Beef stew is one of those meals you enjoy sat on the sofa with your feet up while you enjoy your meaty meal. With a glass of wine perhaps watching a movie or TV show that has you gripped – am I right? Well that’s what happens in my home. So if you’re in the mood for a meaty meal with complex flavors try my Asian beef stew.

Asian Beef Stew

This Asian beef stew is a little spicy, a little smokey, and a touch sweet, and what you need on a chilly day, and no doubt what you would prefer if your day has been anything like mine – gloomy with no promise of sun. It’s the epitome of comfort food. I ate my first serving on a bed on herb rice (recipe to come), and for my second serving I created a super spicy taco, by adding some more chillies and Asian cabbage. Yes, I had two servings, and I will not be judged! I’m fit for nothing now though, maybe I’ll have a nap.

Stewing beef is usually a marbled cut of beef and once cooked it releases the fat into the sauce. For a leaner more healthy meal, I suggest you separate the fat from the sauce and get rid of it, be kind to your heart.

You will see that I added sake to this stew, I used a slightly sweet sake with pear notes. You can’t taste the sake in the stew once cooked, but it does help to deepen the flavors considerably, so it would be a shame not to include it.  But if you would rather not use sake, as an alternative you can use wine, or skip the alcohol completely. 

This is a cracker of a dish, the oven does most of the work, and any leftovers can be converted into so many things – tacos, empanadas, burritos, risotto. Give it a try soon and let me know what you think.

Asian Beef Stew

Asian Beef Stew
Serves 4
Spicy, smokey and a little sweet
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 20 min
  1. 1 tbsp sesame oil
  2. 4 cloves garlic (shredded)
  3. 1 tsp freshly shredded ginger
  4. 1 cup fresh cilantro (minced)
  5. 1 tsp five spice
  6. 2 1/ 2 lb stewing beef (cut into 2" chunks)
  7. 1 tbsp cornstarch
  8. 2 cups sake
  9. 1/2 cup soy sauce
  10. 1/4 cup honey
  11. 3 bay leaves
Final Seasoning
  1. 1 tbsp honey
  2. 2-3 thai chilli peppers
Equipment and Utensils
  1. Casserole pan
  2. Fat separator
  3. Saucepan
  1. Heat sesame oil on medium heat in casserole pan.
  2. Sauté garlic, ginger, cilantro and five spice until flavors release.
  3. Add stew beef and cornstarch and combine until beef is coated with ingredients.
  4. Add sake, soy sauce and honey and stir until ingredients are combined.
  5. Drop in bay leaves, remove from stove, cover and place in pre-heated oven at 325 for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Final seasoning
  1. Once beef chunks are cooked and almost falling apart, tip out sauce from stew into a fat separator and discard fat.
  2. Pour sauce into a saucepan, place on medium heat and add honey and chili peppers.
  3. Allow sauce to reduce by a quarter and then pour over stewed beef.
  4. Taste and add seasoning if necessary
  1. My recipe suggests you use a casserole pan, the casserole pan should be made with a material that can be used on the stove stop and the oven. If you don't have a casserole pan you can use a regular pan and then transfer the meat to an overproof dish with a cover (if no cover, aluminum foil will do) for cooking in the oven.