There are times when I really miss heritage food like this. I’m still pretty much a true blue Cantonese girl at heart, and I like the good old taste of home. Brings me back to when I was younger and living with my grandparents. My grandparents are great cooks, and I’m always looking forward to what dinner brings. My grandfather makes the best Steamed pork with salted fish, and my grandmother makes the best Sweet and sour whole fried fish.
Brisket is the cut of beef that I like best, it is also a cut that needs long hours of braising to get it tender. Although I do not particularly enjoy the fats and tendon around the brisket, it does impart a lot of flavours and adds depth to the braise. Braising also requires little active time during the cooking process. We basically let the broth, spices, and heat work it’s magic on the stove top or oven. In the meantime, work up an appetite for a very flavourful and rich meal.
I got a lot of people asking me what is Chu Hou Sauce / paste. It is made from fermented soybeans, garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds. It has a sweet and savoury profile, usually used for stewing & braising, but it can also be used for marinating or stir-fries. If you can’t find it at supermarkets, you can also use hoisin or oyster sauce.
One of the best pot to use is a heavy bottom pot with a tight fitting lid. I’m using my very versatile Le Creuset 26cm French Oven for this dish. This pot is build for making casseroles, stews, pot roasting and perfect for preparing soups and rice dishes, even for baking. The sauce was incredibly delicious with beef brisket that falls apart and melts in your mouth. My girls loved the radish, they call it the melty cubes. The radish soaks up all the goodness during the long cooking process. It was utterly tender and totally delicious. Writing this post is not doing my growling tummy any favour. So I’ll leave you with the recipe while I go cook up a storm in my kitchen. 🙂
Cantonese Braised Beef Brisket
- 1 kg beef brisket cut into 1x2 inch pieces
- 600 g daikon radish cut into 1 inch rounds the half it
- 1 large carrot cut into 1 inch rounds
- 5-6 slices old ginger
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tbsp chu hou sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp rock sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cooking wine
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce or to taste
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 star anise
- 1-2 dried orange peels
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Spring onions to garnish
- Cilantro to garnish
- Corn starch slurry optional
- Place beef in a large mixing bowl, and blanch with hot boiling water.
- Drain and set aside.
- Heat up your French oven or pot, then add cooking and sesame oil.
- Saute ginger and garlic until fragrant.
- Add chu hou, oyster, and hoisin sauce in pot and stir fry on low for a minute.
- Then add beef, carrot, radish, bay leaf, orange peel, star anise, cinnamon, and cooking wine.
- Brown beef for about 3 minutes under medium heat.
- Then add light, dark soy sauce, and sugar. Toss to coat.
- Add 2 cups of water, and bring to boil.
- Give it a stir, and lower heat to low and simmer with lid on for 2.5 hours or until beef is tender.
- Stir every 30 minutes or so.
- Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
- Stir in corn starch slurry to thicken sauce (optional).
- Remove from heat, and garnish with spring onions and cilantro.
Joanna11 December, 2015 at 1:55 pm
Sorry, I seldom cook beef. Beef brisket can find in ntuc the fresh beef section issit? Daily daikon oso in ntuc issit? Will the beef be soft after braising for 2 hrs?
Sharon Lam11 December, 2015 at 4:59 pm
Hi Joanna, I usually get my beef brisket from wet market. Daikon radish you can get from wet market or NTUC. I’d recommend 2.5 hours of braising to get a more tender beef.
Amelia23 December, 2015 at 6:26 pm
Hi Sharon, your this pot of beef brisket look super yummylicious. The gravy look so good, guess I need 2 plates of rice. hahaha…….
Merry Christmas to you and family.
Christina Cheang31 January, 2016 at 9:49 pm
Hi Sharon, can I check if I want to buy beef brisket from the wet market, what cut should I tell the butcher? The last time I bought the flank meat and turned out to be very tough.
Sharon Lam1 February, 2016 at 7:53 am
Just tell the butcher you want brisket for stewing.
Serene3 May, 2016 at 3:38 pm
Could I know how does the chu hou sauce look like?
Sharon Lam3 May, 2016 at 3:39 pm
Hi Serene, do google chu hou sauce. I use Lee Kum Kee’s sauce that can be bought from major supermarket.
Mavis15 July, 2016 at 4:46 pm
Hi Sharon, do you think the hoisin sauce is key ingredient? I don’t have that and since it’s gonna be the first time trying this make this dish, I’m thinking to make do w what my kitchen provides. 🙂
Sharon Lam16 July, 2016 at 11:41 am
Hi Mavis, if you have oyster sauce, you can substitute hoisin for that. Hope it helps. 🙂
Mavis23 July, 2016 at 9:55 am
Hi Sharon! Thanks for your advice. I made this dish last week n I’m making it again today! It’s easy n yummy 😋
plasterers bristol16 November, 2016 at 3:08 am
Joana17 December, 2017 at 7:21 am
Hi Sharon. Would this work for a pressure cooker? How can it be adapted? Thanks
Sharon Lam17 December, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Hi Joana, it should work in a pressure cooker. I have not tried it, so I can’t advise on time. For reference, my beef stew in my electic pressure cooker takes about 30 minutes.
Peter14 February, 2018 at 11:59 am
Good recipe. For beef brisket, I’d suggest cook and reheat over at least two nights for conventional cooking, and put in daikon and carrot later in the cooking cycle
huanghuien5 June, 2018 at 10:05 am
Hi Sharon! Thank you for sharing 🙂 Looking forward to cooking this.
For the benefit of other readers, thought I’d share that I could only find the Chu Hou sauce at Giant (particularly Suntec City)! I tried cold storage, NTUC and sheng shiong and couldn’t find it until I googled the inventory of the different supermarkets. Hope this saves other readers the frustration of finding the Chu Hou cause!
Sharon Lam10 June, 2018 at 1:22 pm
Thanks for the tip! I got mine at kovan finest, and have seen it at other ntuc as well. I suppose they don’t stock much. Good idea to check the inventory before heading down.
Ken Haumann31 October, 2018 at 6:14 pm
Hi Sharon. I found that adding 2 thinly sliced onions and frying them until slightly caramelized adds just the right amount of acidity to the dish and adds remarkably to the flavour.
Sharon Lam5 November, 2018 at 11:23 am
Great tips, Ken! Will try it when i make it again. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂