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Tender Braised Beef with Star Anise on Rice Noodles

An iconic Cantonese noodle dish

Visit any noodle shop in Hong Kong or Guangzhou and you will find ow larm fun on their menu. They have earned their status as a classic by offering meltingly tender beef brisket in a pool of dark velvety sauce, all on soft rice noodles.

Sichuan pepper is rarely used in Cantonese cooking but here it adds a background hum to the sauce. The sauce is also excellent for rice and we encourage you to double the recipe for freezing.

This is also the first recipe we’ve filmed that uses the “Add an Exotic” feature from our book. “Add and Exotic” is all about introducing Chinese ingredients that you might be less familiar with, but we think totally deserve to be included if you can find them. They’re optional in the recipes and if used, they can really elevate a dish by adding a new texture or subtly altering the flavour. In this video, Julie describes ji jook and its preparation. Have a go and let us know what you think!

Serves
2-3
Ingredients

500g beef brisket, cut into 3 x 3cm cubes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 pieces ginger, each the size of a garlic clove, skin-on and smashed
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp granulated sugar
large pinch salt
½ tsp whole Sichuan pepper
3 star anise
3 dried whole chillies
½ tbsp cornflour
150g dried wide rice noodles

Visit any noodle shop in Hong Kong or Guangzhou and you will find ow larm fun on their menu. They have earned their status as a classic by offering meltingly tender beef brisket in a pool of dark velvety sauce, all on soft rice noodles.

Sichuan pepper is rarely used in Cantonese cooking but here it adds a background hum to the sauce. The sauce is also excellent for rice and we encourage you to double the recipe for freezing.

This is also the first recipe we’ve filmed that uses the “Add an Exotic” feature from our book. “Add and Exotic” is all about introducing Chinese ingredients that you might be less familiar with, but we think totally deserve to be included if you can find them. They’re optional in the recipes and if used, they can really elevate a dish by adding a new texture or subtly altering the flavour. In this video, Julie describes ji jook and its preparation. Have a go and let us know what you think!

GET THE METHOD →

OUR
TIP!
Optional: Add 30g of ji jook (dried tofu skins), an exotic that will absorb and catch the sauce in its folds. Prepare the ji jook by soaking it in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the water, and then cut into 5cm long pieces.
Put the beef into a medium saucepan with 700ml boiling water. Cover and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn off the heat, remove the beef with a slotted spoon and drain in a bowl lined with kitchen paper. Pour the broth into a bowl and set aside.
Add the oil to the now empty pan and heat over a medium heat. Add the ginger and fry until fragrant, then add the garlic for another light fry. Return the beef to the pan and fry until it is browned along the edges.
Pour back the reserved broth. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the noodles and cornflour, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour (for fattier, more tender cuts) to 3 hours (for tougher, more sinewy cuts). Turn off the heat and keep the pot on the hob.
During the last 15 minutes, add the ji jook, if using, and simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced.
Meanwhile, soak the rice noodles in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.
Mix the cornflour and 2 tablespoons water into a slurry, then stir into the beef. Bring back to a bubble for 1 minute to cook the cornflour. Cook the noodles in boiling water until soft, then divide between bowls, spoon the brisket on top, and serve.
  • Brian McLelland

    I’m in California and found you on the web when I was researching dumpling recipes and have since become addicted to your recipes. I ordered your book on Amazon.com last night and can’t wait till it arrives. I wish it was carried by our bookstores in the states so I wouldn’t have to wait. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. I’m heading out to the Asian supermarket to get star anise and ji jook.

    Brian

    • Thanks so much for buying our book Brian! Yes we’re working on getting the book into shops in the States so fingers crossed. Has your copy arrived yet?

  • Great recipe! I like to make a similar braise with meaty pork ribs, after which I deep fry them until crisp – amazing!

  • Simon oh

    Oh my God it was so tasty. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My wife and my baby girl enjoyed it. I used star anise for the first time and the smell was so amazing that I am looking for some more recipes using it. I also did mapo tofu and the black bean really made it special. Thank you again for your posting. Your posting brought my family a wonderful joy and happiness.

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