Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

{Recipe} Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

It’s been a long and really cold in New York City this year and to cope the cold weather I have been visiting some of my favorite dishes such as the chicken meatball soup, and a host of my favorite stew dishes.

While many readers consider the Sichuan Spicy beef stew recipe one of best recipes I have shared to date, I have to say that this Cantonese version beef stew dish that I am sharing today posts as a strong contender to that top spot.

And if you ever get to cook both of them, I’d like to hear which one you like better.

{Recipe} Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

Compared to Sichuan style beef stew, the Cantonese style braised beef is non-spicy, sweet, with unique deep flavors developed from the use of star anise, dried orange peels, Chu Hou / Chee Hou sauce (more about this below).

This classic Cantonese braised beef stew is served from almost all traditional restaurants around the world. It’s served with rice or as a noodle soup topping.

{Recipe} Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

Speaking of tradition, the Lunar Chinese New Year is just around the corner. While there is still some confusion whether the New Year should be called the Year of Sheep, or Goat, or Ram on Feb 19th, it matters very little to the billions of people who are going to celebrate this most important traditional Chinese festivals.

If you plan to cook and need cooking ideas for the New Year celebration, feel free to check out my free cookbook where I share 14 of my personal favorite Chinese New Year dishes.

If you are already an email subscriber to my blog and miss the download link, look for an ebook download link under my email signature.

{Recipe} Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

Getting back to today’s recipe. One of the key condiments for this dish is Chu Hou / Chee Hou sauce 柱侯酱, a soybean based sauce commonly use in Cantonese cooking.

It tastes and looks somewhat like hoisin sauce but more garlicky. It comes in glass jars under different brands and it can be found in most local Chinese supermarkets. If you can’t get a hold of it, you can substitute with hoisin sauce with additional garlic.

{Recipe} Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

Traditionally, this dish calls for beef brisket which is relatively tough cut really flavorful when prepared properly. If you have access to Chinese grocery store, look for the brisket with a layer of membrane attached to the meat.

The membrane a little tougher then the meat but adds even more flavor to the dish.

{Recipe} Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

The best way to serve this mouth-watering dish is to serve it in a clay pot with rice on the side.

Another popular way to serve it is to add the stew to noodle soup similar to the spicy beef noodle soup I shared sometime ago.

If you figure out a better/creative way of serving the dish, do share it in the comment area.

Happy the Year of Sheep/Goat/Ram everyone!!

Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time:15

Cook Time:150

Total Time:165

Make this mouth-watering Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew following this step-by-step recipe at


  • 2lb beef brisket, cut into 1”x2” pieces
  • 1lb daikon radish (optional)
  • 3 clove garlic, sliced
  • 3 slice ginger, 1 inch long each
  • 1.5tbsp chu hou sauce
  • 1tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1tbsp rock sugar
  • 2tbsp cooking wine
  • 1tbsp soy sauce to taste
  • 1/2tbsp dark soy sauce

Salt to taste

  • Scallion and cilantro for garnish
  • Spice
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 dried orange peel, broken into pieces
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Blanch beef brisket in a large pot of boiling water. About 8 minutes. Take the beef out and rinse under cold water. Drain the excess water and set asideantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩
  2. Heat up 1 tbsp of cooking oil in a wok or Dutch oven. Cook sliced garlic and ginger on low heat until aromatic. About 30 secondsantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩
  3. Add chu hou sauce, rock sugar, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and stir fry on low heat for 1 minuteantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩
  4. Put in the blanched beef, star anise, orange peel, and bay leaf, cooking wineantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩
  5. Cook under medium heat until the beef is slightly brown. About 3 minutesantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩
  6. Add 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer with lid on for 2 – 2.5 hours until tender. Turn the beef with a spatula every now and then. Add soy sauce and salt to tasteantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩
  7. (Optional) Add daikon radish cubes and mix with the beef. Bring the stew to boil and simmer with lip on until the radish is soft. About 30 minutes. Sprinkle some scallions and cilantro and serve with white riceantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩

{Recipe} Cantonese Style Braised Beef Stew 炆牛腩


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  2. 21

    #3 you say add ground bean sauce…is that the same as chu hou paste listed in the ingredients??

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  4. 20

    Have you made this in a pressure cooker? I want to make this, but would love to cut the cooking time. Thanks!

    • 20.1

      hi Sheryl, yes you can use a pressure cooker. If you plan to add radish, I’d use pressure cooker for 30 minutes first then another 10 minutes after adding radish. If not, I’d guess 40 mins is more than enough. Hope this helps.

  5. 19

    Hi, I want to try the recipe with the daikon. Do I add it in after the 2-2.5 hours and cook for another 30 minutes or do I add it in 30 minutes before the beef should be done? Does it matter? Thanks!

    • 19.1

      hello Cindy, thanks for checking out my recipe. You’d add the daikon radish 30 minutes before the beef is done. So that’s bascially 1.5-2 hours into cooking (depending on the type of beef used). Hope this helps.

  6. 18

    Is chiu chow the same as chu hou?

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  8. 17

    Thanks for posting this recipe. Shared it with my friends who like to cook Canto food. Your recipe is close to my mom’s and grandma’s (both are native HKers) recipe, but they also add in 南乳.

    Have you tried that yet?

    Keep on posting!

  9. 16

    On the ingredients list I see rock sugar, but I don’t see it anywhere on the directions. When do you put it in?

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  12. 15

    thanks for your sharing many recipes! 

  13. 14

    The daikon must be tasting so sweet, absorbing the essence of this Cantonese braised beef.

  14. 13

    余先生,hope I make write name corrects,
    I love your recipe, I cook it for our church cpgathering today.
    I m sure they would love it.

  15. 12

    Hi Yi, About a year ago, I tried your char siu recipe here in Swaziland. It was excellent! Looking at the beef stew recipe, I can taste my dad’s stew too. I think he usually included some beef tendon for good measure! This weekend, we are roasting a whole pig for a belated Chinese New Year celebration. We’re using a technique with cement blocks and a grate over the top, a la “Three Guys from Miami” and their cuban Christmas roast. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a marinade? The Cuban guys use a citrus, heavy garlic marinade, but we’re trying to go for a more Asian feel. What do you think?

  16. 11

    I’ve had this dish in restaurants and love it. Now I know how to make it at home, thanks!

  17. 10

    The beef is good but my favorite part have always been the daikon.

    Happy Chinese New Year!

  18. 9

    新年快乐!! Wishing you and your family a very safe and happy CNY! Love the addition of Diakon radish in your stew. Perfect as it is cool and damp today in HK, you know the usual CNY weather.

  19. 8

    A szechuan friend taught me a similar recipe with pork shoulder as the meat and some heat supplied by szechuan peppercorns and dried chillies. As we can’t get the radish away from main cities she used potato. It’s always been one of my favourites and I add extra ingredients just for a change eg dried shitake mushroom works well as it absorbs flavours.

  20. 7

    I always love this Cantonese braised beef. This looks so flavourful and delicious.

  21. 6

    This looks terrific! I make red-braised beef stew often, but have never tried the Cantonese one. Gotta try it — this has tons of flavor. Thanks!

  22. 5

    I’m going to use beef cheek meat. It has a lot of flavor and collagen! Yum!! Thanks!

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