Like most common known way to preserve meat, Yunnan people are so used to make beef jerky with spices for centuries. In Yunnan, beef jerky is been called “niu gan ba”, which means “dried beef”. People in Yunnan, especially the Hui people would select hind leg and other parts of high-quality beef, supplemented by a moderate amount of salt, pepper and other spices to preserve beef. Niu gan ba could be found at almost every Hui restaurant and most of the local restaurants. Its salty and chewy texture make it so popular among locals and even foreigners who first set foot in Yunnan.
One of the popular ways to cook it is to dice the preserved beef into smaller slices and to put them into warm oil together with dried chili, black pepper, Zanthoxylum bungeanum, ginger, and peppermint leaves until the meat is done. Add some white sugar on top instead of some salt makes the preserved beef taste even better.