Recipe: Cantonese Beef Stew.

I made this a while back, before the coronavirus became a hot topic of nearly every country in the world. What better time to get in the kitchen and cook than now right? I get that it is frustrating staying home most of the time but in Singapore, we’re blessed to still be able to go out, breathe in fresh air, and get the groceries instead of being in total lockdown. We need to count our blessings no matter how few they seem right now, because there are so many people who have it worse than we do.

I found this Cantonese beef stew recipe that turned out to be a snap to do. I should have used beef cheeks or beef shanks, but I mistakenly got Dad to buy chuck beef. Still, it turned out really well. This should feed about 6 people nicely, and if not, the leftovers can be frozen until another day. I think this stew is best eaten with rice or dry wheat noodles.

I’ll walk you through the process but if you can’t be bothered to go through each step, scroll right down to the bottom of this post for the recipe.


Heat up a non-stick pan with some oil and fry sliced ginger and garlic until fragrant.


Add in the sauces – I mixed 1 tablespoon of hoi sin, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons of chu hou sauce, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon shao xing wine and 1/2 tsp crushed rock sugar.


Add in spices – 2 pc star anise, 2 pcs bay leaf, and 1 pc dried tangerine peel.


Add 800g beef to brown.


And stir in the sauce to coat.


Add in 1.5 cups of water and stir to mix.


You can either bring this to a boil and simmer for 2 hours or so under beef is fork tender. I decided to utilise our slow cooker instead so I threw everything in to sit for a good 8 hours.


About 2 hours beforehand, add in chopped radish, carrots and pumpkin so that they have enough time to cook. If you’re not using the slow cooker, put them in about a half hour to 40 minutes before the end of cooking.




Eat with rice or noodles, and garnish with chopped cilantro.


Cantonese Braised Beef Stew (Serves 6)

800g chuck beef, cut into cubes (use beef cheeks or shank if you can)
3 slices ginger
3 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster sauce
2 Tbsp Chu Hou sauce
1 Tbsp light Soy sauce
1 Tbsp Shao Xing Wine (optional)
1/2 tsp crushed Rock Sugar

3 pcs Star Anise
2 pcs Bay Leaves
1 pc Dried Tangerine peel
1.5 Cups Water

1/2 Radish, chopped into 1″ pcs
2 pcs Carrot, chopped 
Wedge of pumpkin, chopped into 1″ pcs

  1. Mix hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, chu hou sauce, soy sauce, shao xing wine and rock sugar together.
  2. Heat pan with oil and fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. 
  3. Add in sauce mixture and fry a minute.
  4. Add in spices and fry a minute.
  5. Add in beef until all sides are browned. 
  6. Add water.
  7. You can either bring to the boil and simmer 2 – 2.5 hours, adding radish, carrots and pumpkin 30min before the end of cooking. Stir every so often.
    Put everything into the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours until beef is tender. Add vegetables 2 hours before the end of cooking time. I started cooking around 11am so the stew was ready just in time for dinner!

This stew was hearty and comforting, perfect for days like these where life feels uncertain. It’s really not very difficult to make at all considering that the flavour it yields is so complexed. You can opt for different root vegetables or none at all, and cook leafy vegetables as a side instead. Whatever you decide, if there’s only one thing you need to accomplish today, let it be this. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Recipe: Cantonese Beef Stew.

  1. Why are you so sure that it can feed six people? I think I can finish it all by myself because it is too yummy. Cook another pot, please.

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