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Chinese Beef Stew

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Chunks of beef slowly braised in an authentic Chinese manner. Nearly any tough cut of beef can be made magically tender and flavorful with this technique.

. Prep
30 min.
2 hrs
Ready In
3 hrs
8 servings
Trans-fat Free, Low Carb
Metric measurements


3pounds beef brisket or stew beef
4tablespoons peanut oil
3tablespoons hoisin sauce
4tablespoons shaoxing wine or sherry, dry*
4tablespoons soy sauce thin
1tablespoon garlicVideo minced
1each star anise whole*
1teaspoon sichuan peppercorns roasted and crushed, sub black peppercorns if unavailable*
1teaspoon five spice powder *
2teaspoons sugarVideo
6cups water
1 1/2each chinese (icicle) radish roll cut or turnips*
* not incl. in nutrient facts


Tough beef is most flavorful, but you must simmer it gently for several hours to soften the sinewy muscle.

Slow braising also encourages an exchange of flavors between the meat and the tangy sauce, enhancing both.

Chinese radish adds just the right bite, much as turnips would in a Western stew.

In effect, this is Chinese beef stew.

Game meats or goat meat may be substituted for the beef for a delicious and unusual variation.

Oxtails can also be braised in this manner, or even veal shanks.

Almost any cut of meat or organ that requires extensive cooking does well if braised.

The strong sauce keeps the meat flavorful throughout.

Turnips or carrots may be substituted for the Chinese radish, and chestnuts have a strong, sweet taste that holds up well to braising.

Make a diagonal slice, roll daikon 1/4 turn and slice again.

Continue rolling and cutting until done.

1. The preferred cut is brisket of beef, a boneless piece of tough meat from the underside of the steer, because of its rich, gelatinous texture when cooked.

It is sold in Chinese meat markets as Chinese stew beef.

Any tough beef cut can be used, such as boneless chuck and bottom round.

2. Trim away the outer layers of fat.

3. Cut the meat into 1 1/2 inch strips.

4. Cut the strips into cubes.

5. Brown the meat on all sides in a wok over a high flame in 3 tablespoons of oil, Set it aside.

6. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Bring them to a boil.

7. Add the beef to the sauce, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the wok, and braise the beef for 2 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, add the roll-cut radish.

Cook for 30 minutes more, until both the beef and radish are tender.

8. Serve the stew immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

First published: last updated: 2014-12-20

5 stars - based on 8 ratings, best: 5, worst: 0, reviews: 2

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about 1 year


about 6 years

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yummy!!!!! my family love it thank you for the recipe!!!!
i add in carrots, onion, 1 tsp cloves and 1 tsp whole pepper as well.

vancouver bc about 4 years ago

Fantastic recipe! We added a little more sugar, we thought it brought out more of the flavors. We also made a giant pot which was perfect to make and then freeze so we could have it throughout a few months.

-Thank you!

Liverpool, United States over 3 years ago

Made it in a crock pot, cooked for 8 hours! Came out great! I would probably reduce the amount of water by a cup or so to get a thicker sauce next time. Also added carrots and substituted the shaoxing wine for saki.

Vallejo, California almost 3 years ago

This is fantastically great. I hope I can do it again next time.

almost 3 years ago

It looks great, and the recipe seems to be easily followed. For sure I will try it someday. Thanks for sharing.

Jakarta, Indonesia about 2 years ago

Awesome dish that took me back to Chongqing old days, this recipe is a keeper! Great stew to add cauliflower, broccoli, carrots or boil these aside and serve separately to the dish ( like in China ), and of course rise!

West Coast, Sweden almost 2 years ago

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 370g (13.1 oz)
Amount per Serving
Calories 67471% of calories from fat
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 53g 82%
Saturated Fat 19g 96%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 157mg 52%
Sodium 673mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Sugars g
Protein 85g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 2% Iron 25%
* based on a 2,000 calorie diet How is this calculated?

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