Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chinese Beef Stew with Daikon Radish
This simplified recipe of the traditional Chinese-style stew beef is a beautiful addition to your dinner roaster. The tender, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of beef and chunks of sweet and savory radish in a thin gravy served over rice is a guaranteed comfort food. There’s just nothing better than saucy meats and rice!
Daikon radish is also known as the Oriental radish or the winter radish and can be easily found in your local grocery store or ethnic market. It’s a popular ingredient in Asian and Indian cooking known for its medicinal properties of boosting the immune system, rebalancing the digestive system, and gently cleansing the body. Eaten raw, it is crunchy and refreshing with a hint of spiciness. When cooked till soft, it becomes mild and sweet, easily absorbing the soup or sauce it is cooked in.
1 daikon radish
9-12 dried mushrooms (or as many as you want)
5-7 slices of ginger
7 cloves of garlic
*4 dried chilies, sliced vertically in half
3 bay leaves
3 star anise
30g rock sugar
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
3 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp canola oil (or any oil with a high smoke point)
**4 cups beef stock (We use The Mercato’s in-house Beef Stock)
2 sprig green onions, diced
Soy sauce, to taste
Salt and white pepper to taste
*Life’s exciting enough without more spice? Leave out the dried chili.
**If you don’t have beef stock on hand, chicken stock will do. No stock at all? Use water!
Rehydrate the dried mushrooms by washing and soaking them in a bowl of warm water until softened. At least 30 mins before straining.
Marinate stew beef with Shaoxing wine and a pinch of salt and white pepper for 15-20 minutes.
Peel the daikon radish and cut away both ends. Cut into oblique chunks about 1.5-inch in diameter.
Over medium-high heat, add canola oil to a pot or Dutch oven, then add marinated stew beef, rehydrated mushrooms, ginger, garlic, dried chili, bay leaves, and star anise.
Sauté with wooden spatula to heat evenly until aromatic and every surface of stew beef is lightly browned.
Add rock sugar, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and dark soy sauce. Stir to mix evenly.
Add daikon radish and let sit on top of stew beef. Pour beef stock into pot until it is at level with the daikon radish, but not over it.
Adjust to medium heat and cover with a lid. Let the stew cook for at least 45 minutes.
Lift the lid and stir the stew, turning the bottom to avoid any sticking to the bottom of the pot. If desired, add soy sauce and white pepper to adjust the taste. Cover with lid again to slow cook, checking periodically. Add more beef stock if your stew is drying out.
Check the softness of daikon radish and stew beef - we like ours spoon tender, or able to be poked through with a chopstick! Remove from heat when desired softness is reached.
Serve garnished with green onions with a side of rice. Enjoy!
Optional: Before cooking, blanch the stew beef to remove all impurities. Start the meat in cold water with a few slices of ginger and ½ tsp of white pepper, then bring the water to a boil over medium to high heat and reduce to low-medium heat. Let it boil for about five minutes before removing beef from water. Skip this step if you bought fresh hand-cut Certified Piedmontese stew beef.
Tip: If your stew is too thin, mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch with some cold water into a slurry and gently stir into the stew to thicken it.
We used Certified Piedmontese stew beef that are already conveniently cut into bite-sized pieces, but you can also use beef brisket, chuck roast meat, or even flank steak for this recipe. The only limit is your stomach and your wallet!