Braised Beef with Carrots has this tender beefy goodness, the mild sweetness of Chu Hou sauce, the aroma of spices, and much more. This is usually served during celebrations, reunions, birthdays, and times of wonder and joy. Why not learn how to cook this delightful dish in the comfort of your own home—so you can celebrate and be happy every day!
I would agree that one of the most endearing recipes that the Chinese had shared to the food world was the Braised Beef with Carrots, or more accurately known as the Braised Beef in Chu Hou Sauce. This dish has many names (and cooking variations) such as Beef Brisket, Beef Brisket with Daikon Radish, Braised Beef Belly in Hot Pot, Beef Hot Pot, Nanking Beef with Tendons, etc. Nonetheless, the braising ingredient that held them as one general recipe is the Chu Hou Paste.
The Chu Hou Paste, also called the Brown Bean Paste, is generally made of fermented soybeans, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and other spices. And much to my shock, this is not available in our leading supermarkets. The next best substitute is Hoisin Sauce, a milder version and a common grocery item. But if you are like me, that has the will power, and has the tendency to make everything right, you will find yourself rummaging the busy streets of Binondo (Manila’s China Town) just to get hold of this elusive ingredient.
If my memory serves me right, I found my Chu Hou Paste in a small grocery just before the short bridge of Ongpin Street, and that short bridge’s end has a string of famous food establishments, which by the way, has a collective catchy name that is Food Joints Near The Waterway. I will leave it at its revised English translation. Knowing Filipino and Chinese, and being there, doesn’t inspire a fine dining experience but an adventurous one. Nonetheless, on my next visit, I will definitely go to that place and have an unforgettable food trip.
Now with your Chu Hou Paste available, you are ready to cook this Chinese food classic at any time. Isn’t this is a liberating thought for all who adores this dish?
Best enjoyed with:
- Yang Chow Fried Rice or Plain Rice
- Oolong or Black Tea
- Broccoli and/or Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce
Restaurants that offer this dish:
- North Park: Nanking Beef and Tendon with Radish Hot Pot @ 267.30 Php
- David’s Tea House: Beef Brisket in Pot @ 320.00 Php
- Hap Chan: Beef Brisket with Radish @ 270.00 Php
- Ling Nam: Beef Stew in Hotpot @ 260.00 Php
- Paostin: Nanking Beef (Rice Toppings) @ 90.00 Php
- Chowking: Braised Beef with Rice (Family Size) @ 241.00 Php
- President Tea House: Beef Brisket and Radish @ 280.00 Php
- As mentioned, there are variations in cooking this recipe. Using a hot pot is one of them. For faster results, we will use a pressure cooker.
- Another variation is the use of beef brisket, the lower part of a cow’s chest. But I prefer the sheen shank part, also known as the famed kalitiran. I find the kalitiran to be more versatile in cooking other stews, soups, and exotic recipes, such as Vietnamese Beef Pho, Nilaga, Caldereta, etc. But if you want to use beef brisket, by all means please do so.
- The beef belly is also a good option.
With that, let’s start cooking.
- Beef (Brisket, Belly, or Kalitiran), cut into chunks, 1 kilogram
- Garlic, crushed, 5 cloves
- Ginger, sliced, 1 thumb
- Shaoxing wine, 1/4 cup
- Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
- Water, enough to immerse the ingredients
- Knorr Beef Cube, 1-2 pieces (optional)
- Chu Hou Paste, 4 tablespoons
- Star Anise, 4 pieces
- Bay Leaf, 3 pieces,
- Black Ground Pepper, 1 dash
- Five Spice Powder, 1 dash
- Sugar, 4 tablespoons
- Chinese Soy Sauce, 3 tablespoons
Vegetables and Garnishing:
- Carrots (or Daikon, or Broccoli Flower), 4 pieces, cubed
- Spring Onions, chopped
Braised Beef in Chu Hou Sauce:
- Heat and oil the uncovered pressure cooker
- Simmer garlic and ginger until fragrant
- Stir fry the beef at least 3 minutes
- Add the Shaoxing wine
- Brown the beef
- Add the water and make sure all is properly immersed
- Add beef cubes and the Spice Mix
- Bring it to boil, until the spices and beef cubes are properly dissolved
- Cover and lock the pressure cooker, as soon as the pressure cooker whistles, wait for at least 40 minutes
- Cool down the pressure cooker, by releasing its steam and/or by running it on cold water (Important note: Follow your pressure cooker manual in how to properly cool it down. Do not open the pressure cooker immediately, the air pressure and the heat can cause serious scalding)
- Once the pressure cooker is cooled down, open the pressure cooker and transfer the beef and sauce into a container and refrigerate it, best left overnight
- Removed the fat that crusted; that fat is very unhealthy. Tadannn, your Braised Beef in Chu Hou Sauce is ready for re-heating
Tip: The Braised Beef in Chu Hou Sauce can be used in other future recipes, such as Braised Beef on Egg Noodles, Beef [Brisket] Noodles, etc. And adding veggies and garnishing can ruin this fantastic future. Not to mention, it also shortens its shelf life. So better stock this up without the veggies.
- Transfer the Braised Beef in Chu Hou Sauce in a deep pan
- Simmer it until fragrant
- Test if the taste is balanced, it should not be too salty nor too sweet; add water, soy sauce, or sugar if necessary
- Add carrots, simmer it until ready
- Serve it in bowl and garnish it with chopped spring onions