Mom said “The secret to cooking Korean Beef Stew was a slow fire and patience.” My mom taught me how to cook beef properly. It was expensive in our local market in the Philippines. Beef was only sold on Tuesdays and Saturdays in my home town Tarlac back then. Mom’s menu revolved around Tuesdays and Saturdays. Beef was reserved for special dishes when guests visited. Or if it was the town fiesta, a plethora of meat dishes dominated the buffet table.
My mom cooked this Korean Beef Stew often. I am not Korean and neither were my parents. But, this Asian-flavored stew found its way to our Filipino table. The perfectly-tenderized beef stew made you think the one who cooked slaved all day. Well, the truth was, it was the stove that did all the work.
Mom taught me how to cook a good stew to its most tender point. So tender the tendrils fell off the fork if you pierced the succulent cube. In my childhood home, mom cooked beef outdoors on fire that was kindled by wood. This was an economical way to cook back then. Gas and electricity were expensive to soften meat for long periods of cooking. Nowadays we have kitchen appliances to help us cook a good stew. We also have better cuts of meat now.
But back to this Korean Beef Stew. It was a favorite recipe because the stew cooked in a generous amount of broth, flavored with ginger and onions. The broth thickened as it simmered. By the time the dish was served, the tender beef stew could be poured over mounds of boiled rice, the thick steam of fragrant Asian flavors soaring high above the table.
When I was newly-married, I was heartbroken my mom was no longer with us. She died a year before our wedding. As a young bride, I missed having a mother to call, to ask for a recipe or seek advice on homemaking. But over the years, as I kept cooking and feeding my family home cooked meals, I realized I was never without mom. She was always with me even after she was gone. Mom was with me in every recipe, every dish I served, and every ingredient I sliced. I learned everything I knew in the kitchen from mom. Her lessons never left me. I carry them in my heart and in my palate always. Just like this perfectly tender Korean Beef Stew.
Korean Beef Stew
- Large Stock Pot: 8 to 10 quarts
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil if cooking stove-top
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 medium red onions sliced
- 2 stalks scallion whites chopped
- 1 knob (1-inch piece) fresh ginger peeled and sliced thin
- 3 to 4 pounds cubed beef chuck cut in 3-inch squares
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Shao xing rice wine
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 stalks scallion greens chopped, for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon roasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- for serving: steamed rice
- To cook stove-top: Using a large, deep stock pot, turn the heat to a medium high. Add vegetable oil. After oil is hot enough in 1 to 2 minutes, add the garlic, onions, fresh ginger. Once onions are translucent in 1 to 2 minutes, add the beef cubes. Brown the beef on all sides for about 5 to 6 minutes.
- To the same stock pot, add the rest of the ingredients: Soy sauce, rice wine, broth, sesame oil, salt and black pepper. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours till meat is tender. Add the orange juice and brown sugar at the last fifteen minutes of cooking. Garnish with scallion greens and roasted sesame seeds. Serve warm with rice.
- To cook Korean Beef Stew in the oven: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, deep roasting pan or Dutch oven, combine all of the following : Garlic, onions, ginger, scallions, beef cubes, soy sauce, rice wine, broth, sesame oil, salt and black pepper. Make sure the liquid covers the meat. Cover the entire pan with foil (or with a Dutch Oven, cover with the lid). Bake the beef stew, covered for about 3 hours, or till meat cubes are tender.
- After 3 hours, remove some of the liquid and in a bowl, add the orange juice and brown sugar. Pour back into the pan. Return the beef back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes more. When done, garnish and serve warm.
- Cook's comments: In past recipes, my mother used Filipino brands of soy sauce which I use. If I have guests whose preference is gluten-free, I use tamari low sodium soy sauce, which is has no wheat ingredient and is less salty. Tamari sauce can be purchased at Asian markets, large supermarkets, or online sources.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]