Influenced by the diversity of Chinese cuisine, beef, as one of the mainstream meat in China, has been evolved into a variety of dishes. Although priced greatly higher than pork, owing to its characteristics such as low-fat and high protein, and easy human-absorptive, beef has won more and more favors along with the growth of economy and consumption in China.
By virtue of the variousness of Chinese cuisine, the beef dishes on a Chinese dining table present in assorted forms, of which the most common ones are cooked by methods of steaming, boiling, stir-frying and deep-frying. In some occasions, beef also presents as a topping of Chinese soup noodle, such as Lanzhou beef noodle and beef soup noodle, which are familiar in various cities in China and has also been marked as one of the most prevalent Chinese breakfasts.
There are eight major cuisines in China. The cooking style of each region and city varies in its unique way, donating to the diversity in flavors of beef cuisine in China. Here comes a list indicating some of the most prevalent beef dishes in China as follows, inviting you for a Chinese delicacy trip.
- Sliced Beef in Hot Chili Oil
It’s a famed beef dish in Sichuan cuisine, with the meat of yellow cattle as the main ingredient, and accompanied by bean sprouts, duck blood, vermicelli, lettuce, and other vegetables. The spicy soup is prepared from soup-stock, which will be used to blench the beef until it’s cooked. Do not get shocked by the appearance of the dish, which is covered by pure red color chili oil, as Sichuan is a region famous for eating chili in China!
- Steamed Beef in Rice Flour
Steamed Beef in Rice Flour is a traditional Sichuan dish, with beef and rice (ground into flour) as its main ingredients, and optionally can be steamed with potatoes or pumpkin. Usually, the beef can be altered by pork. It’s a ubiquitous dish at home in China.
- Tea Mushroom Fried Beef
Tea Mushroom Fried Beef is a Chinese dish of tradition. In China, people habituate themselves to cut beef (or pork) into 4-5 cm strips and stir-fry the meat in accompany with other subsidiary ingredients. In addition to tea mushroom, beef is often stir-fried with green pepper, onion, and celery, which are very common in Chinese cuisine. Beef can be stir-fried into another special flavor with the touch of black pepper, which makes another familiar stir-fried beef dish in China, named “Sautéed Beef Fillet with Black Pepper.”
- Beef on Toothpicks
Beef on Toothpicks is a famous traditional dish in Hunan Province, China. The dish adopts meat of yellow cattle as the ingredient, cuts the beef into 2 cm cubes and sticks through them by toothpicks, deep-fries them upon marination. It’s a spicy and savory flavored beef dish, which is home-cooked widely in China and enjoyed as a snack.
- Beef Soup of Huainan
Beef Soup of Huainan status as one of the most representative dish in Anhui province, China, with its origin is said can be traced back to a thousand of years. The beef soup-stock is prepared from beef, beef bones and some Chinese herbs, and served with vermicelli, bean skin, Qianzhang (thin sheets of bean curd,) and coriander as the matches. Having the Beef Soup of Huainan, baked pancakes are usually assigned by the locals as the staple food, which makes the most customary way of it.
- Spiced Beef
It’s the most traditional beef-food in China. Many shops are selling spiced foods in China. “Spicing” is an extremely ancient cooking method in China, which can be historically traced back to Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) in China, and came down the ages in its unique form, performing relatively great influence in all major cuisines in China. The spiced beef comes with a strong fragrance and is ready to serve after slicing.
- Beef in Brown Sauce
Beef in Brown Sauce is a traditional beef product from Inner Mongolia, China, and is now very popular all over the country. It looks like to spiced beef, differences between both of which are even hard to be spotted by some local Chinese.
The most important loop in the production process of Beef in Brown Sauce lays in the sauce formulating. Beef in Brown Sauce presents a firmer texture than Spiced Beef, and with a wholly different flavor. In China, the northern parts people welcome Beef in Brown Sauce more, while the southern parts shows more fond on Spiced Beef.
- Beef Salad
It can be judged as the simplest beef dish in China, requiring neither the mastery on complicated marinades, nor the relevant study on sauce formulating, but to boil beef by water, then to slice it, and to add spices and seasonings such as coriander, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, white sugar, to stir before serve.
- Couple’s Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce (Mr. and Mrs. Smith)
It’s a not to be missed Chinese beef dish! Couple’s Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce is nearly known to everyone in China, furthermore famous overseas! On the May journal in 2017of American magazine “GQ,” “U.S.A. Food and Beverage List 2017″ was released, where the dish of “Couple’s Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce” (was translated into “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” in English,) a signature cold dish of a Sichuan restaurant in Houston, won the first place, and was honored as”Appetizer of the Year.”
In addition to beef, the main ingredients of Couple’s Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce include many other parts of cattle as well, such as cattle tongues, tripe, and cattle head skin, which assort and match together. This dish has also enlisted into the top ten classic dishes in Sichuan, China. For food lovers not afraid of spicy, it’s indeed a must-try dish!
- Twice-Cooked Beef Slices
Twice-Cooked Beef Slices is a home-cooking dish that widely welcomed and traditionally inherited in China. It also belongs to Sichuan cuisine and was originated in the countryside of Sichuan. The dish adopted pork as ingredient initially, and altered to beef along with the improvement of economic conditions in China, which endows richer flavors to this dish.
Firstly, boil the beef to cook, then slice it, followed by stir-frying in accompany with garlic sprouts and green peppers over high fire. It’s a trendy beef dish in all parts of China, well-matching serve with rice.
- Braised Beef with Potatoes
It’s said that this dish originated in Hungary, and was introduced to the former Soviet Union, and then into China. It has now become a traditional home cooking dish in China.
The ingredients and cooking method of this dish are relatively simple, cut beef and potatoes into lumps, and then simmer with low fire. The akin beef dishes of it include Braised Beef with Tomatoes, which shares the same cooking method of Braised Beef with Potatoes, with the only difference is replacing the potatoes with tomatoes.
- Beef Hotpot
Chinese hotpot has a distant origin and a long development, and beef is one of the classic meat products used as hotpot ingredients. The beef hotpot presents in various forms due to the various dining customary all over China.
Such beef mini hotpot can be regularly seen in small restaurants in China, with the name of “Beef Pot” by the locals, which is a small pot filled with beef and soup. There is an alcohol stove coming along under the pot for heating purposes. When the beef is eaten up, one may fill vegetables or other matching dishes into the pot, enjoy it while boiling.
There are many professional hotpot restaurants in China, where only hotpots are served. It’s one of the most joyful activities for a group of friends to gather around a big table for hotpot, while on those tables, beef seldom performs absence.
In China, there is another type of hotpot earning its fame for beef consumption, namely Chaoshan Beef Hotpot. Chaoshan is located in the eastern part of Guangdong Province, China, where the diet is treated like an exquisite affair by the locals. The Chaoshan Beef Hotpot pursues the freshness and authentic taste of beef, requesting the beef without being frozen, and being served within 6 hours since the slaughtering of the cattle. Such strict requirements for food materials inhibit its popularity in China. However, there are still many diners going to Chaoshan to taste the freshness of authentic Chaoshan Beef Hotpot.
As stated above, where some of the most popular beef dishes in China have been listed, which only make the tip of the iceberg in the Chinese diet. Diet has always gained in-depth and persistent investigation by the Chinese, and significant improvement and innovation donated by Chinese chefs are taking place!