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The Top Chinese Beef Dishes

Written by Candice SongUpdated Jan. 8, 2021
Water Boiled BeefPoached sliced beef in hot chili oil

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.

Medicinal Functions of Beef

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 Expensive Than Pork

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.

Most Popular Chinese Beef Dishes

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

Black Pepper Beef Black pepper beef

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.

Poached Sliced Beef in Hot Chili Oil

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.

The Most Popular Beef Dishes

English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
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
beef offal niúzá nyoh-dzah 牛杂
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

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