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Chinese Beef Curry Recipe

Chinese beef curry is a flavorful and satisfying dish, perfect for those who enjoy both Asian cuisine and the rich taste of curry.

Originating from Southern China, this dish is favored in Hong Kong and areas with strong Cantonese influence.

Whether you’ve tried it before or you’re new to this delightful creation, you’re in for a culinary treat.

As you explore this dish, you’ll find that the preparation includes various fragrant spices, such as curry powder, turmeric, and occasionally cinnamon or star anise, which contribute to its distinct aroma and taste.

By pairing tender beef with aromatic spices and a silky curry sauce, Chinese beef curry delivers a taste experience that lingers on your palate.

In this article, you’ll come across a simple yet flavorful Chinese beef curry recipe that will guide you step by step toward creating this delightful dish at home.

Rest assured, your kitchen will soon be filled with mouth-watering aromas, and you’ll be enjoying a delicious, comforting meal in no time.

How to Make Chinese Beef Curry

Ingredients List

  • Chunks of beef (1 lb or 0.5 kg)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2-3 tbsp curry powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp star anise powder or 1 whole star anise
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp water to make a slurry
  • 1 tbsp oil for frying
  • Optional: 100 ml coconut milk

Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Preparation

Slice the beef into bite-sized chunks and prepare the vegetables by slicing the onion and mincing the garlic.

Step 2: Searing the beef

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat.

Add the beef chunks and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned on all sides.

Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.

Step 3: Cooking the curry base

Lower the heat to medium, add a little more oil if needed, and sauté the onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Next, add the curry powder, star anise (powder or whole), light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and salt to the pot.

Stir and cook the mixture for another 1-2 minutes, allowing the spices to blend and release their flavors.

Step 4: Returning beef to the pot

Add the seared beef back to the pot and stir to ensure all pieces are coated with the curry mixture.

Pour in the beef stock, and if desired, add the optional coconut milk for a richer flavor.

Step 5: Simmering

Bring the curry to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let it simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This slow-cooking process allows the beef to become tender and the flavors to meld and deepen.

Step 6: Thickening the curry

Once the beef is tender, mix the cornstarch slurry into the curry pot.

Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens.

Adjust seasoning with salt and additional curry powder, if needed.

Step 7: Serving

Serve your Chinese Beef Curry hot, ideally over steamed rice.

Enjoy this flavorful and popular dish, reminiscent of Hong Kong-style cuisine with its unique blend of spices and depth of flavor.

Side Dishes for Chinese Beef Curry

When enjoying a flavorful Chinese beef curry, it’s essential to have the perfect side dishes to complement the dish.

Here are some popular side dishes to serve with your Chinese beef curry that enhance the overall dining experience and make the meal even more enjoyable.

Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice is a popular choice for serving with Chinese beef curry.

This aromatic long-grain rice has a subtle floral scent and a slightly sticky texture, making it perfect for soaking up the delicious curry sauce.

Jasmine rice is a versatile option for many dishes, giving you a blank canvas for showcasing the flavors of your beef curry.

Steamed Vegetables

Steamed vegetables make a healthy and light accompaniment to your Chinese beef curry.

Vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, or snow peas add a crunchy texture and help balance the richness of the curry.

Steaming preserves the nutrients and natural flavors of the vegetables, ensuring a wholesome side for your meal.

Egg Fried Rice

Egg fried rice is another tasty choice to pair with your beef curry.

Combining cooked jasmine rice with scrambled eggs, peas, and chopped vegetables, egg fried rice adds a savory taste and contrasting textures.

It effortlessly absorbs the curry sauce, making it an ideal side dish for your meal.

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls provide a crispy contrast to the soft Chinese beef curry.

These delicious deep-fried or baked appetizers are filled with cabbage, carrots, and other julienned vegetables, and sometimes even shrimp or minced pork.

Served with a dipping sauce, spring rolls add a tasty, crunchy element to your meal.

Noodles

Stir-fried noodles, such as chow mein or lo mein, can also be an excellent side dish for Chinese beef curry.

These noodles are prepared with an assortment of vegetables and seasoned with soy sauce, oyster sauce, or other flavors.

Noodles add variety and a different texture to your meal while soaking up the curry sauce.

Remember, the final decision comes down to your personal taste and preferences.

Mix and match these side dishes to create an unforgettable culinary experience with your Chinese beef curry.

Ingredients Substitutes

When you’re making Chinese beef curry, there might be times when you don’t have specific ingredients on hand.

In these situations, it’s helpful to have a list of possible substitutes that can still help you create a delicious dish.

Here, we discuss some alternatives for key ingredients like curry powder, coconut cream, chicken stock cubes, and fresh ginger.

Curry Powder

If you find yourself without curry powder, you can create your own blend using spices you might already have in your pantry.

Combine cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger for a basic mixture.

Feel free to experiment by adding other spices such as nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, or chili powder to suit your taste.

For an extra layer of flavor, consider toasting black mustard seeds or cumin seeds in a skillet before mixing them into your homemade curry blend.

Coconut Cream

Coconut cream can add richness and creaminess to your Chinese beef curry, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can use other ingredients as substitutes.

A popular alternative is coconut milk, which still imparts that distinct coconut flavor but is slightly less thick.

Another option is to mix heavy cream with a small amount of coconut extract to achieve a similar consistency and flavor.

Finally, if you’re looking for a dairy-free substitute, consider using unsweetened cashew or almond milk with a touch of coconut extract added.

Chicken Stock Cubes

While chicken stock cubes can make your beef curry more flavorful, you can still create a tasty dish without them.

Instead, consider using beef or vegetable stock cubes as alternatives.

Additionally, you can opt to make your own stock using fresh chicken, beef, or vegetables, which can provide an even deeper flavor than stock cubes.

Just remember to adjust the salt in your recipe accordingly, as homemade stock may have different levels of sodium than store-bought cubes.

Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger adds a distinct zing and warmth to Chinese beef curry.

But if you can’t find any at your local market, you can use ground ginger as a substitute.

A good rule of thumb is to use ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger for every tablespoon of fresh ginger called for in a recipe.

Keep in mind, however, that ground ginger may not provide the same punch of flavor as the fresh counterpart, so consider adding additional spices or aromatics to your curry to maintain its depth of flavor.

Another alternative is to use crystallized ginger, which you can dice and add to the curry – just remember to reduce the sugar in the recipe because crystallized ginger is sweetened.

How to Store Chinese Beef Curry

Chinese beef curry is a delicious and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed fresh or saved for later.

Proper storage of your Chinese beef curry is crucial for maintaining its rich flavors and freshness. Here are a few paragraphs on how to store this tasty meal.

There are a few key methods to store your Chinese beef curry safely and effectively.

Below, you’ll find a list of the main storage methods, followed by a brief description.

Refrigeration

When storing Chinese beef curry in the refrigerator, you should place it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing any odors or flavors from other foods.

It’s essential to cool the curry first by placing it near cold water or running cold water over the container.

This can help cut down the cooling time and minimize the risk of bacterial growth.

When properly stored in the refrigerator, your curry should last for 3-5 days.

Freezing

Freezing your Chinese beef curry is an excellent way to preserve its flavors and quality for an extended period.

Before freezing, allow the curry to cool completely, either by placing it in cold water or letting it sit at room temperature.

Once cool, transfer the curry to a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag, leaving enough space for any expansion that might occur during freezing.

Your frozen Chinese beef curry can last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, thaw the curry in the refrigerator overnight, then gently warm it on the stovetop or microwave.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when preparing Chinese Beef Curry.

Overcooking Garlic

Garlic cooks at a frighteningly quick pace.

One minute it is in the pan, all white and sizzling, the next, it has turned into a dark brown chunk.

Make sure to keep an eye on your garlic in order to preserve the dish’s flavor profile.

Using the Wrong Cut of Meat

Be sure to use a cut of meat that isn’t overly marbled with fat.

Stir-fries cook very quickly, so it’s important to use thin, lean cuts of beef.

You want a little bit of fat for flavor, but not so much that it doesn’t have time to soften and render down during the quick cook time.

Adding Too Much Liquid

When you’re ready to add your water mixture, stock, or coconut milk to your beef curry, add a little at a time, stirring it well to ensure you get the perfect thickness.

Resist the temptation to turn up the heat at this point to thicken the curry.

Instead, take your time and let it cook to the perfect consistency.

Not Tailoring the Recipe to Chinese Flavor Preferences

If you want to create a true Chinese beef curry, be sure to keep in mind the lovely sweetness and umami preferences of Chinese people in your seasonings and ingredients.

Adjust the sugar, soy sauce, and curry powder according to their taste.

Skipping Cornstarch Slurry

In many Chinese recipes, cornstarch slurry is used to thicken sauces and ensure a smooth texture.

Skipping this step will leave your curry with a less-than-ideal consistency.

Be sure to add your cornstarch slurry when instructed in the recipe.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a delicious and authentic Chinese beef curry that you and your loved ones will enjoy.

chinese beef curry recipe

Chinese Beef Curry Recipe

Chinese beef curry is a flavorful and satisfying dish, perfect for those who enjoy both Asian cuisine and the rich taste of curry.
Originating from Southern China, this dish is favored in Hong Kong and areas with strong Cantonese influence.
Whether you've tried it before or you're new to this delightful creation, you're in for a culinary treat.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2
Ingredients
  
  • 1 lb Chunks of beef
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2-3 tbsp curry powder adjust to taste
  • 1/4 tsp star anise powder or 1 whole star anise
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp water to make a slurry
  • 1 tbsp oil for frying
Instructions
 
  • Slice the beef into bite-sized chunks and prepare the vegetables by slicing the onion and mincing the garlic.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat.
    Add the beef chunks and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned on all sides.
    Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
  • Lower the heat to medium, add a little more oil if needed, and sauté the onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
    Next, add the curry powder, star anise (powder or whole), light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and salt to the pot.
    Stir and cook the mixture for another 1-2 minutes, allowing the spices to blend and release their flavors.
  • Add the seared beef back to the pot and stir to ensure all pieces are coated with the curry mixture.
    Pour in the beef stock, and if desired, add the optional coconut milk for a richer flavor.
  • Bring the curry to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let it simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    This slow-cooking process allows the beef to become tender and the flavors to meld and deepen.
  • Once the beef is tender, mix the cornstarch slurry into the curry pot.
    Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens.
    Adjust seasoning with salt and additional curry powder, if needed.
  • Serve your Chinese Beef Curry hot, ideally over steamed rice.
    Enjoy this flavorful and popular dish, reminiscent of Hong Kong-style cuisine with its unique blend of spices and depth of flavor.

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