Cooking a healthier and delicious ASIAN BEEF STEW
A-ha! You might say that this dish can be found in most Chinese restaurants so why bother? Is there something different about this recipe? Our tips may not exactly be new but we thought it’s worth mentioning that preparation and procedure affects the nutrients and taste of food. Now that’s something any parent should be concerned about! 😀
For example, using the Crock-Pot for cooking spare ribs and beef shank makes the task easier (washing the beef, popping in all the ingredients and then getting a good night’s sleep 🙂 !) but has its trade-offs, too. We’re referring to the scum that oozes out of the beef during the slow cooking process which may be difficult to remove in a Crock-Pot. Scum is blood that comes from the beef and we insist that for this dish, the scum must be removed. Not doing so will produce an after taste akin to an uncooked fish (malansa in Tagalog). As well, the blood and fat that comes with the beef is not healthy, too, as it adds up to unhealthy cholesterol (Yeah, we know that red meat is unhealthy, too but reducing the “red” in the meat helps reduce cholesterol! 😀 ). So our proposal is before cooking the beef in the Crock-Pot, boil it first for about 15-20 minutes (optional: you may add salt and pepper) to remove the scum and excess fat to get a cleaner taste and a healthier dish.
Another issue is cooking the broccoli. Although somewhat basic and somehow prolongs the cooking time (!), blanching the broccoli and using an ice bath makes a whole lot of difference. We learned that even if the broccoli is removed from boiling water, the cooking process continues. Putting it in an ice bath arrests this process quickly, locks in the nutrients and gives the broccoli the crunch that you crave for.
Finally, less is best! Lessening the salt in the dish (dissolving oyster sauce in water, removing salt from preparing the broth), trimming the excess fat from the beef and limiting the amount of cornstarch help reduce the unwanted cholesterol.
Enjoy eating and keep on cooking! 😀
1 ½ pounds of beef shank (bone in) and 1 ½ pounds of spare ribs
2 pieces of beef bouillon dissolved in a 1 ½ cup of water
½ cup oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 head of fresh broccoli florets, stalks chopped
Sesame seeds, toasted
- Wash beef and cut up into bite size pieces. Place them in a pot and fill with water enough to cover the beef. Cook over MEDIUM HIGH heat for 15-20 minutes.
2. Once the broth boils, reduce to a simmer and remove the scum from the broth. Once the broth is clear, drain and set aside for future use.
3. Place partially cooked beef in the Crock- Pot and pour the beef bouillon and ½ cup oyster sauce. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
5. In a separate pot, boil water on HIGH. Blanch the broccoli florets for 2-3 minutes then put them in an ice bath immediately.
6. Drain and mix the broccoli with the beef, tossing it gently. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with steam rice.
* Recipe partially adapted from Crock-Pot: The Original Slow Cooker (2011).