|Chinese beef salad|
Hopefully it is going to be a good warm beautiful weekend, after all, summer is coming, no? If you are a beef lover, this recipe is really good for a warm summer day, whether you like to have it with rice, or a glass of cold beer. :))
Although I keep on claiming that I am not a big fan of meat, this is one of the few meat dishes I really love (another one is guo bao rou). I remember when I was still at home, whenever my dad made it, the whole house was filled by the most loveliest smell, and I knew I was looking forward to a nice plate of beef.
Our guests have all loved this dish. Thanks to my dad.:)) But it seems my dad stopped making it lately, so my mum took over. In order to get the original recipe (I didn’t want to improvise this time), I called my mum for the details.
I say it is a weekend dish, but it is actually very easy to make. Although it does require some time (couple of hours), you don’t have to stand by the cooker all the time — that’s why I would always make this dish when we have friends over — it leaves me lots of time to prepare the other stir fry dishes in the meanwhile.
Chinese beef salad: Jiang Niu Rou
This beef dish called “Jiang niu rou”. It is one of those dishes with a long history in Northeast Chinese cuisine.
‘Niu rou’ means ‘beef’, and ‘Jiang’ here means ‘soy sauce’, so as you might have guessed, it is cooked with soy sauce, lots of soy sauce.:)
It is kind of similar to the ‘Five spice beef dish’ in some Chinese restaurants in England. The difference is that the savoury taste in this Northeast dish does not come from the salt, but from soy sauce (almost same thing, but slight different taste.. ha…) And for this dish, dark soy sauce is the best, it not only gives the taste, but also the colour.
The beef is normally served cold, so this dish qualifies as a kind of Chinese salad. But if you like, you can have it warm as well. It is good to make a few big pieces within one go, after all, it takes time and seasonings to cook once, the extras can be kept in the fridge or freezer, whenever you have crave for it, it is there.
My mum just told me a ‘continuing’ recipe after making the beef — the soy sauce is super tasty now, it can be used in other stir fry dishes, or super good for making beef soup noodles. We will talk about it another day then.
Before going into the actual preparation, there are two things I did improvise :), but you have an option.
First, I put two pieces of bay leaves in; traditionally, bay leaves are never used in Northeast cuisine,
but I started using it in my dishes since I came here, I just love the fragrance released from it.
Second, I used Goji berry. Although Goji berry has been used in Chinese medicine over thousands of years, it has started being used in cooking only recently because of its beneficial properties. So I started leaving a few in the soups or drinks for more nutritious intake. :))
And as for the saucepan used here, any deep saucepan is good, it can also be cooked in a pressure cooker or even slow cooker. (Personally, I prefer slow cooker, let the taste slowly sip into the meat, but pressure cooker is very good for a quick fix). But I like to use ‘thermal cook pot’, which means after 10 minutes, you don’t have to worry if the sauce is over spilled or anything, you can just put your feet up. :) It comes with ‘two in one’ pot, works like this — using the inner one to cook, after bringing the sauce boiling, the pot can be transferred into outer pot, and close it tightly, so the food can be keeping on cooking with the heat from the sauce and the pressure generated. — save hassle and electrical energy.
The Recipe: Chinese soy sauce beef salad
Ok, here is the recipe.
Beef (the best part for this dish is ‘shank’, and the beef is not chopped when boiling it)
Dark soy sauce, anise star, cinnamon stick, bay leaves (optional), sichuan peppercorn, goji berry (optional), white sugar, cooking wine
For dressing: coriander, garlic, sesame oil
1) Place the beef chunk into a deep sauce pan or a pot.
2) Put a small handful sichuan peppercorn, anise star and goji berry (optional), two bay leaves (optional), couple of tablespoons of cooking wine, and one tablespoon of white sugar into the sauce pan.
3) Fill in the sauce pan with dark soy sauce, let the soy sauce cover the beef (if you are also put one cup of water instead a cup of soy sauce.)
4) Turn on the fire, bring the sauce to boiling point, then turn down the fire to low, keep it slow cooking for around 2 hours or use ‘thermal cook pot’ for a few hours more or overnight.
5) Then the beef is done. Take the beef out, chop it into thin slice.
—— It is ready to eat already. Only if you like coriander and garlic, you can continue to the next step.
6) Mix coriander, minced garlic and sesame oil together with sliced beef.
7) Place on a plate.
—- Ready to serve!
- Beef shank
- Dark soy sauce
- anise star
- cinnamon stick
- bay leaves (optional)
- sichuan peppercorn
- goji berry (optional)
- white sugar
- cooking wine
- sesame oil
- Place the beef into a deep sauce pan or a pot.
- Put a small handful sichuan peppercorn, anise star and goji berry (optional), two bay leaves (optional), couple of tablespoons of cooking wine, and one tablespoon of white sugar into the sauce pan.
- Fill in the sauce pan with dark soy sauce, let the soy sauce cover the beef.
- Turn on the fire, bring the sauce to boiling point, then turn down the fire to low, keep it slow cooking for around 2 hours or use ‘thermal cook pot’ for a few hours more or overnight.
- Take the beef out, chop it into thin slice.
- Mix coriander, minced garlic and sesame oil together with sliced beef.