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Beef Stewed with Soy Bean Paste

(adapted from The Best of Chinese Cooking by Betty Saw)  

Serves: 4      Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 35 min          


  • 2lb stewing beef (cut into 1in cubes)
  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • 5 cloves garlic (Minced or pounded with mortar and pestle)
  • 1 tbs preserved soy bean paste
  • 2 inches of ginger (shredded or pounded with mortar and pestle)
  • 2 small star anise
  • 1 in piece cinnamon stick

Sauce ingredients

  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp thick soy sauce
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce


  • 2 stalks spring onion, chopped
  • 2 Thai Red chillies (seeded and chopped)
  • Cilantro leaves


  1. Put oil in the pressure cooker, turn it on and start the Browning function. When oil is hot, stir-fry garlic, ginger and soy bean paste until fragrant.
  2. Put in the star anise and cinnamon and stir-fry for half a minute.
  3. Add the beef and toss until it browns.
  4. Pour in sauce ingredients. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pressure cooker for any bits stuck at the bottom. Cancel the browning function and set to High Pressure. Program the cook time to 30 minutes and press Start. (If not using pressure cooker, add an additional 2.5 cups of beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and summer for 1.5 to 2 hours until meat is tender, then skip to step #6)
  5. When 30 minutes is up, Quick-release the pressure and unlock lid when all pressure is released.
  6. Garnish the beef [For me personally, chilli is a must, the slight spiciness adds tremendously to the overall taste]