chinese braised beef shank appetizer

I’ve been eating Taiwanese or Chinese braised beef shank for as long as I can remember.  For some reason, I always called it Taiwanese cold beef because I didn’t know the English translation for the cut of beef used and it’s always served cold.  The proper Chinese name is 卤牛肉, Lǔ niúròu or 卤牛腱子, Lǔ niú jiànz.  

Basically, the name translates into braised in soy sauce or “Lǔ” and the rest of the name refers to the cut of beef in this case beef shank.

When I was little my mom braised all sorts of things like pig ears, chicken wings, spiced aged tofu, seaweed knots in addition to the beef shank.  She would first braise the chicken wings then braise the beef shank after. The chicken wings added fat to the braising liquid making it perfect for braising leaner beef shank.  She’s changed her recipe throughout the years and the one I’m about to share with you is the one she developed over all that time.

These braised foods are all served cold, they are actually quite perfect for lunches and picnics.  I still remember my mom would make a big batch of braised meats and veggies that we would take for a day out to Ocean City.

What is beef shank exactly?  Beef shank is a tough cut of meat with lots of tasty tendons marbled throughout the meat, which makes it perfect for braising. 

chinese braised beef shank

Why Use an Instant Pot for Chinese Braised Beef Shank

I adapted this Instant Pot braised beef shank recipe from my Mom’s traditional recipe.  Now her recipe for Taiwanese braised beef shank is a lot more involved. She requires you to cook the beef shank multiple times while letting it rest intermittently in the liquid.  Being the lazy Chinese daughter that I am, I decided to go against her advice to not use my Instant Pot for this cooking procedure.

Generally, I’ve stuck to mom’s recipe for Chinese Braised Beef Shank except there is less cooking time because I’m using the Instant Pot.  For those of you that don’t have an Instant Pot, any pressure cooker will do. The Instant Pot will cook the shank quickly and make it so very tender because of the high-pressure cooking.

taiwanese braised beef shank recipe

Why I Don’t Use Ginger and Scallion in this Braised Beef Shank Recipe

I’ve seen many recipes use ginger and scallions but I really don’t find either ingredient needed for this dish.  My mom has never added these to this dish. Ginger and scallions are usually added to alleviate the gaminess of meats, but because of the first step in this recipe, those 2 ingredients aren’t necessary.  

When creating the Instant Pot version of her braised beef shank I was so tempted to skip the first step.  But I didn’t because it happened to be a Saturday morning and I had nothing better to do. Her first step is to soak the beef shank in cold water for 1 hour before cooking it.  The soaking draws out the blood in the meat and makes it less gamey.  

Sure enough after soaking that beef shank for an hour the water was a bloody pink color.  Once this is done, your beef shank is ready for cooking!

braised beef shank recipe

Using Two Types of Soy Sauce for Chinese Braised Beef Shank 

For many years now when my Mom braises anything she uses two types of soy sauce, aged and light soy sauce.  Aged soy sauce is darker in color and not very salty. It’s ideal for imparting that dark brown color onto braised foods.  It also has a deeper flavor. Light soy sauce is lighter in color and much saltier and aged soy sauce. It provides the savory saltiness needed for braising.

Now many recipes for Chinese braised beef shank have you braise the beef shank in the soy sauce and spices.  This is where my mom’s recipe differs. She prefers to actually steep the shank in the braising liquid after it has been cooked.  According to her cooking soy sauce for too long distorts the flavor and can turn it bitter, as well as lessens the flavor.

Ingredients for Chinese Braised Beef Shank Recipe

2 lbs Whole Beef Shank

4-5 Cups of Water

½ Cup Light Soy Sauce

⅓ Cup Dark Soy Sauce

½ Tsp 5 Spice Powder

½ Tsp White Pepper

4 to 5 Whole Star Anise

1 Tsp Salt

 

To Serve

Scallions or Cilantro

Sesame Seed Oil

taiwan braised beef shank ingredients

chinese braised beef shank ingredients

 

Equipment For Chinese Braised Beef Shank

Instant Pot (I have an 8 quart one)

4 Quart Pot with Lid

The first step is to take your beef shank and soak it for 1 hour in cold water to draw out the blood.  Then put it into your Instant Pot and cover with 4 – 5 cups of water. You just need enough water to mostly cover your beef shank. 

braised chinese beef recipe 

I have an 8 quart Instant Pot and could fit the whole shank in without cutting it.  If your Instant Pot is smaller, you can cut up your beef shank into 2 or 4 pieces to fit into your pot.  Just make sure the liquid covers the beef.

instant pot chinese braised beef

Next, cook your beef shank in the Instant Pot under high pressure for 30 minutes.  Once the 30 minutes is up, release the pressure and transfer your beef shank to a pot.  

instant pot braised beef shank recipe

Add about half of the liquid from the Instant Pot to the pot with the beef shank.  Again, you just need enough liquid to cover the beef. Add the dark and light soy sauce, 5 spice powder, white pepper, star anise, and salt to the pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then put the lid onto the pot and turn off the flame.  

cooking chinese braised beef shank

After the beef and steeping liquid has cooled store in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning the beef once or twice to ensure all parts have a chance to soak in the braising liquid.  

braised beef shank

To Serve

Remove the braised beef shank from the liquid and slice into ⅛ to ¼ inch slices.  I personally prefer thinner slices. Top with cilantro or scallions for a bit of freshness.  And drizzle with sesame seed oil. Serve with some piping hot rice!

taiwanese cold beef recipe

instant pot chinese braised beef shank recipe

braised beef shank instant pot

chinese braised beef shank recipe

READ  6 Halloween Costume Ideas That Will Scare ALL of Your Friends
chinese braised beef shank instant pot

Instant Pot Chinese Braised Beef Shank

The perfect Chinese Braised Beef Shank Recipe using the Instant Pot
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Rest Time1 d
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: braised beef shank, chinese braised beef shank, instant pot, instant pot braised beef, taiwanese braised beef shank
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • 4 Quart Stock Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Beef Shank
  • 4-5 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Light Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp 5 Spice Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp White Pepper
  • 4-5 Pieces Whole Star Anise
  • 1 Tsp Salt

To Serve

  • Scallions or Cilantro
  • Sesame Seed Oil

Instructions

  • The first step is to take your beef shank and soak it for 1 hour in cold water to draw out the blood.  Then put it into your Instant Pot and cover with 4 - 5 cups of water. You just need enough water to mostly cover your beef shank.  
    braised chinese beef recipe
  • I have an 8 quart Instant Pot and could fit the whole shank in without cutting it.  If your Instant Pot is smaller, you can cut up your beef shank into 2 or 4 pieces to fit into your pot.  Just make sure the liquid covers the beef.
    instant pot chinese braised beef
  • Next, cook your beef shank in the Instant Pot under high pressure for 30 minutes.  Once the 30 minutes is up, release the pressure and transfer your beef shank to a pot.
    instant pot braised beef shank recipe
  • Add about half of the liquid from the Instant Pot to the pot with the beef shank.  Again, you just need enough liquid to cover the beef. Add the dark and light soy sauce, 5 spice powder, white pepper, star anise, and salt to the pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then put the lid onto the pot and turn off the flame.
    cooking chinese braised beef shank
  • After the beef and steeping liquid has cooled store in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning the beef once or twice to ensure all parts have a chance to soak in the braising liquid. 
    braised beef shank

To Serve

  • Remove the braised beef shank from the liquid and slice into ⅛ to ¼ inch slices.  I personally prefer thinner slices. Top with cilantro or scallions for a bit of freshness.  And drizzle with sesame seed oil. Serve with some piping hot rice!
    taiwanese cold beef recipe

recipe for chinese braised beef shank

Don't Miss Another Post

Promise No Spam...Hey I don't blog that much!

Thanks for Keeping In Touch!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This