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Beef Stew Recipe Chinese Style: A Palate-Pleasing Twist to a Classic Dish

Do you want a hearty and comforting dish to warm you up during the colder months? Then a Chinese-style beef stew might be just what you need. This dish is a classic in Chinese cuisine and is known for its rich and savoury broth, tender beef cuts, and aromatic spices and vegetables. It's a perfect make-ahead recipe that requires little prep and can provide you with delicious dinners for the next couple of days.

A bubbling pot of Chinese-style beef stew simmers with tender chunks of meat, carrots, and potatoes in a savory, aromatic broth

To make a Chinese-style beef stew, you'll need a few essential ingredients like beef brisket, daikon radish, ginger, scallion, star anise, cloves, bay leaves, and Shaoxing wine. The beef brisket and tendon are the most suitable cuts of meat for this dish as they are tough but very flavourful, which is ideal for stewing. Other cuts of beef like chuck, beef shanks, and rump can also be used, but brisket has layers of fats between the lean meat, which works best for slow cooking.

To prepare this dish, you'll need to blanch the beef brisket first. This will help to remove any impurities and ensure that the meat is tender and flavourful. Then you'll need to braise the beef in a rich and savoury broth with potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables until it's super tender and flavourful. You can also add warm spices like cinnamon and star anise to give it a uniquely Asian flavour. Serve it with steamed rice or noodles for a complete meal.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese-style beef stew is a classic dish in Chinese cuisine that features tender beef cuts, aromatic spices and vegetables, and a rich and savoury broth.
  • The essential ingredients for this dish include beef brisket, daikon radish, ginger, scallion, star anise, cloves, bay leaves, and Shaoxing wine.
  • Blanching the beef brisket and braising it in a rich broth with vegetables are the key preparation techniques for this dish. Serve it with steamed rice or noodles for a complete meal.

Essential Ingredients

A steaming pot of Chinese-style beef stew simmers on a stove, filled with chunks of tender beef, vibrant vegetables, and fragrant spices

If you want to make a delicious Chinese-style beef stew, you need to start with the right ingredients. Here are some key elements you should keep in mind:

Choosing the Right Beef

The most important ingredient in any beef stew is, of course, the beef. When it comes to Chinese-style beef stew, you should choose a cut that contains a good amount of fat and collagen. Brisket is an excellent choice because it has layers of fat between the lean meat, which works best for slow cooking. Other suitable cuts include beef tendon and shank.

Key Chinese Flavours

The secret to making a tasty Chinese-style beef stew is to use the right combination of flavours. The following ingredients are essential for creating the unique taste of this dish:

  • Soy sauce: both light and dark soy sauce are used in this recipe. Light soy sauce adds saltiness to the dish, while dark soy sauce provides a rich, caramel colour.
  • Star anise: this spice has a sweet, licorice-like flavour and is commonly used in Chinese cuisine.
  • Ginger: adds a warm, spicy flavour to the dish.
  • Garlic: enhances the overall flavour of the dish.
  • Scallions: add a fresh, onion-like flavour to the dish.
  • Spices: cinnamon and black pepper are common spices used in Chinese-style beef stew.
  • Shaoxing wine: a type of Chinese rice wine that adds depth of flavour to the dish.
  • Rock sugar: adds a subtle sweetness to the dish.
  • Chu hou paste: a fermented soybean paste that adds umami flavour to the dish.
  • Hoisin sauce: a sweet and savoury sauce that adds complexity to the dish.

Seafood can also be used in this recipe to add a unique twist to the dish. Shrimp, squid or scallops can be used as a substitute for beef, or they can be added to the dish alongside the beef for added flavour.

Preparation Techniques

Chunks of marinated beef sizzling in a hot wok with garlic, ginger, and spices, surrounded by colorful vegetables and simmering in a savory broth

Blanching and Cleaning Beef

Before cooking, it is important to blanch and clean the beef. Blanching helps to remove impurities and eliminate the gamey taste, thus producing a cleaner broth. To blanch the beef, bring a pot of water to boil and add the beef. Boil for a few minutes until the beef turns slightly brown. Drain the beef and rinse it under cold water to remove any impurities.

After blanching, clean the beef by removing any excess fat and dry it with a paper towel. This will help to prevent the beef from becoming too fatty or dry during cooking.

Marinating for Flavour

Marinating the beef is an important step to add flavour to the dish. You can use a variety of marinades such as soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, ginger, garlic, and star anise. Marinate the beef for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. This will help to tenderize the beef and enhance its flavour.

If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use prawns or squid. To add prawns, you can add them to the stew during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. Squid can be added at the beginning of the cooking process. Make sure to clean and prepare the seafood before adding it to the stew.

By following these preparation techniques, you can ensure that your Chinese beef stew turns out tender and flavourful.

Cooking Methods

A large wok sizzles with chunks of beef, ginger, and garlic, as a rich, aromatic broth simmers nearby, filling the air with the scent of star anise and cinnamon

When it comes to cooking Chinese beef stew, there are several methods you can use to achieve tender and flavourful results. Here are three popular ways to cook Chinese beef stew:

Stovetop Braising

Stovetop braising is a traditional method of cooking Chinese beef stew. To braise beef, you'll need to sear the beef on the stovetop before adding it to a pot with aromatic vegetables and broth. Then, you'll need to simmer it on low heat for a few hours until the beef is tender. This method requires a bit of patience, but the results are worth it.

Using a Dutch Oven

A Dutch oven is a versatile piece of cookware that can be used for stovetop braising and oven braising. To braise beef in a Dutch oven, you'll need to sear the beef on the stovetop, add it to the Dutch oven with vegetables and broth, and then braise it in the oven for a few hours until the beef is tender. This method requires less attention than stovetop braising and can be a good option if you have other things to do while the beef is cooking.

Instant Pot Instructions

Using an Instant Pot is a great way to make Chinese beef stew quickly. To make beef stew in an Instant Pot, you'll need to sear the beef using the Instant Pot's sauté function, add the vegetables and broth, and then pressure cook the stew for about an hour. This method is perfect if you're short on time but still want to enjoy a flavourful and tender beef stew.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try adding seafood to your Chinese beef stew recipe. Shrimp and scallops are great options that can add a unique twist to your stew. Just make sure to add them towards the end of the cooking process to prevent overcooking.

Accompaniments and Side Dishes

A steaming bowl of Chinese-style beef stew sits on a rustic wooden table, surrounded by small dishes of pickled vegetables and steamed rice

When it comes to serving Chinese beef stew, there are a few accompaniments and side dishes that perfectly complement the dish. In this section, we will discuss the perfect rice pairing and vegetable selections that you can serve with your Chinese beef stew.

Perfect Rice Pairing

Rice is a staple in Chinese cuisine, and it pairs perfectly with Chinese beef stew. You can serve your beef stew with steamed white rice or brown rice. The rice will help to absorb the rich and flavorful broth of the beef stew.

If you want to add some variety to your rice, you can also try adding some chopped green onions or spring onions to your rice. This will add a fresh and aromatic flavor to your rice that will complement the beef stew perfectly.

Vegetable Selections

Chinese beef stew is a hearty and filling dish, but it is always good to have some vegetables on the side to balance out the meal. You can serve your beef stew with a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, daikon radish, and potatoes. These root vegetables will add some texture and sweetness to the dish.

If you want to add some more greens to your meal, you can also serve your beef stew with some steamed bok choy or Chinese broccoli. These vegetables will add some freshness and crunch to the dish.

If you want to add some seafood to your beef stew, you can try adding some shrimp or scallops to the dish. These seafood options will add some sweetness and depth to the dish. However, it is important to note that seafood should only be added if it complements the other ingredients in the dish.

Serving and Presentation

A steaming bowl of Chinese-style beef stew is placed on a wooden table, garnished with fresh green onions and served with a side of fluffy white rice

Plating Techniques

When it comes to plating your Chinese-style beef stew, keep in mind that it's all about the presentation. You want to make sure that your dish looks as appetizing as possible. One great way to do this is to serve it in a large bowl with some noodles on the bottom. This will not only add some texture to your dish but also make it more filling.

Another plating technique that you can use is to garnish your dish with some sliced scallions or spring onions. This will add some colour to your dish and also give it a fresh taste. You can also add some daikon radish or other root vegetables to your dish to give it more texture.

Garnishing for Aesthetics

To make your Chinese-style beef stew look even more appetizing, you can add some garnishes to it. One great garnish to use is a cornstarch slurry. This will not only thicken your sauce but also give it a glossy appearance. You can also add some chopped herbs or spices to your dish to give it more flavour.

If you want to add some seafood to your Chinese-style beef stew, you can use shrimp or scallops. These will not only add some protein to your dish but also give it a unique flavour. You can also add some chopped vegetables or herbs to your seafood to make it even more delicious.

Overall, serving and presenting your Chinese-style beef stew is all about getting creative. Use your imagination and experiment with different plating techniques and garnishes to make your dish look and taste amazing.

Frequently Asked Questions

A large pot simmering with chunks of beef, colorful vegetables, and aromatic Chinese spices, emitting a mouthwatering aroma

What's the trick to getting really tender beef in a Chinese-style stew?

The key to tender beef in a Chinese-style stew is to use a tougher cut of meat and cook it low and slow. Brisket, chuck, or beef shank are great options. Cut the meat into cubes, and sear it in a hot pan before adding it to the stew. This will help to lock in the juices and add flavour to the meat.

How can I make my beef stew more flavourful with a Chinese twist?

To give your beef stew a Chinese twist, add aromatics such as star anise, cinnamon, and ginger. Soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and oyster sauce are also great flavour boosters. You can also add vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and daikon radish to give the stew more depth of flavour.

What's the best cut of beef to use for a slow-cooked Chinese stew?

The best cuts of beef for a slow-cooked Chinese stew are brisket, chuck, or beef shank. These cuts have a lot of connective tissue, which breaks down during the long cooking process and makes the meat tender and flavourful.

Can you suggest an easy and simple Chinese-style beef stew recipe for beginners?

Sure! Here's a simple recipe for Chinese-style beef stew:

Ingredients:

  • 1kg beef brisket, cut into cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  5. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Serve hot with steamed rice.

How do I incorporate daikon into a Chinese beef stew?

Daikon radish is a common ingredient in Chinese beef stew. Peel the daikon and cut it into large chunks. Add it to the stew during the last hour of cooking, so it has enough time to cook through but doesn't turn to mush.

What are some tips for making a spicy beef stew with an Asian flair?

To make a spicy beef stew with an Asian flair, add chilli flakes, Szechuan peppercorns, or dried chillies to the stew. You can also use gochujang (Korean chilli paste) or doubanjiang (Chinese chilli bean paste) for a deeper, more complex flavour. For an extra kick of umami, you can also add seafood like shrimp or squid to the stew.