat.

If they hunted bears in China, this might be how they’d eat it…or at least, if bear was on the menu at Panda Express, this is how it would be served. Bear meat goes so well with sweet recipes, and this one works well to tenderize even the toughest cuts.

The real star of this recipe is velveting the meat. Mix egg whites and cornstarch and marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes in the mixture. If you keep it in the fridge, you could do it overnight. Prep it before heading to hunt camp and it’ll be the best camp meal you’ve ever had.

This sauce is delicious, but if you’re doing it in camp you can simplify it a lot. Just buy the Panda Express Beijing beef sauce for a few bucks and add it to the meat and veggies.

Or, buy a jar of grape jelly and a bottle of ketchup or chili sauce. Combine those in equal portions, simmer and add to the meat and veggies.

Slice your meat 1/4′-thick. These should be cut down the middle again to be bite-size.

What You Need

  • 1-3 lbs. of Meat, sliced: I used a chunk of rump from a black bear, but it’d be good with any red meat, including rock chuck. Slice it 1/4″-thick and bite-width.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cornstarch, depending on how much meat you use
  • 3-5 egg whites, beaten
  • Cooking oil for frying (vegetable, canola, etc), probably 1 to 2 Cups.
  • 1 Onion, sliced bite-sized
  • 1 Red bell pepper (optional), sliced bite-sized
  • 6 Garlic cloves, minced, or 2 Tablespoons from a bottle

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper to taste

What You Do

Start by slicing the meat 1/4″ thin across the grain, and then sliced again into bite-sized pieces because it won’t be convenient to cut while eating.

Separate the yolks from the egg whites and beat the whites until frothy. Add the whites to 1 teaspoon of the corn starch. Add the meat to the mixture and coat all sides. Let this marinate for at least half an hour. Prep the sauce and veggies while it sits.

Slice the onion into large bite-sized pieces, and the bell pepper, too. Mince the garlic.

Slice the veggies and mix the sauce while the meat marinates.

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce.

Put at least 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in a bowl large enough for the meat. Take the meat out of the marinade and coat it in the cornstarch. Let that sit while you get the frying oil ready.

Frying outdoors keeps the house from stinking.

I like to fry outside so the house doesn’t smell like oil. My Camp Chef pellet grill has the Sidekick propane burner on it, and a Dutch oven on the burner is perfect for frying the meat — utilizing your camp stove is also a good idea.

You’ll want the oil hot enough that the meat cooks through in about 3 minutes, flipping partway through. As always, the key to cooking with cast iron is preheating long enough at a lower heat so the pan is like a heat battery while you cook.

Brown the onions over high heat.

Before you fry the meat, coat it once more in more cornstarch. This is how you get that thin, crispy-but-tender finish. Fry the meat in small batches, and make sure the meat doesn’t touch each other in the fryer or it’ll pull the batter off. Set the meat aside once it’s all cooked.

Use a skillet or a cast iron wok and a couple of Tablespoons of the frying oil to fry the onions over high heat. I like them browned, but still a little crunchy. Once the onions are done, remove them from the heat. Add the garlic and sauté it for about three minutes.

Simmer the sauce until it thickens, then add the veggies and the meat back in.

Add the sauce to the pan and boil, stirring often. Once it starts to thicken, add the bell peppers, then add the meat back in. Serve it over rice or noodles or even as a hoagie sandwich around the campfire.

The whole family will like this dish. Consider your audience as you add cayenne pepper for a kick.

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About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Paul Hillar May 1, 2021, 2:40 pm

    Love bear meat! People who say it’s greasy or stinky either haven’t ever tried it, or they may have gotten an old bear, but it’s usually because it wasn’t taken care of correctly and that can happen to any meat. I have made quite a few dishes that were devoured before they even knew what they were eating. One of my favorites is Chile Colorado!

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