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Beef is very popular and the second most consumed meat in China following pork. Beef is known as the "King of Meat" (肉中骄子) in China because of its high protein content, low-fat content, and delicious taste.
It also contains various trace elements including iron, zinc, selenium, manganese, and a variety of the B vitamins.
In traditional Chinese medicine, beef is thought to have qualities that freshens breath, can nourish spleens and stomachs, and strengthen muscles and bones. According to traditional Chinese medicine dietary therapy, eating beef in winter can warm the stomach and is good for health.
Beef is more of a select meat in China as there is very little land spare to graze cattle. It is sometimes considerably more expensive than pork, the Chinese staple meat.
Water buffalo or yak may be used instead of cow meat in some parts of China. In southern China, the bovine of choice is not a dairy cow but a water buffalo, used for tilling rice paddies. In Tibet, yak meat is more common than anything else.
There are many ways to cook beef. It can be cooked by stir-frying, baking, stewing, steaming, and boiling. It can be cooked with many vegetables, such as bell peppers, celery, onions, tomatoes, and potatoes. Two regional favorites are:
Black pepper beef is a famous Cantonese dish. This dish is made from tender pieces of beef fried with black pepper, onions, and green and red bell peppers. The beef tastes smooth and delicious; the onion and red and green bell peppers are crispy. Learn more about how to cook black pepper beef.
Poached sliced beef in hot chili oil (or water boiled beef) is a famous Sichuan dish. It tastes numbing, hot, and spicy due to the large amount of chilies and Sichuan pepper used. Learn more about how to cook poached sliced beef in hot chili oil.
|skillet beef||tiěbǎn niúròu||tyeah-ban nyoh-roh||铁板牛肉|
|cumin beef||zīrán niúròu||dzrr-ran nyoh-roh||孜然牛肉|
|black pepper beef||hēijiāo niúròu||hay-jyaoww nyoh-roh||黑椒牛肉|
|stir-fried beef and green peppers||qīngjiāo chǎo niúròu||ching-jyaoww chaoww nyoh-roh||青椒炒牛肉|
|stir-fried beef and potatoes||tǔdòu chǎo niúròu||too-doh chaoww nyoh-roh||土豆炒牛肉|
|water boiled beef||shuǐ zhǔ niúròu||shway joo nyoh-roh||水煮牛肉|
|dry-fried cumin beef (Hunan Style)||piāo xiāng niúròu||pyaoww sshyang nyoh-roh||飘香牛肉|
|beef curry with rice||gālí niúròu fàn||gaa-lee nyoh-roh fan||咖喱牛肉饭|
|slow-cooked beef with potatoes||tǔdòu shāo niúròu||too-doh shaoww nyoh-roh||土豆烧牛肉|
|yak hot pot (Lijiang)||máoniú huǒguō||maoww-nyoh hwor-gwor||牦牛火锅|
|hand torn beef||shǒu sī niúròu||shoh srr nyoh-roh||手撕牛肉|
|fried beef in oyster sauce||háoyóu niúròu||haoww-yoh nyoh-roh||蚝油牛肉|
|Guangdong beef flank||Guǎngdōng niúnǎn||gwung-dong nyoh-nan||广东牛腩|
|goose liver pâté steak||é gān jiàng niúpái||er gan jyang nyoh-peye||鹅肝酱牛排|
|poached sliced beef in hot chili oil||shuǐzhǔ niúròu||shway-joo nyoh-roh||水煮牛肉|
Want to taste authentic Chinese cuisine? China Highlights' food tours offer you an opportunity to eat local food while visiting China's most popular attractions.
See our most recommended Chinese food tour:
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