Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Brisket Recipe

Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Brisket is a delightful dish with rich flavors and tender meat. This traditional Chinese cuisine combines the aromatic blend of spices, slow-cooked with beef brisket to create a mouthwatering experience.

Best Cut of Beef Used In Making Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Brisket

In Chinese cuisine, the go-to cut of beef for the Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Brisket recipe is the beef brisket itself. This recipe, renowned for its rich flavors and tender texture, specifically calls for the beef brisket due to its ideal balance of meat and fat, making it perfect for slow cooking methods like braising.

Beef brisket comes from the lower chest area of the cow and consists of two distinct muscles separated by a layer of fat. This marbling of fat within the meat gives the brisket its unique tenderness when simmered over low heat. Its inherent toughness breaks down during the long braising process, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

How to Cut Beef for Braising?

Firstly, choose the right cut of beef. For braising, tougher cuts like chuck, brisket, or round work best. These cuts have more connective tissue, which breaks down and tenderizes during the slow cooking process, resulting in a flavorful and tender dish.

Next, prepare your workspace. Make sure you have a clean cutting board and a sharp knife. A chef’s knife works well for cutting beef into chunks or cubes for braising.

Now, here’s a simple guide on how to cut beef for braising:

  1. Trimming: Start by trimming excess fat from the beef. While some fat can add flavor, too much can make the dish greasy. Trim off any large, tough pieces of fat or silver skin.
  2. Cubing: Cut the beef into evenly sized chunks or cubes, roughly 1 to 2 inches in size. This ensures that the beef cooks evenly during the braising process. Aim for uniform pieces to promote consistent cooking.
  3. Against the Grain: When cutting the beef, try to cut against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the natural lines or fibers in the meat. Doing so results in shorter muscle fibers, making the meat tenderer after braising.
  4. Consistency: Maintain a consistent size for your beef pieces to ensure they cook at the same rate. This consistency is crucial for achieving evenly cooked and tender beef in your dish.


  • 2 pounds beef brisket, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: chopped green onions, chu hou sauce and oyster sauce

Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Brisket Recipe and Instructions

  1. Prepare the Beef: Pat dry the beef brisket chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear the Beef: Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef chunks on all sides, then remove them and set aside.
  3. Sauté Aromatics: In the same pot, add diced onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Sauté until fragrant.
  4. Spice Infusion: Add the star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks to the pot. Stir for about a minute to release their flavors.
  5. Braise the Beef: Return the browned beef to the instant pot. Pour in the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, brown sugar, and beef broth. Bring to a boil.
  6. Simmer and Cook: Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the beef is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.

How do you know When Braised Beef is done?

Here’s how to tell when it is done:

  1. Texture and Tenderness: The primary sign that it is done is its tenderness. When the beef is fully cooked, it should be fork-tender, meaning it easily pulls apart with a fork or a gentle tug. The longer it cooks, the more tender it becomes.
  2. Internal Temperature: Although texture is a crucial indicator, checking the internal temperature of the beef is important for safety. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for beef to ensure it’s safe to eat.
  3. Cooking Time: Generally, tougher cuts of beef suitable for braising, like chuck or brisket, require longer cooking times. It’s often a good idea to follow a recipe’s recommended cooking time, but the tenderness should be the ultimate guide.

Can I Freeze Braised Beef?

Braised beef, with its flavorful and tender qualities, freezes well. The key is to cool it down properly before freezing to maintain its taste and texture.

Here are the steps to freeze:

  1. Cool it Down: Allow the dish to cool completely at room temperature. Don’t leave it out for too long; aim for it to reach room temperature within two hours after cooking.
  2. Portioning: Divide it into portions that you’d likely use in one go. This makes it easier to thaw only what you need without repeatedly thawing and refreezing the whole batch.
  3. Storage Containers: Use airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Labeling: Always label the containers or bags with the date of freezing. This helps you keep track of how long the beef has been in the freezer.
  5. Freezing: Place the portions in the freezer. Remember, the quicker it freezes, the better it retains its quality.

Now, some important pointers:

  • Freezing Duration: Braised beef can typically be frozen for up to 3-4 months without compromising its quality. After this time, it’s still safe to eat, but the taste and texture might not be as good.
  • Thawing: When you’re ready to use it, move the portion you need from the freezer to the refrigerator. Slow thawing in the fridge is the safest method as it prevents bacterial growth. It might take a day or so to completely thaw.
  • Reheating: You can reheat the thawed beef on the stovetop or in the oven. Make sure it’s heated thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.

What to Do with Leftover Braised Beef?

Leftover Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Brisket can be a treasure trove for creating delicious meals. After enjoying a hearty dish, you might wonder how to make the most of the leftovers. Here are some simple and tasty ideas:

  1. Beef Tacos or Burritos: Shred the leftover beef and use it as a filling for tacos or burritos. Warm up the beef with some spices and pair it with your favorite toppings like salsa, cheese, lettuce, and guacamole.
  2. Beef Stew or Soup: Chop the beef into bite-sized pieces and incorporate it into a hearty stew or soup. Combine it with vegetables, broth, and herbs for a comforting meal.
  3. Beef Fried Rice: Dice the beef and add it to a pan with cooked rice, veggies, and scrambled eggs to create a flavorful beef-fried rice dish.
  4. Beef Sandwiches or Wraps: Make sandwiches or wraps using the leftover beef slices. Add some fresh greens, cheese, and your favorite condiments for a quick and tasty lunch.
  5. Beef Pasta: Combine the beef with pasta and your preferred sauce for a simple yet satisfying pasta dish. Add some Parmesan cheese for an extra kick.
  6. Beef Salad: Slice the beef thinly and toss it with greens, veggies, and a tangy dressing for a refreshing and filling salad.

How long does leftover Braised beef last?

Leftover braised beef can typically last for about 3 to 4 days when stored properly in the refrigerator. This delicious dish can be a fantastic meal, but it’s important to handle and store it correctly to ensure it stays safe to eat.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition FactsAmount per Serving
Serving Size1 Bar (35g)
Total Fat7g
Saturated Fat1g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrate20g
Dietary Fiber3g
Vitamin D0mcg (0%)
Calcium30mg (2%)
Iron1.8mg (10%)
Potassium180mg (4%)

What to Serve with Braised Beef?

When it comes to complementing the rich flavors of braised beef, there are several delicious options to consider. Here are some fantastic choices:

  1. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and comforting, mashed potatoes are an excellent side for braised beef. They soak up the flavorful juices and provide a wonderful contrast in texture.
  2. Roasted Vegetables: Opt for roasted carrots, parsnips, or Brussels sprouts. Their caramelized edges and earthy sweetness complement the savory notes of the beef.
  3. Polenta: This Italian cornmeal dish serves as a lovely base. Its smooth texture and mild taste make it an ideal partner.
  4. Rice or Grains: Consider serving over a bed of fluffy rice or hearty grains like quinoa or farro. These absorb the delicious sauce and add their subtle flavors.
  5. Crusty Bread or Dinner Rolls: Having some crusty bread or warm dinner rolls on the side is perfect for sopping up every bit of the flavorful sauce.
  6. Leafy Greens: A simple salad with fresh greens, such as arugula or spinach, tossed in a light vinaigrette, offers a refreshing contrast to the richness of the beef.

How to Carve Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Brisket?

Carving is a wonderful culinary skill that can elevate your dining experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide that breaks it down:

1. Selecting the Cut: Start by choosing the right cut of beef suitable for braising. Popular choices include chuck, brisket, or short ribs. These cuts have marbling and connective tissue that tenderizes during braising.

2. Braising Process: Braising involves cooking the beef slowly in a flavorful liquid at a low temperature. This breaks down the tough fibers, resulting in a tender, flavorful dish. Common braising liquids include broth, wine, or a combination of both, along with herbs and aromatics.

3. Cooking the Beef: Once the beef is braised to perfection, allow it to rest. This step is crucial as it lets the juices redistribute, ensuring a moist and tender outcome. Keep it covered to preserve warmth.

4. Preparing to Carve: Before carving, remove the beef from the braising liquid and place it on a clean cutting board. It’s helpful to use a sharp knife for precise cuts.

5. Carving Technique: Identify the grain of the meat. This refers to the direction in which the muscle fibers run. Slice against the grain to shorten the fibers, making each bite tenderer. Aim for thin, uniform slices for an optimal dining experience.

6. Serving Suggestions: Arrange the beautifully carved beef on a platter or individual plates. Pair it with the braising liquid reduced into a flavorful sauce. Additionally, side dishes like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad complement the richness of the beef.

Fun Facts:

  • Braised beef is a slow-cooking method that involves cooking meat in liquid at a low temperature. It results in tender, flavorful meat due to the breakdown of collagen.
  • Season the beef generously before braising it to enhance its flavor.
  • Pairing braised beef with sides high in starch or fiber, like mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables, creates a well-balanced meal that’s both satisfying and nutritious.
Akara Karimi

Chef Akara, a culinary virtuoso with a penchant for innovation, crafts dishes that marry tradition with modern flair. Her journey from culinary school to renowned kitchens forged her expertise.

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