Chinese Red Cooked Beef

It’s the end of the month and that means I’m up to my eyeballs in photo editing and post writing. Several blog challenges are due and as usual, I’ve left a couple of them until the last minute. I’ve enjoyed cooking the recipes and photographing the results, but the writing maybe just takes a bit more of an effort. It doesn’t always come naturally so you can always tell when I’m forcing a blog post.

Fortunately I don’t have to force anything with this post about the ‘Around the World in Twelve Plates’ challenge by Gabby of The Food Girl in Town. This blogger is no stranger to blog challenges having cooked every cover recipe from Food and Wine magazine back in 2013. I like blog challenges because they make me feel accountable and because they force me to cook dishes that I wouldn’t otherwise consider. Gabby says she enjoys them because she “learned new cooking skills, acquired some awesome kitchen gadgets, and stocked my spice cupboard like a baller”. Ditto lady…ditto! One look at the recipes available on my blog and you will notice that A) I bake a lot BUT more importantly B) I love to cook dishes from other countries. That’s what makes this sort of a challenge extra fun for me.

So what is the Around the World in Twelve Plates Challenge (ATW12P for short)? Each month we cook a meal or dish from a country of Gabby’s choosing. Since this challenge is designed to stretch our abilities, tummies, and pantry shelves she has taken Italian, French, and Indian off the list of possible cuisines. Well, that still leaves literally a whole world of possibilities and this month our cooking challenge country is CHINA. I’m not talking about Ginger Beef (did you know this dish was invented in Calgary?) or any kind of ‘Americanized’ version of Chinese take out dishes. No more Moo Goo Gai Pan or Almond Gai Ding…only an authentic dish is acceptable for this challenge. Remember, we want to stretch our limits here!


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I happen to own a brilliant Chinese cookbook from Kian Lam Kho called Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees. Kian wrote this cookbook specifically for people like me who may not have had a lot of exposure to authentic Chinese cooking. He included a brilliant section on pantry basics and tools, chapters on different techniques, and explains all the regions of Chinese cooking. If you are wanting to learn more about this cuisine (and even if you know quite a bit about Chinese cooking), I highly recommend this cookbook. I don’t own a properly seasoned wok, so I chose the low and slow method of braising for my ATW12P challenge. While the  Red Cooking Technique can be applied to almost any protein, I used this slow braise method with stew beef. The combined aromas from the star anise, cinnamon bark, dried orange peel, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds were driving us crazy all afternoon but the end result was worth it!

I think everyone had a lot of fun with January’s challenge…check them all out here:


Korena in the Kitchen:

The Food Girl in Town:


If you make this Chinese Red Cooked Beef recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section or in the ratings. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please share your photos and tag me on Instagram. I hope you like this recipe!

Yield: 4 servings

Chinese Red Cooked Beef

Chinese Red Cooked Beef

A comforting traditional Chinese Red Cooked Beef Stew. The slow braising method creates melt in your mouth beef stew scented with star anise, cinnamon bark, dried orange peel, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 pound stew beef or chuck; cut into one inch cubes
  • 4 cups beef stock, or the liquid from the parboiling, or water. Plus more as needed.
  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 inch long piece of fresh ginger; crushed with flat side of the knife
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 – 2 inch square piece of cassia bark
  • 1 – 2 inch square of dried tangerine peel
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 dried red chilies (optional)
  • 1 medium carrot; cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium daikon radish; cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon green onion; chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro; chopped


  1. Place the beef in a dutch oven and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and skim off surface scum for about ten minutes.
  2. If using stock, drain parboiling liquid, otherwise add dark soy sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and sugar to the dutch oven.
  3. Place star anise, cassia bark, tangerine peel, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and chilies into a multilayered cheesecloth to make a bouquet garni.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce temperature and cover. Cook for 2 hours, replenishing liquid as needed.
  5. Add the carrot and daikon, and ensure they are immersed in the braising liquid. Add more if needed.
  6. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  7. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 1248mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 51g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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  1. diversivore

    I know how good this is. Chinese red cooking spices are so freaking fantastic, and they absolutely shine when it comes to beef. I’m also glad to see that Kho’s cookbook is still giving you so much to work with. It really seems like a wonderful book. I’m also pleased that you specified cassia and not cinnamon – nothing against cinnamon, but it really is cassia that belongs in this recipe (which is good, since it’s so much easier to find). I must say, I rarely use carrots in Chinese slow-cooked dishes, but I think that it’s probably a great fit. Anyway… you’re making me hungry! Great stuff Bernice 😀


  2. Korena in the Kitchen

    Wow, that sounds tasty! For some reason I (ignorantly) never associated low and slow with Chinese cooking – I’ve just learned something new with this challenge 😉


    1. dishnthekitchen

      yep, there are several different techniques…that’s why I love the cookbook so much!

  3. sugarlovespices

    Beautiful, Bernice! We own the same cookbook and decided to cook from it for this challenge! Each recipe we tried was great and what’s more important, authentic! Your dish looks fantastic and I already know the flavors are the same! Can’t wait to see which Country is next!


    1. dishnthekitchen

      It really is a great book for beginners and those advanced in Chinese cookery. It’s one of the few cookbooks I’ve sat down and read cover to cover.

  4. Gabby Peyton

    YUM!!!! I’m def going to make this soon! Keep the pantry stocking coming 😉


    1. dishnthekitchen

      To be honest, it’s pretty easy and the taste is FAB. I’ve also made it with pork belly, though the texture is not for everyone.

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