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Chinese beef and potato stew
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5 from 6 votes

Chinese Beef Stew with Potatoes (土豆炖牛肉)

Easily prepared but intensely flavoured, Chinese beef stew with potatoes tastes tender, succulent and aromatic.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Beef, Braised, Easy
Servings: 4
Calories: 622kcal
Author: Wei Guo


  • 700 g beef, cut into chunks about 1.5 lb, see note 1
  • 2 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, smashed
  • 2 star anises
  • 1 piece cassia cinnamon (Chinese cinnamon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 dry chilies optional
  • 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 600 ml hot water about 2.5 cups
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks about 350g/12oz
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into chunks about 120g/4oz
  • Coriander (cilantro), chopped optional


  • Put beef into a pot filled with cold water (enough to cover the meat completely). Bring the water to a full boil. Use a spoon to skim off the froth on the surface. Then drain well.
  • In a clean pot, fry onion in oil over medium-low heat until soft and lightly browned. Stir in ginger and all the spices. Fry until fragrant.
  • Add the beef, along with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine and hot water. Bring it to a full boil then turn down the heat to low. Cover with a lid. Leave to simmer for about 1h30 until the meat becomes tender (see note 3 & 4). Give the broth a taste, add a little salt if necessary.
  • Put potato and carrot chunks into the pot. Add some water if it seems too dry. Leave to simmer without the lid for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are fully cooked.
  • Turn the heat up to reduce the broth if you wish. However, this step is entirely optional. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) if using. Serve immediately with plain rice.


1. It’s best to use beef cuts that are rich in collagen and fat. Braising steak (aka chunk) is an ideal choice.
2. You may skip 1-2 spices if unavailable. 
3. I suggest you use a thick-walled pot with a tight-fitting lid if available (e.g. a dutch oven). Otherwise, check the water level halfway through and add a little more water if necessary.
4. To speed up the process, you may also use a stovetop pressure cooker or an instant pot to braise the beef.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 622kcal