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Chinese Beef-and-Mushroom Stew with Whole Spices

Yield 5 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup beef mixture, about 3 tablespoons sauce, and 1/2 cup rice)
Here whole cinnamon, anise, cloves, and peppercorns subtly flavor a slow-cooked stew of beef and dried Chinese black mushrooms. Use brisket, chuck, or blade steak for this hearty, melt-in-your-mouth dish. Remove the hard stems from the mushrooms and use just the mushroom caps.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup dried black mushrooms
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) beef brisket, trimmed and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green onions, divided
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed peppercorns
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 dried red chiles
  • 1 (14 1/4-ounce) can low-salt beef broth
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 cups hot cooked basmati rice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 379
  • caloriesfromfat 24 %
  • fat 10.1 g
  • satfat 3.1 g
  • monofat 4.4 g
  • polyfat 0.9 g
  • protein 34.1 g
  • carbohydrate 33 g
  • fiber 1.9 g
  • cholesterol 80 mg
  • iron 4.2 mg
  • sodium 460 mg
  • calcium 33 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine boiling water and mushrooms. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Chop mushrooms; set aside. Strain soaking liquid through a cheesecloth- or paper towel-lined sieve into a bowl. Discard solids; reserve 1 cup soaking liquid.

  2. Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 8 minutes on all sides or until browned. Add 3/4 cup onion, ginger, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in reserved soaking liquid, 1 1/4 cups water, and next 9 ingredients (1 1/4 cups water through cinnamon); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Stir in mushrooms. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until beef is tender. Remove beef mixture with a slotted spoon. Discard star anise, cloves, dried chiles, and cinnamon stick. Bring remaining liquid to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Stir in 3/4 cup onion and oil. Serve beef mixture over rice with sauce.