Chinese Braised Beef with Mooli and Beancurd Sheets

Chinese Braised Beef with Mooli and Beancurd Sheets

Lately I’ve been really craving asian food, probably because the weather is not so cold now, and hence the rich butter or pastry based “western food” all seems to be a bit stodgy suddenly. So I’ve decided to devote more of our dinners to oriental dishes 🙂 So watch out if that’s your type of food!

I went to the market this morning and got some brisket from the butcher. I forgot to take a picture but it is a big, big chunk of meat, all for £3! It’s not boneless, but the enormous bone is not going to cause any hassle when you eat, because after hours of slow cooking, the meat will fall off the bone and all you have to do is pick it up!

This is the sort of dish my mum used to do, in winter. Normally with lamb. I still remember the announcement she’d make when she’s preparing that dish for dinner. Because it’s a firm favourite in our house! (Apart from my brother who doesn’t like lamb… he’s missing out 😛 )

****** You can replace mooli and beancurd sheet with carrots or other root vegetables. *******


  • 1 kg Brisket (or stewing steak)
  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Rock sugar (or normal sugar)
  • 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp of seasame oil
  • 2 Mooli
  • 2 stickes of Beancurd sheets


  1. Preheat oven to 160’C. (Or you can use a wok to stew, or casserole dish slow cooking on the stove)
  2. If you have a big big chunk of meat (like I did). Scald the beef in a saucepan of boiling water with a slice of ginger for a few minutes. If it is all cut up into bitesize size then skiip to step 3.
  3. Drain the meat and cut in big chunks.
  4. Mix together the dark soy sauce, shaoxing wine and sesame oil and stir in the meat.
  5. Heat a tbsp of oil in a casserole dish (or a wok), fry the ginger slices and crushed garlic cloves until the aroma comes through. Put in the meat and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour in some hot water to just cover the beef, put in the star anise, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Bring to the boil.
  7. Put in a lump of rock sugar and put the casserole in the oven. (Or turn to very low heat if not using oven)
  8. Leave to cook for an hour, meanwhile peel the mooli and cut in big chunks.
  9. Put in the mooli and top up the water, taste, add a dash of dark soy sauce and some more rock sugar, pinch of salt to taste.
  10. After another hour, snap the beancurd sheet sticks in lengths of your thumb and put in the dish. Cook for another 15 minutes.

You can serve with rice, ho fan (wide rice noodles), or any other noodles really.

Mooli is basically daikon, it’s called “white carrot” in chinese and it’s like a giant turnip… it’s very common in Chinese / Japanese cooking. Also, the use of rock sugar, according to mum, is to tenderise the meat and I just took her words for it. If you haven’t got rock sugar, use normal sugar for the sweetness.

P.S. We had this for lunch:

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