Cantonese Style Beef Brisket Stew萝卜牛腩煲

Recipe from Spoonful Chinese Cooking Instructor Cai Li

This classic Cantonese braised beef stew is served from almost all traditional restaurants around the world. Traditionally, this dish calls for beef brisket which is relatively tough cut but really flavorful when prepared properly. If you have access to Chinese butchery, look for the brisket with a layer of membrane attached to the meat. The membrane is a little tougher than the meat but adds even more flavor to the dish.

One of the key condiments for this dish is Chu Hou Sauce柱侯酱, a soybean-based sauce commonly used 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.

Serves 4-6,

  • 600g beef brisket, blanched and cut into bite size牛腩
  • 20g ginger, sliced
  • 2 spring onions roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon  cooking oil
  • 1tablespoon   rock sugar冰糖
  • 4 clove garlic    roughly chopped
  • 5 tablespoons chu hou sauce 柱候酱
  • 1 teaspoon  oyster sauce蚝油
  • 1tablespoon light soy sauce to taste生抽
  • ½ tablespoon  dark soy sauce老抽
  • 2 and ½ cups water
  • 300g daikon radish, cut into bite size白罗卜
  • 200g carrots, cut into bite size 胡罗卜
  • ½ teaspoon Salt or salt to taste
  • Water Starch by combining 1 tablespoon corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water. This is to help thicken the sauce
  • Scallion for garnishIMG_3961


  1. Blanch beef brisket – place the brisket in a pot of cold water. Add into 10g sliced ginger, spring onions and 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine. Bring it to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes. Rinse under the running water. Drain the excess water, cut into bite size. Set aside.








2. Heat up 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a clay pot or wok. Add rock sugar. Add into rock sugar and cook over low-medium heat for about 3-4 minutes till sugar melted and caramelized. Add into chopped garlic and sliced ginger on low heat until aromatic. About 30 seconds. Add into beef brisket pieces.







3. Add chu hou sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, light soy sauce and dark sauce and stir fry on low heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 and half cups of water and bring to boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer with lid on for about 1.5 hours until tender. Turn the beef with a spatula every now and then.














4. In the meantime, peel the daikon radish and carrots. Cut them into bite-size small pieces.img_3964.jpg5. Add daikon radish and carrot pieces and mix with the beef. Bring the stew to boil and simmer with lip on until the radish is soft. Add salt. Use a spatula to move around the beef and vegetables to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook about 30 minutes.


6. Pour into the water starch (by mixing 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water). Mix well. Cook until sauce thicken.IMG_39857. Sprinkle some scallions and serve with rice or as a noodle soup topping.cover3.jpg


Contributor Credit:
Cai Li Blakeman
Cai Li Blakeman

Cai Li Blakeman works for Spoonful as the Chinese Cooking instructor. Cai Li was born and raised in China and has lived in Beijing, Washington DC and Singapore. She received her culinary training at the Le Cordon Bleu in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2014.  She is also a food consultant and blogger. She shares easy recipes and stories on homemade Chinese and Asian food on the Facebook page #sentosadough and her blog of

Prior to pursuing her passion for cooking and culinary education, she was a PR and Communications professional and had held management positions in global firms including United Technologies Corporation (UTC), NEC, Edelman, Johnson Controls and Kimberly-Clark.