Chinese Beef tendon Stew recipe
A Recipe of Kasma Loha-unchit
Recipe Copyright © 1997 Kasma Loha-unchit.
(Click images to see larger version.)
Be sure to see Kasma's Blog on Beef Noodle Soup.
- Tender stewed beef with tendons and juices (see below)
- 2-3 lb fresh gkuay dtiow or chow fun rice noodles – either wide strand (sen yai) or thin (sen lek)
- Fried garlic oil – garlic pieces and oil (8 cloves chopped garlic fried in 1/4 cup oil)
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups thinly sliced fresh beef (use a tender cut like skirt steak)
- 1 13-oz. pkg. beef meatballs (about 18-20 per pkg.)
- 1 tsp. white pepper powder
- 4 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 7-8 cups morning glory or water spinach (pak boong) pieces
- 1 cup Chinese celery leaves, or cilantro
- 4 green onions, white and green parts, cut into thin rounds
Stewed Beef and Tendons
- 14 cups water
- 2 star anise or equivalent
- 3 stalks lemon grass – use bottom 4-5 inches of stalk, crushed whole
- 3-inch section fresh or frozen galanga, crushed (or use 8 dried pieces)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 head garlic cloves, crushed whole
- 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns, cracked
- 1/4 cup cilantro roots and stem sections, crushed
- 6 green onions – use stalk part with roots attached, leave whole
- 3 Tbs. black soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- About 1/2 cup fish sauce (nahm bplah), or to taste
Hot Chile Sauce:
- 2-3 red jalapeño or serrano peppers, chopped with seeds
- 6-10 Thai chillies, cut into thin rounds with seeds
- 6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2-3 Tbs. white vinegar, to taste
- 2-3 Tbs. fish sauce (nahm bplah) to taste
- 2-3 tsp. sugar, to taste
Make the stewed beef and tendons by placing the whole beef shank with all the herbs, spices and flavor ingredients in a large stock pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over very low heat until the shank is tender. This may take 3 or more hours. Remove the beef from the pot and strain out all the herbs and spices from the broth. Cut shank including tendons into bite-size chunks and return to the strained broth.
While the beef shank is stewing, prepare the hot sauce. Pound the chopped chillies and garlic to a paste. Then combine with the remaining sauce ingredients and let sit at least 1/2 hour to let the flavors blend and mingle. The sauce ages well and actually tastes better when made a day or two ahead of time.
If you are using fresh chow fun noodles, separate as much as possible into single strands. Make the fried garlic oil and prepare the remaining ingredients where necessary.
When the stewed beef and tendons are tender and you are ready to cook the noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil. On an adjacent burner, keep the stewed beef and broth heated to a gentle boil and add the beef balls. Using a noodle cooking basket with handle or a wire-mesh strainer, blanch the noodles, bean sprouts and morning glory for a few seconds until the noodles are hot and vegetables wilted. (You can blanch them together or separately depending on whether you are cooking by the bowl or in a large batch at a time.) Remove from water, drain and place in individual serving bowls.
Blanch the sliced beef steak in a wire-mesh strainer dipped into the hot water just enough to cook to medium rare (or cook in the boiling beef broth). Lift strainer out of water and drain. Arrange beef slices over the noodles and sprinkle with some green onion rounds. Then spoon a couple of beef meatballs and some stewed beef and tendon pieces along with broth over the noodles in each bowl. Dust lightly with powdered white pepper and top with fried garlic oil (both garlic pieces and a little oil), and Chinese celery or cilantro leaves.
Serve hot with the chilli sauce on a condiment tray that also includes ground dried red chillies, sugar and fish sauce, at the table for adjusting flavors as each person wishes. Serves 10 as a one-dish meal.