Thursday, May 3, 2012

Asian Style Beef Stew with Radish

A rich, aromatic and spicy soft-braised stew to be served along with a bowl of piping hot steamed rice. How about that? Drooling?

Anyway, the point of a stew, it should go without saying, is it's flavour rather than it's form. So, while a bowl of piping hot steamed rice do make a great partner to this irresistable dish, a cuppa nice tea to go along would be perfect! And that makes your life even more beautiful isn't it?

This Asian-flavoured bite provide the perfect partner for the rich, aromatic spiciness of the soft-braised stew. I found some lovely pieces of beef shin in the supermarket and knew they would be just lovely done in slow cooking method, or rather let the slow cooker do the job I would say. A long and slow is what really brings the best out of cheaper cuts of meat. I have never cooked shin of beef before, but my Mother-In-Law did. I have assumed that these kinds of cuts, as they work so very well in the slow cooker and it makes for incredibly effortless, tasty and very affordable cooking.

  • 550g Shin of Beef
  • 400g White Radish
  • 40g Ginger
  • 1 Fragrant Garlic (Krateim Tone - 獨子蒜), or you can use about 30g normal garlic.
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 small star aniste
  • 1 small cinnamon bark
  • 1 small bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried chilli (Optional)
  • about 25g rock sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of Chinese Cooking Wine (Shao Hsing Wine)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1L Water
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (for finishing)
  • some chinese parsley (for garnishing)

Let me side track abit and tell you what is the Fragrant Garlic all about. Look at the above picture again. You saw a piece of brownish shallot-shaped-look-alike thingy beside the ginger? My mother is the one who taught me how to use this garlic. She says Malaysian called this forh-syuen (火蒜) in cantonese, literally means fire-garlic. I googled about it, and I realized that the actual name of this garlic is Krateim Tone, or dok-zi-syuen (獨子蒜) in cantonese. It is originated from Thailand, so I think this is the reason why the name of the garlic sounds abit like Thai to me. However, this is also grown in China nowadays. This garlic is unlike the normal garlic that has cloves, and you will see individual bulb when you remove the skin. When Chinese called it 獨子蒜, and obviously, this name comes from the body of the garlic itself, as the garlic is grown to be a stand-alone body. No cloves.

What so special about this garlic? They have a special characteristic pungent and it's spicy flavor is really aromatic that is perfect for seasoning or condiment. This small little thing has it's ultimate power that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking. I would say, the fragrance of this garlic is really more powerful than the usual garlic that we're commonly using. It can be quite addictive I warn you.

However, the price of this garlic is double the price of the usual garlic, and it is not easily available. I found this in Jusco, Tebrau City, JB. I was mad happy when I saw it. But the price is really steep. I keep it in the fridge to prolong it's shelf life. I only use it when I'm doing stews & stuffs like that. I will still use the normal garlic for normal stir-frying.

Ahh... Too much of garlic talk! Come back to my beautiful braised beef.

  1. Wash beef, pat dry, cut into big chunk.
  2. White Radish, skinned, cut into big chunk.
  3. Bruised Ginger & Garlic. Use a knife and just smash it hardly.
  4. Wash star aniste, cloves, bay leaves and cinammon bark before use.
  5. Cooking oil on the pan, fry till fragrant.
  6. Add in star aniste, cloves, bay leaves, cinammon bark, dried chilli, beef and radish. Stir well.
  7. Add in Oyster Sauce, Soy Sauce, rock sugar and Chinese Cooking Wine. Give it a toss for about 5mins or something.
  8. Add in water, let it simmer vigorously for about 10mins.
  9. Transfer everything to slow cooker, and cook it for about 1 hour or more. That should be decent. I leave it slowly stew for 2 hours actually. I have the time anyway. No rules here. It's up to you on how tender you want your stew to be.
  10. For finishing, scoop out the beef stew, arrange them on a serving plate, set aside. Pour the stew juice out of the pot, onto a pan, reduce the residue by boiling the stew juice vigorously in high heat for about 3 to 5mins. This depends on individual on how much stew juice you want it to remain. Mix 3 tablespoons of water with 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch, pour them into the boiling stew juice, stir well and you will see the stew juice will turned into thickened consistency. 
  11. Pour stew juice on the beef stew, garnish with chinese parsley and some dried chilli before serve.

Do I need to say more?

I finished cooking this by 2.30pm, intending to keep this dish for dinner. But Max is hungry. As usual, a lazy wife like me.... come up with something that is lazy, and at the same time, won't make him feel that I'm actually serving him the same boring dish for both lunch & dinner. Here's what I've did for his lunch.

A bowl of beef stew noodle soup!

Just cook some thick noodles, make beef stew soup by adding some thick beef stew juices on a pot, and add in some water, boil it. Ratio is roughly about 2 part of beef stew juice and 3 part of water. Once soup boiled, pour it on the noodles. Scooped some radishes & beef over on top. Done!

Nobody could resist this. I can assure you.

One Dish, Two ways to enjoy it!

I would say, this is an excellent recipe that you could cook beforehand when you are expecting a party or a gathering of family and friends. I'm sure this is one of the most welcoming dish.

I hope you liked it!

Stay Tuned!

This post has been featured in Asian Food Channel (AFC) Facebook


  1. I won't be able to resist! No I can't.
    Pass me the whole pot!

  2. LOL! Wendy... The pot already washed clean clean liao. Hahahaha...

  3. Annie, its now 11 pm but your dish is making me hungry!! Looks absolutely delicious. Hubby and i are big fansof beef stew. Must learn to make this. Thanks for sharing. Love the photos too.

  4. Hi Esther, Thanks for the compliment. Do try it at home. It is not that difficult. Seeing this post now, I think I wanna make another pot of beef stew real soon :)

  5. I was wondering, in your ingredient list it says

    1 Fragrant Garlic (Krateim Tone - 獨子蒜), or you can use about 30g normal garlic.
    3 cloves

    is that 3 cloves of the garlic? and by 1 Fragrant Garlic does that mean buy 1 from the supermarket and only use 3 cloves of the garlic?

    thanks for your website btw I love it so much. it teaches me to cook so many dishes of my own culture.

    still looking forward to a recipe for hot and sour soup =]

  6. Hey Angela, thank you for visiting my blog. Dont bother about the fragrant garlic. You won't be able to get it easily. Just use 30g normal garlic will do. Like that, you don't have to think so much. Hahahaha...

  7. Hi, i tried this just yesterday and the sauce taste fantastic! But my radish taste bitter and is seriously bitter. Any idea what is wrong? Or is it simply the radish is not fresh? Or because i added carrot in the stew? Thanks in advance.