Braised Beef with Beancurd

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

This is a quick and easy version of a great Chinese favourite that my mother use to make. It is comfort food at its best. Most of the Preparation Time is for draining the beancurd, to ensure that it is not too wet. An added bonus is that this dish can be cooked ahead of time and then gently reheated.


  • 450g (1 lb) fresh firm beancurd
  • tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 350g (12 oz) minced beef
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chilli bean sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) home-made chicken stock or quality store-bought fresh stock


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions


  1. Cut the beancurd into 1 cm(½ in) cubes and put into a sieve to drain for 10 Minutes. Then lay on kitchen paper to drain for another 10 Minutes.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 20 seconds.
  3. Add the minced beef and stir-fry for 3 Minutes.
  4. Now add all the other ingredients except the beancurd, and bring to the boil.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, add the beancurd and mix it in well, but gently, taking care not to break up the chunks. Simmer slowly, uncovered, for about 15 Minutes. If necessary, add a little more stock. P
  6. Turn onto a warm platter, garnish with the spring onions and serve at once.

P Can be prepared ahead: cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Reheat gently in a steamer for 10 Minutes.