2 in 1: Chinese beef and potato stew plus beef noodle soup

Society & Culture

One recipe, two delicious, savory dishes.

Potatoes and Beef and Chinese beef soup noodles

Who says soups and stews are only for winter nights? Chinese people have them in all seasons. Though stews require longer cooking time, you don’t have to stick around. While it’s cooking, your home will be steeped in savory scents.

In the past few weeks, we’ve talked about a lot of quick and easy recipes. Today, let’s try something a bit more challenging, with a slightly longer list of ingredients and cooking time. In return, you’ll get two restaurant-style Chinese dishes that will amaze everyone at the dinner table.

First, Chinese-style beef and potato stew (土豆烧牛肉 tǔ dòu shāo niú ròu). This savory, hearty, and tangy dish can be served over rice or noodles. With noodles, it’ll turn into another famous dish: Chinese beef noodle soup (红烧牛肉面 hóng shāo niú ròu miàn).

In this recipe, I added more water than normal so that we’ll have soup leftover to make noodle soup. If you prefer a thicker broth or want to finish the dish in one meal, feel free to reduce the water so that it just submerges the meat. The starch from the  potatoes also thickens the sauce.

We’re going to use some Chinese seasoning essentials here, such as chili bean paste (豆瓣酱 dòubàn jiàng), five-spice powder (五香粉 wǔ xiāng fěn), and Chinese cooking wine (料酒 liào jiǔ).

The most amazing part of this dish is the super soft and melt-in-your-mouth beef and potatoes. Remember to submerge the chunks of potato in water to keep them from turning brown, and cook them until they are velvety and a bit mushy on the surface.

To get tender boiled beef, the key is to only use hot water. After giving the beef a quick hot bath, discard the broth with all the brown bits and froth to get rid of the unpleasant smell of the meat. Then cook the beef with hot water and all the other ingredients. I use sirloin steak because it’s the most accessible kind, but feel free to use whatever type of beef you like.


Serves 4


2 hours


  • 1 lb beef, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped, white and green part separated
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • hot water
  • 5 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon chili bean paste
  • 2 dried chilli peppers
  • 4 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoon sugar

beef potato stew 2


1. Put beef chunks into a large pot with enough cold water that just covers the beef. Add 3 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine, half of the white part of green onions, and 2 slices of ginger. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat.

2. Drain the beef. Rinse off the foam and brown bits with hot water. Drain well.

3. Place drained beef into a big pot. Add 1 tablespoon of chili bean paste, 2 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine, 4 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons of five-spice powder, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, the other half of the white part of green onions, half of the sliced garlic, 2 slices of ginger, and hot water that covers 2/3 of the pot. Stir to mix well.

beef potato stew 4

4. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Let it simmer covered for around 1 hour over low heat until the beef turns tender (so that chopsticks can easily poke through it).

5. Add potatoes, the rest of garlic, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix well. Simmer covered for another 30 minutes until the potatoes get soft.

6. Add the green part of the green onions. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Let it boil for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce and enhance flavor.

7. Serve hot with rice.

beef potato stew 6

BONUS: How do I make Chinese beef noodle soup from it?

  1. Save some sauce from the dish. Add water if needed.
  2. Cooking time depends on the type of noodles you choose. I used Kuan Miao Noodles, which are thicker and need about 10 minutes to be cooked. Simply follow the directions on the package.
  3. Add any ingredients you like. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Put some cilantro on top for garnish.
  5. Serve immediately.

beef potato stew 7

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