Braised beef with daikon and chu hou sauce

Braised beef with daikon and chu hou sauce

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

This classic southern stew of beef braised with chu hou and daikon is home-style cooking at its best. The luscious, sticky bits of meat and sweet nubs of daikon taste even better reheated in the sauce the next day, once the flavours have had a chance to develop. Chu hou sauce is a 200-year-old invention from Foshan, near Guangzhou. Named after the chef who first concocted it, it’s a sweet, hoisin-based braising sauce with an aromatic, spiced edge. The Cantonese might use brisket — you can too.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg oyster blade steak
125ml vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed
6 slices ginger, unpeeled
125ml shaoxing rice wine
100ml chu hou sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 star anise
1 black cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
2 pieces red fermented tofu, mashed with 1 tablespoon of the tofu liquid
2 tablespoons rock sugar, chopped
800ml Beef stock
1 daikon, cut into 3 cm pieces
1 tablespoon cornflour


  1. Cut the beef into 5 cm pieces. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat, then add half of the beef and cook, turning occasionally, for 4–5 minutes, or until browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a large saucepan. Repeat with the remaining beef, then discard the oil from the wok.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan, except the daikon and cornflour, adding a little extra stock or water if needed, to just cover the beef. Bring the mixture slowly to a simmer over a low heat, skimming any fat off the surface as needed. Partially cover the pan with a lid and cook over a low heat for 2 hours, skimming occasionally, or until the beef is tender. Add the daikon, pushing it under the surface of the liquid, then cover the pan and cook for another 20–30 minutes, or until the daikon is tender.
  3. Combine the cornflour with 60 ml water in a small bowl and stir to form a smooth paste. Add to the beef mixture and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, or until the sauce boils and thickens slightly. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
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